Taking a common sense look at ways to keep your family safe and protect what is important to you. Part One of a 5-part series.
Simple Ways to Outsmart Burglars
The statistics are mind-boggling.
They say there is a burglary every twenty seconds in the US. The average property loss is nearly $2,300. All the while, less than 14% of home burglaries even result in an arrest. This means the victim is rarely reunited with their stolen property. And getting a settlement from insurance companies can be challenging at best.
We all want to protect the things that are important to us, but sometimes we wonder if we are doing enough.
Time to bring in a professional
Q: Rob, how can we protect our personal property these days? What are some of the basic things homeowners can do to keep their families and personal property safe?
Rob: Well, first of all, lock your doors and windows at night and even more importantly, during the day. Most burglaries occur while nobody’s home, typically during daylight hours while you’re at work.
Q: Really? So even though a lot of people probably fear the night time burglar, it’s usually happening in the light of day?
Rob: Yes. National statistics show that 65% of all burglaries occur between 6:00 am and 6:00 pm. So, lock up when you leave the house for work or school.
Some common-sense strategies
Q: Wow. Ok, what else? What are some other basic protective measures we can take?
Rob: Be aware of the front door. 34% of burglars are coming through the front door of your house. So be sure you always take precautions to keep your front door secure.
Q: How can we do that? What are some easy ways?
Rob: Keep it closed and locked. And make sure you have a heavy-duty, solid core door. You can also add a metal security storm door, which can be purchased at any home improvement center. Those are more difficult to break into.
In addition, you can install high quality locks and deadbolts. Then you should consider adding a security camera or a smart doorbell so you can actually see who is at your door when you’re home. While you’re away, you can monitor who’s at your door via your mobile device.
Q: So burglars usually get into people’s homes through unlocked doors or windows. Where else? What other access points should we be protecting?
Rob: Check your basement window wells. They provide really easy access into homes. Of course, basements are ideal hiding spots for thieves. Be sure to lock your basement windows. But better yet, install covers. High quality window well covers will make it more difficult for a burglar to access your house that way.
Outside the box
Q: Is there anything else we need to think about on the outside of our properties? How can we keep burglars from gaining access in the first place?
Rob: I can think of a couple more important outdoor considerations, since burglars don’t want to risk being caught.
First, light up! And no, I’m not talking about something you smoke. [Insert smile]. Thieves will target a dark home before attempting to break into a well-lit home. Be sure you use your outdoor lights.
Q: What else should we watch for outside our homes?
Rob: Your cars! Do not leave your vehicles exposed and unlocked, not ever. And it isn’t just the risk of your car being stolen. Someone could reach in and grab your garage door opener. They could use it for immediate access to your home. Garage door openers are easily duplicated. It would make it too easy for a burglar to get inside your home if he got ahold of one of your garage door openers.
What about video surveillance?
Q: You obviously believe a good monitored, security alarm system is vital. What about moving up to video surveillance? Would that be even better?
Rob: Well, it definitely makes it easier to see what you care about instantly. You could actually capture a burglar on video in the act. But it’s even good for more than that.
With video surveillance. you can get instant access to see what’s happening at your property in real time. You can assess what’s happening in the event of an alarm, and you can also check in on the well-being of loved ones and pets. Some systems even provide a 2-way audio capability,
There are many options and features available these days.
These are great, common-sense tips for protecting your property, and to avoid becoming a burglary statistic. Next week, we’ll ask Rob about the simple ways we can safeguard once we’re inside.
To be continued…
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