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10 Tips to Prevent Burglary

Posted by Brandon Girod on August 10, 2015

Having your home broken into is one of the most violating crimes that can happen to you and your family. According to the FBI, in 2010 there were almost 2.2 million burglaries reported in the united states, 60.5 percent were forcible entry and it accounted for 23.8 percent of all property crime in the country.

With these statistics in mind it’s important to think about how your home is protected and what kind of insurance you have against burglary. Under most homeowner insurance policies your contents are protected against theft up to the indicated amount of content coverage, but specialized items such as jewelry, fur, guns, silverware, and the like are only covered up to very limited amount — not indicated on your declarations page — unless otherwise scheduled for additional coverage.

As a homeowner your best defense against burglary is taking preventative measures, so check out our 10 tips on preventing burglary.

  1. Stick alarm signs in your yard – You don’t need to actually have an alarm in your home, though it couldn’t hurt. For most thieves simply having an ADT alarm sign in your yard is enough to put your house on the backburner as they scope out other less secure homes.
  2. Don’t help a would-be thief break into your home – Weekend projects sometimes end up lasting longer than a weekend and if you’re too comfortable you might end up leaving a ladder or other tools outside that could aid someone in breaking into your home. Remember to always clean up!
  3. You can’t always rely on your dog – Unless you’re home with your dog, you can’t always be sure that your dog can reliably protect your home. Dogs can be easily manipulated or subdued. Plus, you really don’t want to put your dog’s life on the line in order to save a few possessions.
  4. Make friends with your neighbors – Having good neighbors can help immensely with a number of different things. A watchful neighbor who works opposite shifts as you can ensure that there is always someone reachable whose presence could deter a thief. Despite popular belief, a thief’s best time to strike is mid-day while everyone is away at work.
  5. Laminate your windows – Laminating your windows is a last resort option. The time frame for most robberies is usually between five to ten minutes and having windows that won’t shatter when broken buys you valuable time the thief doesn’t have.
  6. Don’t post valuables and vacation details over social media – We all want to believe that our Facebook profiles are sacred grounds for us to post sensitive details about our lives, but that’s not usually the case. Posting your new flat screen TV could be inviting an acquaintance you barely know to pay you a visit while you’re away on vacation.
  7. Consider security hedges – The most popular entrance for a thief is through the window, so making that path as difficult as possible will usually lead the thief to choose another home over yours.
  8. Always make sure your back windows and doors are locked – Keeping your doors and windows locked is a given but sometimes we make mistakes and are forgetful. Unfortunately for us, this is when thieves take the opportunity to strike, so make sure you don’t give them that opportunity.
  9. Make a habit of always parking in a garage – A thief’s biggest concern is that someone else might actually be home. If your home is being scoped and the thief notices you always park in the driveway while you’re home or notices lots of fluid stains in the driveway then it gives them an easy way to gauge whether you’re home.
  10. Never give the impression you’re not home – If you haven’t noticed the theme here, you want to deter a thief from even choosing your home as an option. The best way to do this while out of town is to have someone swing by to collect mail, papers, and putting timers on your lights. The added expenditure on your light bill is more than worth it.

The best defense is to not paint yourself as a target. Most break-ins aren’t spur of the moment and chances are your house is just one of many that is being checked before a thief strikes. Unfortunately there is no way to stop a burglary before it happens, but you can use these tips to help convince a thief that your home isn’t worth the hassle.

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