Targeted crime is a never ending problem and a battle we all face. Unlike many other crimes, home burglary is not exclusive to any particular social group or class. Thieves have no ‘standards’ or ‘values’ – they’ll steal from whomever they can. As the global economy has slowed down over the last few years, crime has steadily increased. There is evidence that shows a house is broken into every couple of minutes and this figure shows no sign of improving. If you are serious about protecting your home and family follow these simple steps and maximize your home security.
The Basics – Lock Your Windows & Doors
It sounds simple, but locking your windows and doors, even if you are only popping out for a minute, is a sure-fire way of fighting against opportunist thieves. It doesn’t take long for a passing criminal to jump through an open window and steal your possessions, and it takes even less time for them to walk through an unlocked door. Make sure every window and door is locked. It’s one of the simplest but effective ways of avoiding burglary in your home.
Invest in Quality Safety Features
Quality external doors and windows will add considerable strength to your property and make it harder for criminals to break in. Property entrance doors should have 3 locking points and utilize strong mortice locks.
Install Additional Features
Solid door locks are a great way of putting off would-be burglars but to deter the more persistent kind, consider installing dead locks. The rugged strength will make it almost impossible for criminals to break and will also make it harder for them to escape from the inside.
Sadly, we don’t live in a world where we can leave our keys under doormats or plant pots and find them safely on our return home. Even if you are “just leaving it in case the neighbor needs to get in”, you need to reconsider. Don’t leave your keys in garden sheds or other “secret places”. It’s a dangerous tactic that most experienced burglars know about.
Additionally, don’t leave keys anywhere where they can easily be found inside your home. Bold and brash burglars aren’t afraid to break into your house, to steal your car keys and use your own car as a getaway vehicle. Hide your keys, even in your own home.
Also, make sure not to leave your keys by windows or doorways. You’d be amazed how many burglars have used tools to ‘fish’ keys through the letterbox or gap in the window which they use to let themselves into your home.
58% of burglaries take place in the evening or night and 34% occur at the weekend
Set the Scene
It’s common knowledge that most burglaries happen at night, not because the burglars are busy at their day jobs during the day, but because they have the cover of darkness and find it easier to steal at night. The best thing you can do to avoid night burglars is to use timers to make it look like your property is occupied. Make it as unattractive as possible to burglars and be sure to have your home alarm system on show and use outdoor lighting to light-up areas where a burglar may be able to hide and gain entry to your property.
Mark Your Territory
If you are unlucky enough to get burgled despite you efforts to make your home safe there are ways to ensure that you have the best possible chances of reclaiming your belongings. Expensive items can be etched with your postcode or address, which will make it easier to identify.
Ben Holbrook works for Yale composite doors and frequently writes about home security and family safety.
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