Break-ins and Burglaries- How To Prevent Them
Over 2.2 million burglaries are committed each year in the US. While the majority of burglaries do not involve violence, it’s important to learn ways to protect yourself and your home. Deterring criminals when you are at risk for break-ins is the number one way to prevent harm or theft. While a fancy security system is the first thought, there are many simple things one can do to secure your home.
While anyone can experience a break-in, the easiest targets are:
- Unoccupied homes.
- Single-family homes with a lot of access points and lots of places to hide around the home.
- Homes in the middle of the block as opposed to a corner lot.
- Homes without security systems (or homes without alarm signs in the yard).
- Elderly people.
People worry about burglary more than any other property crime. According to the State of Safety Survey by Safewise, In 2020, over 60% of respondents said they have the highest concern about someone breaking in when there’s no one at home, and 58% fear a break-in when they’re sleeping. Our job at Safety Scope is to bring people peace of mind and provide ways to protect yourself and your family. We have rounded up some safety tips to prevent break-ins.
Give your home a thorough check to prevent break-ins
Think about babyproofing. Before parents have a crawler in their house, they crawl around examining any potential dangers in the home and babyproof accordingly. The same concept applies to burglar-proofing and preventing break-ins.
Doors- To prevent break-ins, make sure door frames are free of rot, warping, or cracking. If a door has glass panes, make sure that the panes are as far away from the locking mechanism as possible. Lock bumping is a technique to bypass locks without having a key for the lock. Consider installing bump-resistant locks on your doors. For sliding doors, add a dowel in the tracks to stop the door from being forcibly slid open. Keep landscaping trimmed back away from the doors so the criminal doesn’t have a way to hide. The obvious? Keep doors locked at all times.
Windows- Add window locks or bars to prevent break-ins. Again, keeping trees and shrubbery cut back away from the windows will eliminate hiding places for criminals. Install inexpensive trip alarms that sound when a window is opened.
Lighting- motion detection lighting is a great way to spook a burglar and deter break-ins. However, any exterior lighting is a helpful way to deter criminals as they don’t want to be seen by neighbors people passing by. Keeping lights on the inside when you aren’t home at night is a good way to look like someone is in the home and alert. Always keep window shades closed so the house cannot be cased and valuables cannot be seen from the outside.
House numbers- Make sure the numbers on your house indicating your address are reflective and visible from the street. If there is a threat, emergency services will be able to quickly identify your home and be on the scene in a shorter amount of time.
Garage details to deter break-ins
Change your garage door opener codes and update them regularly. A lot of garage door openers function with the factory settings, allowing criminals to go around with common garage door openers accessing homes. Some people openly give their garage doors to friends, family, or their kid’s friends, so it is important to change those codes often. To prevent break-ins, put away ladders, garbage cans, gardening tools, and construction tools, as these objects can aid a criminal. Keep your garage lighting on with a sensor so you don’t have to walk through a dark garage. Keep the garage door shut and locked at all times.
Alarm systems and security cameras are a great way to protect yourself and your home from break-ins. Many of these systems are self-monitored, while others can be monitored by professionals for a monthly fee. Whether or not you have an alarm system, posting signs that you do will definitely deter criminals. A smart way to protect yourself if you don’t have an alarm system or cameras installed is to set up decoys. Be sure to place alarm signs in the back yard, as well as the front yard so you are protected from all angles.
Use Safety Scope
Safety Scope can send audio and video data to your trusted contacts, and call emergency services (911) during break-ins or burgliaries. Personalizing your account will get you the help you need fast, and contact everyone who needs to be in the know regarding your safety. This is a great option for older teens staying home alone while there aren’t any cars in the driveway.
Sneaky tips to prevent burglaries and break-ins
Hide-a-keys are way too obvious. If you must use one, an inexpensive lockbox is the best option. Hide your valuables in the kitchen or in the playroom. These are the last places burglars look. Dogs are a great deterrent to break-ins and burglaries, but even “beware of dog” signs work great. Set your lights on timers so even when you aren’t home, it appears that someone is in the house turning on the lights.
There are so many great ways to prevent break-ins and burglaries. While these tips don’t guarantee a break-in-free home, they are sure to put your mind at ease knowing you’ve done everything you can to protect yourself and your family. Safety is of our utmost concern. Reach out to us if you have any questions regarding safety or some topics you would like us to cover. Check out our other blog posts for even more safety tips.