We all worry about residential crime and break ins into our homes. Reports suggest they are increasing, however it really depends on the city you live in. Even where you live in the city and published reports for your city. Having had personal experience with a break in, we can also tell you that the police take reports and do little else. They know you will get your items replaced by your insurance, so why do anything. They also have more important crimes to deal with and cannot be bothered chasing some minor crooks who are burglarizing homes.
Our policeman, who visited our home, basically told us to visit the pawn shops to see if some of the family heirlooms had been pawned. If we find them, they will have to file a report and the police will pick them up, file another report and then we get the item back. They made it clear that they were not going to do very much investigation! Not even checking for finger prints.
Single family homes are twice as likely to be burglarized than apartments.The most likely things to be stolen in a burglary are items that can be disposed of quickly and are in demand. Items such as cash, small electronic equipment, home computers, cameras, jewelry, furs, tools and hand guns.
Most people don’t worry too much about security other than the basics. The things a burglar fears most are being seen by someone and having to taking too much time to complete the crime. They want to get in and out quickly!
Most of the time burglars will break into a home that is vacant, while people are at work or when they are on vacation. If you happen to be home at the time, it can be a very stressful event. Make sure you have pepper spray at home within easy reach. Best thing is get out or lock yourself into a room and call 911. Many people, while they feel that their home is secure, do not really have any idea how secure their home is.
One approach is to have a professional conduct a survey of your home. Local police sometimes will do this as a service to the community. They may also conduct workshops for the neighborhood so that you can do your own survey.
You can identify all potential trouble spots and determine what steps can be implemented to improve the overall security of your home. If you have a third party conduct one of these surveys for you, make sure you check their credentials and get references. Also recognize that most third party companies will try to sell you their products as well. Locksmiths will sell locks, alarm companies will sell alarm systems and so on. Common sense is in order here.
Begin outside and review how you would break in? Sometimes it is a good idea to have a friend or neighbor to go with you and give their opinion as well. You can then do the same thing for them at their home.
Ask yourself how you would know when you are not at home? Lights are on a different schedule than normal, garbage has not been put out, driveway is not cleared of snow etc. These are all tell tale signs that the home is vacant.
Turn down the volume on phones before leaving so it can’t be heard from outside. Another dead giveaway nobody’s home, and never leave a message on your home indicating that you are away.
Most burglars are looking for the easy score and the least risk situation. A dog barking, or signs of a dog will deter a lot of thieves from even trying. So will signs of an alarm system. Burglars are basically opportunists and are looking for an easy score that allows them to get in and out quickly. Anything that would delay them or attract attention such as a dog or an alarm will deter many burglars from attempting to break in. Even a sign indicating that there is an alarm system may scare off a few opportunists.
Experienced burglars may not be deterred by this type of deterrent, especially electronic barking dogs. They can tell the difference!
Outdoor lights that turn on based on motion sensors are another great idea. They must easily brighten the area and be also out of reach from someone who is standing beside them.
Every home is different and requires a different set of deterrents. In our next post about burglar deterrents we will add a burglar deterrent checklist or security checklist. You can use this list to check your homes security. Assess what changes you want to make your home more burglar proof.
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