Summer’s a great time for road trips and vacations, and it’s also a great time for break-ins and burglaries. Jacksonville State University pinpoints the most popular months for burglaries as July and August, and that the most popular time of day for these crimes is between 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM. Burglars scout neighborhoods and may even pose as door-to-door sales representatives, repair persons, and even (for shame!) missionaries. They want to get into your house as quickly as possible, find something valuable to steal, and then get out as quickly as possible. They do not want to be noticed and will give up on a house that’s burglar resistant. Here are five things you can do to make your home one that burglars will ditch in a hurry.
- Keep the outside of your home unfriendly to burglars. Keep your entryways well lit, and your shrubs and trees trimmed so that there’s no place to hide. Keep ladders and tools locked up so that they can’t be used to gain access to your home. Have a locking mailbox so that your name and important information stays private, and don’t ever hide a key anywhere on the property.
- Windows, entry doors, and patio doors need extra attention. One of the best things that you can do for your windows and patio doors is to make them a harder target. It’s not hard to coat them with an impact resistant film, and the results can keep your family and your valuables safe. Upgrade your entry doors and their frames to harder materials, such as steel, and use high quality door hardware like deadbolts with a 1-inch throw bolt, a 360 degree peep hole, and extra reinforcements on the strike plate. Even your garage should get the same attention, including changing the code on your garage door opener and lights that are triggered by a motion sensor.
- Make your stuff hard to steal. Use a Dremel to etch identifying information onto valuable electronics. Lock your electronics so that they can only be unlocked with a PIN number. Hide valuables, important papers like birth certificates and passports, and jewelry in unlikely places. For instance, wrap your gold earrings and necklace in a plastic baggie and put them in the flour canister. Hide the antique watch collection under the insulation in the attic. Be creative!
- There is no excuse for not having cameras and some cloud-based video storage to keep the recordings. You can buy an out of the box security system, or hide clever cameras that the burglars will never look for.
- Be careful what you share on social media. Also, in a day and age when social media is a part of our lives, it’s important that you do not announce that you’re going on your dream vacation and are going to be gone from X to Y. That’s just as good as inviting the burglars to rob your house. Schedule posts that look as if you’re keeping up with your regular schedule, then show everyone what a good time you had when you get home.