Burglaries and break-ins are an unfortunate reality, with more than a million American homes burglarized every year. Burglars look for homes that are easily accessible in some way or that appear to be worth breaking into. They tend to commit the crime during daytime hours, while residents are at school or work.
Understandably, many Americans want to know how to prevent home break-ins and protect their belongings. The good news is there are plenty of ways to do so, using little more than common sense and cleverness.
How to Prevent House Break-Ins
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, especially when your goal is to avoid dealing with the aftermath of a robbery. The fear of experiencing a home break-in is valid, and these eight tips on how to prevent burglary can help you feel more secure.
1. Lock Your Doors and Windows
It may seem redundant to state the obvious, but sometimes closing off all access points can be enough to deter potential robbers. Always lock your doors and windows, especially when you’re not home. Be aware of any other entry points into the house and make sure to secure them, too. These include garage doors, side doors, back doors and pet doors.
If you have a window that is close to a door lock, it may be a good idea to invest in an additional lock for the door. Burglars sometimes break windows to access locks, and having one that is out of reach can save you from losing more than just a windowpane.
2. Leave the TV On
Studies have shown that criminal consequences are less of a deterrent for burglars than experiencing a confrontation with the property owner, so making it seem like someone is always home is an excellent way to fool criminals. Even if the burglar suspects the house is empty, the noise from a TV or radio will make it impossible for them to be sure and, chances are, they won’t want to risk finding out.
3. Invest in Smart Lights
Like the trick with the TV, leaving the lights on can act as a deterrent for burglars. However, keeping lights on 24 hours a day will likely become suspicious, especially when you’re on vacation. Smart lights are a proactive investment since you can turn any light in your home on or off from anywhere, using just your smartphone.
This tactic is doubly useful if you hate coming home to a dark house, and it’s a good way to fool burglars into thinking someone is home when the whole family is on vacation. Similarly, motion-activated lights near the main entrance of the house can deter potential criminals who might be sizing up your home.
4. Keep Your Entryway Tidy
Looks may not be everything, but they can make the difference between a burglar choosing to break into your house or someone else’s. Since potential confrontation with the property owner is a significant deterrent, keeping the front of your home tidy and well-maintained is another way to deceive criminals.
Large, mature trees or bushes can become hiding spots for burglars, while days of mail piled up on the porch can be a telltale sign that no one is around. Fixing any broken windows and doors or finally getting to that yard work you’ve been putting off can become the motivation for how to prevent burglary at your home.
5. Leave a Car in the Driveway
Another way to make it seem like someone is home is to have a car in the driveway. This tip can be especially useful when the whole family is away on vacation and you don’t need the vehicle.
If you end up taking a road-trip-style vacation, ask if a friend or neighbor needs an extra place to park their car for free, and let them use your driveway while you’re gone.
6. Keep Travel Plans to Yourself
There’s no need to advertise to the world that you’ll be leaving home, especially if you plan to use one or more of these tips on how to avoid home burglary. For example, think twice about posting that photo on social media of your family out on the beach, you never know who could see that. Wait until you are home to share your photos.
A best practice is to tell a small handful of trusted people that you will be gone. Ask someone to collect your mail for you, so it doesn’t pile up, or put a hold on it with the post office until you return.
7. Hide Your Valuables
It’s always a good idea to keep valuable things hidden, but it’s also a smart strategy not to advertise them from within your home. If your expensive big-screen TV is visible from the front window, it might be motivation for burglars to target your house. Similarly, it’s probably not wise to leave that expensive laptop where everyone passing by your window can clearly see it.
8. Invest in a Burglar Alarm
Sometimes, despite everything, a burglar alarm is the peace of mind you need. It allows you to be secure, even if you can’t leave a car in the driveway or accidentally leave a window open while you’re away at work.
But do alarm systems really deter burglars? Are they worth the investment? These are questions people often ask when considering an alarm system, and they’re valid questions.
Do Security Systems Prevent Burglaries?
One study from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte showed that more than half of burglars would avoid targeting a house with any indication of an alarm present. These even include things like yard signs or window stickers advertising an alarm, which should help convince naysayers that home security systems can play a valuable role in preventing burglaries.
Indeed, the same study found that if burglars discovered a security system while they were robbing a home, about half of them would abort the theft. These findings indicate having an alarm in place suggests a similar threat for burglars as encountering the property owner, which makes home security systems all the more appealing — especially with a monitored alarm system, which alerts a human being when the alarm goes off.
Aside from being an excellent way to prevent home break-ins, an alarm system also provides you with peace of mind that your home and belongings are safe and protected.
Contact Wayne Alarm Systems for Home Security Solutions
At Wayne Alarm Systems, we have been helping New England homeowners keep their homes and loved ones safe for more than 50 years. We’ve earned a reputation for our exceptional customer service and our dedication to helping you customize the home security that best fits your needs.
Request a free quote by calling 781-595-0000 or by filling out our contact form online.