Your home is your castle, whether you rent it or own it. For some folks, just having a valid renter’s insurance policy is all they feel they need to protect themselves from a home invasion. Did you know that not every policy will actually fully recompense you if you have items that are stolen? Not only will you have to likely pay a deductible, but you’ll only get a market price compensation for your items. That means many items won’t be of full value. Protecting your home from being burgled is incredibly important so you don’t have to worry about theft, so here are the Top 10 tips to help you stop a burglar now.
1. Have Good Exterior Lighting
A thief loves to operate in the darkness of night. Darkness gives a burglar the cover they need not only to approach your home, but to get away cleanly after robbing it. One of the easiest ways to eliminate a home invasion is to improve the exterior lighting around your entry ways. Whether you use solar lights, install motion detector activated lights, or just utilize a strong porch light, it’s more difficult for a thief to operate in the light than in the dark.
2. Install Burglar Alarms
Modern wireless technology lets you be able to install a security system in any home or apartment today. Because you can take the security system with you and install it without having to drill holes for wires, they are compatible with a majority of rental leases! With cellular technology built into them, all you do is affix your security alarm panel in a central location in your home and then hook up the equipment you need to protect yourself. Door and window sensors, motion detectors, and even video cameras can be hooked up into a wireless system!
3. Keep Valuables Out of Sight
easy reach, you’ll become a likely target for a home invasion attempt. By keeping items locked away, you’ll remove the temptation a burglar might have.
4. Run a Randomized Lighting Pattern
Many people hook up lights to an automated switch so they turn on and off at predetermined times when they’re away from home for awhile. Thieves aren’t stupid – they can see your lights turn on at 6am and turn off at at 9pm. This actually lets a burglar know you’re not home and it’s likely a safe target to hit, even if you do have a security system! With a randomized light switch that allows you to set different times for different days, you’ll be able to eliminate this threat.
5. Stop Your Mail
If you are going to be on an extended vacation or business trip and no one is going to be at home, don’t have your neighbor get your mail. Have your mail held instead at your local postal location. When your mailbox has a buildup of mail or a thief sees someone other than you picking up your mail, they’ll know your home is vacant and an easy target. Most postal services simply require a day or two notice to stop your mail, then you can have delivery service started again once you come home. Stop other deliveries that could accumulate as well, like newspaper deliveries.
6. Make Sure You Lock Your Windows and Doors
A good burglar can break through any lock, including a deadbolt, in one minute or less. Having your doors and windows locked, however, can buy you the minute or two you may need to call for the authorities or formulate an appropriate response. If you have the ability to install additional locks on a door, each additional lock can add up to an extra minute of response time during a home invasion attempt. Seconds count during a burglary, so every second you can add is a second that could help you be safe.
7. Don’t Keep a Spare Key Outside
We all lock ourselves out of our homes every now and again, so it is tempting to keep a spare key outside the home in case that happens. There are some fancy rocks and other decorations that have hidden key slots, but thieves know this too. It only takes a few minutes to check under rocks and landscaping items to see if you’ve got a spare key out. With a spare key, a home invasion is incredibly easy and can be done without leaving much, if any, of a trace.
8. Keep Your Landscaping Trimmed
Landscaping features make for fantastic hiding spots. A shrub or a hedge can help a thief stay in hiding until you leave. It can provide cover for after a home invasion happens as well. Keeping your landscaping features trimmed up can help to reduce or eliminate hiding spots, while prickly bushes under windows can prevent a thief from breaking into an easily accessible window. If you know you’re going to be gone for awhile, make sure you’ve contracted someone to mow your lawn, pull your weeds, and take care of other landscaping needs.
9. Where Are Your Door Hinges?
Though we never really think about where the hinges of a door are located unless we need to replace the door itself, if the door hinges are accessible to a thief, they can pull the pins or cut through them to just remove a door. Sometimes you can simply flip the hinges around and resolve the problem, but often you may need to install the hinges on the opposite side of the door or even install a new door jamb. If your hinges are accessible, you may wish to consider speaking with a general contractor.
10. Keep the Garage Locked
Garage doors are easier to break into than you might believe. Older automatic garage door openers operate on specific remote codes, so one push button remote can often open several doors in a single neighborhood when within range. Modern openers change the remote code every time the remote is used, which helps to prevent this issue. Many also include lock-tight technology that keeps them closed and inaccessible so the only method to get through the door for a thief is to cut through it.
Being vigilant is often the best defense in keeping your home from being burgled. By knowing your neighbors, being aware of vehicles that are parked around your home, and having open sight lines from your entry points can help discourage a burglar who might be thinking about breaking into your home. Utilize these tips today in your own unique way to keep your home, your assets, and your loved ones safe.