7 Ways To Discourage Home Invasions
In America, there is an active and vigorous debate over how armed citizens should be. The prevailing school of thought — hence why it’s still law of the land — is that you should be able to protect your home by any means necessary, even with the use of firearms. Unfortunately, some homeowners go too far, and those cases typically end up on the nightly news.
While a firearm may make you feel safe, there are actually some much more reliable ways of avoiding a home invasion — ways that may not even cost any money.
By following these steps and precautions, burglars will never feel your house is worth the time, risk, or trouble.
Keep Valuables Invisible.
One of the first and easiest things that you can do to stave off home invasions, is to not flaunt major purchases. If you have a Corvette, for instance, always make sure it starts and ends the day inside of a garage. Also, do your best to conceal purchases like flatscreen televisions and other interior valuables by not placing them in front of or near windows. Last but not least, if you’ve made a major purchase, avoid displaying boxes or packing materials that clearly identify them when moving trash to the curb.
Leave A Light On.
While it’s not always the case, most burglars aren’t looking to harm individuals. They simply want the easiest and most valuable “score.” By leaving lights on, TVs going, and other signs that you’re “still home” even when you’re not, you can fool burglars into thinking there are easier marks available. As with protecting your car, the more visible and risky it becomes as a target, the more likely thieves will move on to something else.
Invest In Quality Doors And Locks.
If your home has a sliding door that hasn’t been replaced in five to 10 years, then you might consider replacing it. Many of these are easy to pop off even when they’re in the locked position, allowing quick and easy access to your home for a lurking burglar. You should also consider investing in deadbolt locks for all the doors of your home that grant immediate access to the outside. Multiple deadbolts are ideal because they add to the time it takes to break in, and thieves don’t want that. They want “in” and “out.”
Avoid Becoming A ‘Latchkey Home.’
Violent or non-violent, burglars are predators, and the skilled ones believe in learning behaviors of their potential targets. If you have a latchkey home, where the key ends up above a door or under a doormat, then you’re making a crook’s life very easy for them. If they target you and begin to study your behaviors, there is nothing to stop them from entering the home by key while you’re away at work and your kids are at school. Avoid this “latchkey home syndrome” at all costs.
Hire A Landscaper. (Or Give Those Trees And Shrubs A Trim Yourself.)
A successful burglar is a patient burglar, and the only way that patience can pay off, is by having a quality hiding place to lay-in-wait. Shrubs and trees grant just such an opportunity. A more open and visible yard will make it that much more difficult for thieves to access your home without being seen. As a result, they’ll probably move on to the next target.
Make Out-Of-Town Preparations.
There’s a reason home thefts spike in July and August. That’s when families cram in end-of-summer vacation time. In their haste to get out of town and enjoy the break, they often fail to make adequate preparations to protect their homes while away. One of the most important things to do: put a hold on the mail. When your box is full, would-be burglars know instantly that something is amiss. If it’s hard to get your door closed, then the message is pretty clear: we’re not home; rob us now.
Forge Relationships With Your Neighbors.
Positive relationships with your neighbors will not only make living in your neighborhood a better experience, but it will also attune them to anything unusual that might occur while you’re gone. Whether your neighborhood has an official neighborhood watch or not, saying hello and goodbye whenever you see those living around you, can make a big difference in protecting your home. You might even be able to enlist one of them to check your mail and housesit!
When you own a home, you can’t protect against every single thing that might go wrong — that’s why you have homeowners insurance! — but you can reduce the likelihood of a claim by being proactive with home security measures. And proper proactivity means being aware and staying vigilant.