With the economic downturn we are seeing the rise in home burglary. According to U.S. Department of Justice statistics, an American home is broken into about every 15 seconds and a homeowner loses an average of nearly $2,000 in possessions and damages
It is said that every home is a potential target. With that in mind ADT has listed several tips to prevent your home from becoming burglarized:
- Make sure all hedges and shrubs are trimmed and not covering windows. Overgrown bushes and trees close to your house can be good hiding places and also are an indication that you may be away from home. However, thorny bushes beneath windows can be a deterrent.
- Keep areas in and around the home well lit. A dark property is more attractive to burglars - most will choose not to enter a house that is well lit. Consider installing motion sensor lights outdoors and putting indoor lights on a timer. Also, install lights on other outdoor buildings, such as sheds or garages.
- Always lock all windows and doors when you leave home. According to the Burglary Prevention Council, most home burglaries occur during the day, when people are away at work or school. Practice and remind your family to always close and lock all doors and windows when leaving the house unattended.
- Never hide keys around the exterior of your home. Thieves look in mailboxes, under doormats and above doorways for keys. Do not make it easy for them to get into your home. If you will be out of town on vacation, leave emergency house keys with a trusted neighbor or consider a lock box if you must leave keys outside.
- Never put your name on your mailbox or record your name on your answering machine. Thieves look for any information they can find to gain easier access. Only put the house number on your mailbox and door and say you are “unavailable to answer the phone” on the answering machine without stating your name. By turning down your phone ringer, thieves will not hear calls go unanswered - a sign no one is home.
- Consider a monitored burglar alarm system. A recent Rutgers University study found that alarm systems are an effective deterrent, making a home less attractive to intruders. Make sure your burglar alarm system includes a loud inside alarm, detectors at all exterior doors and motion sensors in bedrooms and main living areas. Most insurance companies also offer a discount of up to 20 percent on homeowner’s policies when you install a monitored alarm.
“Right now we have the summer burglary season colliding with more desperate economic times. That makes it even more important than ever for homeowners to take steps to protect their most precious possessions - family and home.”