How to prevent break-ins
Are you wondering what are the easiest ways and the most practical tips to prevent break-ins? There are definitely a few tricks that you can take into consideration, and that will be able to discourage burglars.
According to a recent FBI Uniform Crime Report, around 40% of annual household burglaries in the USA are not even forced entries: that, in practical terms, means that burglars did not have to break into a house, but that they were able to walk, climb or crawl very easily inside the property.
We are glad to offer you some advice to prevent break-ins by simply acting virtuously and smartly. To keep unwanted visitors out of your house, a good home security system is always the best choice, but there are definitely some good habits that you should learn, too.
Here are ten things you can do to prevent break-ins in your property and make your house safer.
- Do not show off: pay attention to what you leave outside your house, around your yard on in plain sight for everyone to see, especially from non-controllable environment such as the road. Bicycles, scooters and lawnmowers should never be left unsupervised. They should always be placed in a private area, a shed or a garage. Also, if you buy something costly, such as a plasma TV, do not leave the box outside near your trashcans: it will give burglars a good reason to be a little too interested in your house. In order to understand what people from the outside see of you, make it a habit to just walk around your property and observe what is visible in and around your house and yard.
- Someone is (always) home: obvious but true? Burglars tend to avoid a break-in if someone is inside the property. In fact, most break-ins occur during the day, while people are at work. Our advice is therefore to give always the illusion that someone is home. If you have a smart home system installed, use it to turn on the lights, the TV or music while you are away, in the most varied and unpredictable hours of the day.
- Doors and windows must be secured: because they are the first entry for burglars. Take extra precaution to secure them by simply taking a strong dowel, a steel bar or a more tenacious, modern lock. You can also install a simple pin or nail in your windows frame, to stop it from raising more than a few inches. It is a further step toward security that does not require much commitment, time or investment.
- Spare keys: they should never be left where they can be easily found. A classic example? Under your doormat or under a flowerpot near your front door. Those are tricks that burglars know very well. Our suggestion is to give your spare key to a neighbor or a relative instead. Also, never put any identifying information on your house keys, because if you lose them and someone else finds them, it would be a little too easy to trace them back to your property and break in.
- A safer yard: pay attention to overgrown shrubs and trees, because they are a great hiding spot for burglars. Keep your yard clean and neat, always, even when you leave on holiday – you can ask someone to mow your lawn while you are away, giving the impression that the house is inhabited. In terms of yard security, always remember to keep entryways to your home visible and never hidden by bushes, flowers or trees.
- Police: they can help you stop burglaries even before they happen. If you leave town for a while, let police know you will be away so they will be more inclined to notice anything unusual happening around your property. In addition, you can ask them to evaluate the level of security of your house and suggest you some security steps you can implement.
- Holidays: as you can imagine, residential crime reaches its top during summer, when many families leave their house and go on vacation. Like we said, if you are planning to leave time for a few days, alert your neighbors and ask them to keep an eye on your property while you are away. In addition, you might want to ask them to pick up you mail for you and move your car periodically.
- Tight-knit neighborhood: knowing your neighbors and having a good relationship with them can significantly implement the level of security of your property. Find out if there is any neighborhood watch program in your area, and always ask people who live next to you or across the street to please keep an eye on your house when you are away.
- An extra-layer of security: you might consider leaving only your initials on your mailbox, so you can avoid someone trace your name and phone number, and maybe even work place and habits. Also, educate yourself about crime in the area where you live and act accordingly, taking note of increased or decreased criminal activity by checking reports and newspapers.
- Security system: as we stated at the beginning of this article, a high-quality security system is today the best way to prevent break-ins. Companies like CIAS have been working for years to implement the level of security of every type of environment: ask for a free consultation to discover what you can do to improve yours!