Ask The Home Advisor -Protecting Your Home From Burglary

The Halloween Home invader in Laurelhurst is a reminder that no one is completely safe from falling victim to an in-home burglary. What are some tips to help avoid falling victim to having your house burglarized? 7 Tips to Prevent a Burglary or Home Invasion with thanks to the People from Hanover insurance.

Tip #1: The Obvious…LOCK Your Doors and Windows!!…

It’s one of those head slappers that you might not believe you’re reading. However, ask any police officer and they’ll tell you that one of the things that cause the most home burglaries is the fact that the burglar or home invader simply walked through an unlocked door. In fact, 34% of burglars in the U.S. enter through unlocked front doors while 23% are able to enter through unlocked first-floor windows.

No matter what you think about how safe your area or neighborhood might be, always lock your doors and windows even when you’re in the home. If an intruder is able to just walk into your home, you may not have a payable claim on your hands. Nearly all insurance companies will require there to have been “forced entry,” before they pay out on a claim.

By leaving your home unlocked you’re basically inviting burglars and invaders into your home. This one little simple step can deter an offender and save you from a ton of loss, and possibly physical harm.

Tip #2: Install Strong Locks for the More Persistent Burglar…

While locking your doors and windows is a great first step, you’ll want to make sure that you’re deterring more persistent home invaders a little more stringently by making it harder for them to shimmy your locks. One of the things that the persistent bad guy will do is simply kick in your door. They’ll kick your door in, break the lock, and run in and grab as many valuables as they can find. Using deadbolts instead of factory locks and chain locks is a great tool to stymy this type of burglary.

To keep you and your family safe while inside, always lock the deadbolt as well as utilize a security doorjamb tool so that nobody can get in if they do decide to kick the door down. (Hint: Talk to your home insurance agent about this and there may be a premium discount waiting for you with this one)…

Tip #3: Keep the Lights On Like Motel 6…

It may seem funny how many burglary prevention tips are simple and logical fixes. One of those is lights. You simply have to put yourself in the burglar’s position. If you were about to rob a home, would you pick one that was bright and lit up so that you’re totally exposed, or the dark home on the street where you can get away without being seen?

To take it another step further, motion lights that go on automatically when someone walks by are even better. While there are dark moments, they actually make people that live near and around your home notice when they go on. This is not something that the people who want to rob your home don’t already know.

Tip #4: A Dog Is Man’s Best Friend (and Great Protector)…

Dogs are great deterrents of robbers. Dogs of all shapes and sizes are good. Dogs are vocal about intruders and will definitely let you know that something (or someone) is amiss.

For the most part, burglars and home invaders are cowards. They’re looking to sneak in and sneak out without any trouble. Therefore if they here the sound of a dog, they’re very likely going to keep going to the next house. They won’t want to tangle with Fido.

Don’t forget the “Beware of Dog” stickers as well. These combined with a barking dog can be plenty to make a person second guess messing with your home. If you don’t have a dog and don’t have any plans to buy one in the future, having “Beware of Dog” stickers on your doors can still help turn away would-be criminals.

Tip #5: Security Alarm…

Security alarms are big businesses. That’s because they’re very good at preventing burglaries and home invasions. A security alarm and it’s whining siren when someone enters your home will scare away a criminal, as well as alert you that someone has entered your home so that you can protect yourself …which is probably even more important.

Like the “Beware of Dog” sign, being sure to utilize the stickers that the alarm company gives you to alert potential robbers that you have an alarm system may be the biggest deterrent of all. Use them. This is not the time for surprises, it’s time to prevent a home invasion.

At the very least get a hold of some of those stickers whether you have an alarm or not.

Tip #6: Stay Aware of and REPORT Any Suspicious Activity Around Your Home…

Very often after a home invasion or burglary, there becomes a 20/20 hindsight moment. People begin to realize that there was something that may have tipped them off to the burglary, yet they didn’t think anything of it at the time.

The bad guys/gals often like to do some surveillance and stake out your home before they decide to act. They may be looking for patterns or even good reasons to steal from you. In other words, they’re wondering if you have anything worth the risk to them.

There’s no harm in reporting suspicious activity in your neighborhood, even if it turns out to be nothing. You’re not only protecting yourself, you’re protecting your neighbors as well. Call the police, let them know what you see so that they can be on the lookout themselves. They’ll be glad for the tip, and you may prevent something tragic from happening to you or your neighbors.

Tip #7: Don’t Announce When You’re NOT Going to Be Home…

These days with all the social networks that exist, people seem to love putting their life stories…including plans for the future… out for the world to see.

You’ll constantly see people announcing vacations and weekend getaways, or letting the world know how mad they are that they have to work an unexpected double shift at work. This is a recipe for disaster. You’re basically telling burglars “Go on in, I won’t be there to bother you.”

Sure, your Facebook “friends” might be people that you actually know and trust. But would you risk all of your worldly possessions on the assumption that none of those people want to do you harm, or tip off someone else that they know to gladly do the dirty work for them?

So there you have it. The more of the above steps that you take to prevent a burglary; the less likely you’re going to be faced with a crisis. Do what you can now and make it a goal to get the rest done as soon as possible, and always by aware.