Tis the season… for home break-ins. Unfortunately, a burglary happens every 20 seconds in the U.S. and there’s often a spike during the holiday season. Just ask Kevin McAllister.
According to SECURA, it’s pretty simple. Remember these are the top three things burglars don’t want:
- They don’t want to be seen.
- They don’t want to be heard.
- They don’t want to be slowed down.
Consider these home security tips to help keep you and your family, and your possessions, safe and secure this holiday season and all year long.
- Set a safety routine. Make sure you establish a routine where you regularly lock all doors, shut windows and turn on your alarm system every time you leave your home. Avoid leaving spare keys outside, under a planter or under a welcome mat, as thieves know most of the potential hiding places. Always lock doors and windows when you leave — it seems simple, but it’s easy to overlook. Also consider a timer for your TV or radio when you’re gone so it sounds like someone’s home.
- Landscape with safety in mind. Take a walk around your property and look for areas that could be potential hiding spots for thieves. Clear away any overgrown areas and keep any bushes around your home trimmed to eliminate hiding places for burglars.
- Talk with your local police department. They can offer insight on past break-in trends in your area.
- Get to know your neighbors. Take the time to meet and engage with people on your street and encourage them to watch out for any suspicious activity when you’re not home. One of your greatest sources of protection is people in your neighborhood who care.
- Lighting matters. Lighting can set the right ambiance inside your home, but outdoor lighting can be the difference between your home being targeted – or not – by thieves. Motion-sensitive fixtures can help add security and provide light when needed. Also consider using automatic timers or smart lightbulbs that can be controlled remotely to turn lights on and off in various parts of the house to help make it seem like you are home.
- Avoid advertising that shopping spree. Thieves look for and steal newly delivered boxes on your front porch, a method called porch pirating, so consider having them delivered elsewhere if you’re not home or requiring a signature for delivery. Thieves may also look at clues provided by your trash or recycling, which may indicate the new computer or flat-screen television inside. And don’t announce when you’ll be gone on social media, or post pictures of expensive purchases like jewelry or a TV. Both of these are like ads to potential burglars.
- Manage visibility. Make sure you can see who is at your front door without opening it. Avoid placing valuables where they will be visible from the street, and do not place your home alarm panel in a place where people can see you arming it from the outside.
- Keep items like laptops, jewelry, and car keys out of sight. Store them in unpredictable spots so they can’t be quickly found. Burglars aim to get in and out fast.
- Protect your outdoor valuables. Burglars also target sheds, garages and other outdoor buildings. Secure your grill, lawn mower, bicycles and other outdoor gear.
- Create a plan for when you are away. Hold your mail, stop your papers and ask a friend or neighbor to remove flyers from your property. Arrange for snow removal and lawn mowing so you do not advertise when you are away from home. Ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your house. They can bring in newspapers, watch for suspicious vehicles, and even park in your driveway occasionally too.
- Create a home inventory. Take photos or video of every room in your house to document your belongings, and store them electronically or somewhere outside your home. Also note serial numbers of large items; police can use them to trace the stolen items.
While you’re thinking about your home security, why not take the opportunity to review your homeowners insurance?
Contact Us to make sure you have the coverage you need.