Burglary is one of the most common crimes, probably because it is so easy for the criminals! If you are worried about your home or apartment being the target of a burglar, there are steps you can take to prevent yourself from becoming a victim. Protect your home and property and keep yourself safe by following these 7 steps to burglar-proof your home.
- Keep your home well lit on the exterior.
Dark areas, or places that a burglar could hide or enter your home unnoticed should be fixed. Use exterior lights. Clean up your yard, by moving any large things that someone could be concealed by, and trim your bushes and hedges so that there is a clear view of your home.
- Always, always, always lock your doors and windows!
Too many people make the mistake of assuming that they live in a “safe” neighborhood. Well, here’s a news flash: these are often the neighborhoods targeted by burglars because people leave their guard down and leave their doors and windows unlocked. Even if you are leaving for a short period of time, leave nothing open. It takes only a few minutes for a burglar to enter your home, get what they want, and get out.
- If you are expecting a package, do not leave a note for the delivery man.
This is like an invitation to a burglar, since it is obvious to any passers-by that nobody is home. Instead, call the delivery company to leave specific instructions for the driver, if necessary, or arrange to have the package delivered to a neighbor that will be home.
- Whenever you leave for vacation, be sure to take steps to protect your home.
For instance, stop your mail and newspaper delivery—an overflowing mailbox is an advertisement that you are away. During the winter months, arrange to have someone clear snow away so that the house appears lived in.
- Never, ever post specific information about an upcoming vacation on social networking sites. Even if you think you have your personal privacy settings set as stringently as possible, this is a new way that thieves are targeting their victims. Keep it low until you return and post your pictures!
- Whenever you will be away for an extended period of time, unplug your automatic garage door opener.
Thieves have been known to “case” neighborhoods with garage door opener remotes to see which ones they will open. Since there is a finite set of codes that operate these, the chances are that it’s not too hard to find one that works on a nearby house as well.
- Invest in several timers to activate your lights while you are gone.
There are some on the market that have multiple on/off times so that the lights will not go on and off at the exact same time each day. When the house is well lit, it looks occupied!
In addition to these tips, think about being generally civic-minded. Watch out in your neighborhood for suspicious activity, and ask your neighbors to do the same. Those neighborhoods with a strong sense of community are the least likely to have a string of burglaries occur. Protect yourself and your neighbors!