Six Ways to Protect Yourself From a Home Invasion
Home break-ins occur every 13 seconds, and one out of three residential assaults are a result of a home intrusion. Burglars look for unoccupied homes with easy access, the greatest amount of cover and the fastest escape route. Homeowners often make it easy for thieves by failing to take some simple precautions. The best way to protect your family is with a home alarm system. With no alarm system, there are steps you can take to help prevent being victimized.
- Doors and locks: Thieves prefer easy access and about 30% of break-ins are through an open or unlocked window or door. The most common method of forced entry is to simply kick in the door. To help prevent this, use a heavy-duty deadbolt with a one inch throw bolt; Install a solid core or metal door at entrance points with a wide-angle peephole. If you have moved into a new house or apartment, always change the door locks.
- Sliding Glass Doors: This type of door is very vulnerable to entry since it is usually secured by latches only. Make your door more secure by inserting a wooden dowel or stick into the door track to prevent movement. There are also metal track blockers/locks available that you can purchase.
- Windows: Windows are the most frequent point of entry during warm weather months. If you need to leave your window open for ventilation, do not leave open more than 4-6 inches and make sure that the opening is not large enough for someone to reach through and unlock the window or door. For horizontal sliding windows, use a wooden stick or dowel in the track. For all windows make sure your locks are working.
- Home Lighting: When you’re away, make your house look occupied since the first thing burglars look for is an unoccupied house. Use lights with timers that you can set to go on and off in different rooms at different times. If you are only away for a short period of time, leave the radio or television on. Lights in the front and back of the house should be on timers or use motion sensors for exterior lighting, especially in the rear of the house.
- Good Neighbors: Get to know your neighbors and agree to watch each other’s house. When away, pick up mail, newspapers and packages, water the grass and offer to park your car in their driveway.
- Home Security System: In addition to precautions like window locks, deadbolts on doors and security lighting, a Home Security System is the best solution for home safety. According to statistics, security systems do have an effect on whether or not a burglary is successful. Alarm systems are more expensive than the other home safety tips, but if you live in a particularly vulnerable neighborhood, you may still want to consider one.
Not all break-ins can be stopped, regardless of the precautions you take; However, you can make it as difficult as possible for thieves to burglarize your home by implementing these home safety tips and if possible, installing a security system.