Protect Your Home From Burglary Part 2: Prepare Your Indoors
When it comes to the safety of your family and the security of your home, you can’t be too careful. Protect your house from burglary from the indoors.
Nighttime may cause you the most concern when it comes to the security of your home, given the cover of darkness for a potential break-in. But really, it’s daytime hours – as you’re away for hours at a time running errands, at work, and at school – when your home is most vulnerable to burglary. In fact, according to the FBI, in the United States, 65% of burglaries occur between 6 am and 6 pm with the most common hours for a burglary being between 10 am-3 pm.
No matter the time of day, it’s important to take the necessary precautions to ensure your home is safe and sound.
You can’t be too careful when it comes to protecting your family and your belongings. Last month we covered how you can prevent a possible break-in by securing the outside of your home. And there’s plenty you can do indoors, as well.
Don’t let your home be vulnerable to a thief. Review these seven steps to keeping your house secure from inside your home, whether you’re comfy-cozy in bed, everyone is out at work or school, or you’re away on vacation.
New place? Change the locks when you move in. If you’re renting a home, don’t be afraid to ask the landlord to replace the locks with new, if it hasn’t been done already.
There’s no way of knowing how many copies of keys are in circulation, who has them, or where they are. It’s better to be safe than sorry and it’s an easy request when it comes to the safety and security of your family and belongings.
Keep doors and windows closed and securely locked at all times. It should come as no surprise that an open door or window would offer an easy invitation to a potential thief.
So, even if you’re at home, get in the habit of keeping doors and windows closed securely as well as locked.
Check your window locks for strength and integrity and be sure to update them, if they become inadequate. Burglars will find weak spots to gain entry and weak or broken locks are easy to identify.
Always lock the front door when you leave your home, no matter how quick the outing. Exterior doors should all be equipped with deadbolt locking systems. Sliders should have vertical bolts and keep a wooden or metal rod in the track to prevent the doors from being lifted out of the track or being forced open.
Don’t forget the door to your garage! It’s often one of the easiest points of entry and just because your garage doors are automatic doesn’t mean your garage is fully secure.
Reinforce windows with safety glass. Breaking a window is often a means to entry for many thieves. Make it harder, if not impossible, for them to break through your window by installing safety glass. Depending on the level of security you feel in your neighbourhood you can even consider decorative metal grills or bars over your windows to add extra security.
Secure valuables in a sturdy lockbox or safe. If your lockbox or safe is portable consider mounting it to the wall or bolting it to the floor. Be sure to give your combination to someone close to you whom you trust in case of an emergency. Please don’t leave it written down or posted somewhere – sticky notes don’t support your security efforts!
Resist hiding spare keys. Like you, burglars know all the common hiding places we use to hide spare keys – under mats and in a nearby flowerpot, for example. Rather, consider leaving spares with a neighbour you trust. If you live in a rural area and your closest neighbor is miles down the road, opt for a combination lockbox in a discreet area of your property.
Don’t label your keys If you lose keys, or if they get knicked, that could result in a serious vulnerability, particularly if you have ID or an address along with them.
Consider buying a home security system. Homes that aren’t equipped with a security system risk a whopping 300% increase in the chance of a break-in.
There are seemingly endless choices on the market when it comes to choosing the right home security system for you and your family. That’s why it might be better to leave it to a professional, consulting a local home security system installer to advise you and ensure your system is installed correctly.
Today’s systems include countless features to enhance your home security, but some of the most valuable include outdoor motion detectors, sensors at your doors, windows, and the garage, and security cameras strategically positioned around your property.
Select those features you think will be the best fit for your property and needs.
Once installed, however, you have to use it! Make it a regular habit for all family members. Ensure everyone is well-informed about how the system works to help minimize false alarms, which can actually incur expensive fines not to mention, annoying your neighbours, or worse: they ignore the calls much like in the fable about the boy who called wolf.
While it can seem inconvenient to set the system every time you leave the house it’s important to understand that many burglars know that it’s a responsibility that often gets neglected. Consequently, they may not be deterred by the yard signs or stickers on the windows warning of your home protection.