Did you know that every 15.4 seconds, a burglary occurs somewhere across the United States? The Real Estate Book spells out what we should all be doing to make our homes safe and secure.
When & how do burglaries occur?
The majority of home and apartment burglaries occur during the daytime when residents are away from their house, most likely when they’re at work or school. Home theft is most frequent in the months of July and August, and the fewest burglaries occur in February.
According to the FBI, 70 percent of home burglars use some amount of force to enter a residence, but their preference is through an open door or window. Also, you may be surprised to know that homes are not randomly selected. Burglars look for unoccupied homes with the easiest access, greatest amount of cover, and with the best escape routes.
Fortunately, there are ways your can minimize your risk to keep your family and belongings safe. Here’s how to make your home look unattractive to burglars.
Doors & Locks
The more difficult that your home is to break into, the less likely burglars will want to put forth the effort. The FBI recommends using a high-quality Grade-1 or Grade-2 locks on your exterior doors to resist twisting, prying, and lock-picking attempts. Consider implementing these additions in your home:
- Solid core or metal door for all entrances
- Quality, heavy duty, deadbolt lock with a one-inch throw bolt
- Quality, heavy duty, knob-in-lock set with a dead-latch mechanism
- Heavy duty, four-screw, strike plate with 3-inch screws to penetrate into a wooden door frame
- Wide-angle 160° peephole mounted no higher than 58 inches
It is much more common to leave a window open or unlocked than a door. If the burglar sees a home from down the street that has an open window, they will commonly choose that home to burglarize.
- Secure all accessible windows with secondary blocking devices
- Block accessible windows open no more than 6 inches for ventilation
- Make sure you can’t reach through an open window and unlock the door
- Make sure you can’t reach inside the window and remove the blocking device
- Anti-lift devices to prevent window from being lifted out
- Crime prevention or alarm decals on ground or on windows that are within reach
Keeping a couple interior lights on gives burglars the message that someone is home. If you don’t have one already, light timers are super inexpensive and easy to find. Use a light timer (even when you’re not on vacation) near the front and back windows behind closed curtains. You should also follow these rules:
- Exterior lighting should allow 100 feet of visibility
- Use good lighting along the pathway and at your door
- Use light timers or photo-cells to turn on/off lights automatically
- Use infra-red motion sensor lights on the rear of single family homes
If used properly and consistently, alarm systems add a huge benefit to your home’s overall security. As a matter of fact, burglars will often give up on trying to break into a home if it has visible alarm signs in the lawn or decals on the window.
Get to Know your Neighbors
When it comes to the safety of your home, it’s important that you establish some sort of communication and trust with your neighbors. Good neighbors will watch out for your home when you’re away, and can let you or the police know about any suspicious activity going on. Remember to always keep safety first, communicate, and stay informed.