It’s a terrifying thought, that of an intruder entering your home and violating your privacy. Could you imagine walking into your home after work to find all of your precious household items stolen? You’ve worked so hard for what you have, imagine all of your belongings gone in the blink of an eye.
The FBI reported there were roughly 332,000 robberies across America in 2016. Most burglaries take place between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. as most people are at work or in school - reducing the chances of a burglar being noticed. Robbery has been on the rise for the last three years! When it comes to protecting your family and your property, you can never be too careful.
There are three major factors that will cross a burglars mind before they decide to invade a home:
- Time – Criminals are those of opportunity. They often prey on homes that they can easily access without getting caught. The reason being that the less time it takes for them to gain entry, the less chances they face of being caught.
- Sound – Burglars attempt to be as stealthy as possible in their practice. They are very discouraged by sound as it will bring unwanted attention in their direction.
- Visibility – Burglars tend to frequent darker areas because it acts as a form of camouflage. They often target homes with trees blocking the main entrance or those that are poorly lit.
Now that you know the three major factors to consider when trying to prevent theft from your home, we’ve got some recommendations of where to start:
1. All Locked Up
The basic rule of thumb for helping to ensure your home doesn’t get burglarized is to make sure you lock all entryways to your home before you leave. This includes all doors, windows, pet doors, etc.
Step one of burglarizing a home is gaining entry. If a burglar can walk right through the front door it will likely be inconspicuous to neighbors or a passerby. Whereas a burglar who desperately peels back a screen might raise a red flag. By ensuring all entrances are secured the chances of someone noticing odd behavior is much more likely. Don’t forget the door(s) attached to your garage. This is one of the easiest targets, don’t depend on your automatic garage door for full security.
2. Get to Know Your Neighbors
Although your neighbors may not stop a burglar from invading your home, they can surely help to deter them. This is especially true if you are away on a vacation for an extended period of time. Burglars are a lot less likely to rob your home if they think they are being watched.
Get to know your neighbors so that everyone can help each other out. They can identify suspicious visitors, keep up with small tasks while you’re away (like mowing the lawn or switching the lights on and off) ,and notify police if they witness someone breaking into your home.
3. Light It Up
Install lights outside of your doorstep and near any other entrances to ensure your home is well-lit in the evening. Burglars will frequent dark spaces because they are less likely to be seen. Well-lit areas make it difficult for burglars to both invade your home and evade the scene. To kick it up a notch, install motion lighting.
4. Install an Alarm System
There are a wide variety of security systems on the market today. Some of the features available include motion detectors, sensors for doors and windows, outdoor alarms and security cameras.
Advances in technology make it easier than ever for you to keep tabs on your home. Many security systems today allow you to arm and disarm them remotely, so if you forgot to lock the door you can do it from miles away. Often times, you can view what’s going on in your home from any handheld device!
Select the security systems that best suit your needs and ensure that you display in some way that your home is equipped with a security system, either by placing a sticker in your window or a sign in your yard. This will further deter burglars.
5. Store Valuables in a Safe or Lockbox
Consider investing in a mountable lockbox so burglars cannot simply take it and run. Use the lockbox for valuable items such as jewelry, securities, fine arts, personal documents, etc. Only give your combination to trusted loved ones in case of an emergency. Don’t leave it anywhere in your house easily accessible by an intruder. A good place to hide it might be in the attic. Consider a fireproof lockbox for extra precaution.
6. Enlist Fido
Believe it or not, dogs are a very useful deterrent for burglars. Most dogs will bark when they sense unfamiliar people approaching your home, which helps to ward off potential burglars. You can also place a “Beware of Dog” sign in your window for extra precaution.
7. Keep Your Yard Clean, Green and Pristine
By trimming shrubs and eliminating potential “hiding spots”, burglars are less likely to invade your home. Keeping your yard well-kept also signifies that the home is lived in and that your family isn’t away on vacation for an extended period of time. If you leave items out on display such as your grill or lawn mower, burglars might be enticed as to what else lies within your home.
8. Get the Right Insurance
Sometimes, even your best efforts to deter burglars may fall short. Under any circumstance, you’ll want insurance to cover your belongings in the event of theft. There are several types of Homeowners Insurance you can buy to cover your belongings, whether you rent your home or own it.
A small deductible is often less painful than the cost to replace all of your stolen property. You might not think what you own is worth very much, but when you boil it down to the cost of all of your clothes, electronics, furniture and more, the cost adds up rather quickly.
Insurance especially comes in handy when you keep valuable items in your home. Many items can be added to your policy using endorsements to ensure that they are properly covered.
There are a wide variety of ways to safeguard your home from burglars. Some are easier than others, just as some are less expensive than others. The more techniques you apply, the less likely you are to fall victim to burglary. Talk with your local RMIC agent today to ensure your precious belongings are protected from theft!
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Amy joined Rockford Mutual in January of 2017 with an Associates Degree in Marketing. Amy has a great understanding of insurance in general as she is currently working towards an Associate in General Insurance designation.