Home burglaries are one of the most common crimes in the US. In 2019 the FBI reported that there was a total of 2,109.9 property crimes per 100,000 people.
Don’t be scared by that statistic. Burglars are not often smart and don’t concoct convoluted plans to break into our homes. In reality, they are very opportunistic. Being lax with home security is the main reason burglars can enter people’s homes.
The stats on home invasion vs burglary show that burglaries are much more likely. With a few simple safety measures, you can minimize your risk from common home burglaries.
1. Make Sure All the Doors and Windows Are Locked
This may sound obvious, but it is really true. Home burglary statistics suggest 34% of burglars enter people’s homes through the front door and 22% through the back door.
Many burglars will try all the doors and windows first to see if the homeowner has left anything unlocked.
When you leave your house, go round double checking you lock all doors and windows first. Don’t forget small windows, as well as garage doors and garden gates.
Most burglaries happen during the day between 10 am and 3 pm when people are out at work or school. So even if you are in a rush when leaving the house in the morning, try to remember to make a last-minute check that everything is secured.
Do you have a cat or dog, and they have their own entrance to the house? Make sure it is one that only opens automatically via a chip on their collar. Some burglars will even try to squeeze through pet entrances!
2. Be Smart When You Go Away
Going away on vacation is meant to be fun and exciting, but unfortunately, many burglaries occur when houses are left empty for a prolonged period of time.
Don’t fear; there are a few steps you can take to make it less obvious you are away. These include asking someone to take collect your mail — nothing says “I’m on vacation” more than an overflowing mailbox!
Another tip is to ask a neighbor to make sure your bins are collected and returned and perhaps take a little bit of care of your garden. Overgrown, unwatered gardens can also signal to burglars nobody is home to take care of them.
If you are on vacation, try to be subtle with your social media. Don’t announce the exact dates you will be gone, especially if your profiles are public. Social media posts can be like an open window — providing direct entry into your home. Try not to post too much about your daily routine and the times you are outside the house.
Finally, get a light with a timer that switches on for a couple of hours at night and then off again. This can make burglars think there is someone home. They are much less likely to break in if they think somebody is around.
3. Secure Your Property From Home Burglaries
Want to know one of the best ways how to protect your home from burglaries? Investing in the right home security. If your windows and doors are old and flimsy, it may make your home an easier target for burglars.
Many replacement windows and door companies offer advanced security features that make it much more difficult for opportunistic burglars to break them.
If you aren’t sure where to start when it comes to secure windows and doors, take a look at the best home windows of 2021.
If there’s one thing thieves are scared of, apart from angry dogs and the police, it is security cameras. Thieves are much less likely to break into a home with security cameras and alarm systems.
So get a camera and make it obvious at the entrance of your home. Thieves are much less likely even to try breaking in if they think there is a higher chance of getting caught.
Also, be aware of trees and plants on your property that could be used as access points. Is there a tree near a first-floor window that could make it easy for a burglar to access? Perhaps cut it in a way that makes this more difficult!
Be aware of broken fences or ladders left on your property. If a burglar sees these, they may see it as an open invitation to enter your home. Are there good hiding places on your property that could make it easy for someone to very inconspicuous when they break in?
You want to make sure that it would be very obvious to passers-by or neighbors if someone tries to break in.
4. Don’t Leave Expensive Items On Display
This is another tip that may seem obvious. However, as we have discovered, thieves are opportunistic. If they peek into your living room window and see expensive electronic goods lying on the side, it may encourage them to break in.
When you go out, try to put expensive, high-value items out of sight from the windows and doors of your home. The fewer opportunities you give to a potential burglar, the less chance of a home burglary.
5. Know Your Neighbors
If you know your neighbors, it not only creates a feeling of community but can make your area safer too. If neighbors can watch out for one another, it can make the burglars’ job more difficult.
Your neighbors can notify you if they see anything suspicious and help keep your home safe when you are at work or on vacation.
Be Burglar Smart
Now you know the main ways burglars obtain access to homes, you can ensure your home is adequately secured against home burglaries.
The key points to take away are; you should have secure windows and doors, a security system, and not make it too obvious when you are not at home.
Many of the points mentioned here are easy to implement. It doesn’t take too much to make your home safe from break-ins.
For more home improvement advice, check out some of the other articles on the blog.