Practical Burglary Prevention Tips
We have seen lists of crime prevention tips that were, frankly, a bit more than most of us are willing to bother with. Here are a few that will not impose a burden:
1. Don't leave obvious signs that the house is unoccupied. Stop the mail and paper, or have a neighbor take it in. Arrange for lawn care as needed. And don't leave notes on the door! ("Dear thieves...")
Even aside from burglary risks, it is unpleasant to come home to a dark house. We suggest you leave a FakeTV on "Light Sense" mode, as well as using a lamp on a timer.
2. Make your home look lived in. FakeTV does a great job of this. A light on a timer helps, too-- we recommend both, although in all honesty the FakeTV is more convincing, because it looks "alive."
3. Get to know your neighbors. This will give you a more pleasant, well connected life, as well as making a burglary less likely.
4. Keep your vacation status off public social networking pages. Some burglars use these sites to identify "safe" targets. You may be unable to resist telling your buddies you are having a wonderful time far from home, but at least keep this off the public pages.
5. Make your home hard to get into. You need good locks. Your hidden outdoor key is probably not as cleverly hidden as you think it is. Better to leave a key with the neighbors. Let them know you will be gone, and have them keep an eye out during your absence. If you have an alarm system, by all means use it. Amazingly, many people forget to set the alarm. Conversely, do not think that an alarm system makes you invulnerable. Burglars can still cause you a great deal of misery in a smash-and-grab robbery, leaving before the police can respond. Park a car in the driveway, but be sure to take out the garage door opener first.
6. Remove obvious temptations. Take a walk around your property and make sure you cannot see any easily pawned valuables through uncovered windows. Are there any ladders left out, or particularly easy or well-concealed access points?
7. Prepare for the worst. If your computer were stolen, what might the consequences be? For most of us, this would be dire indeed. So, back-up and password protect. Make a quick run through around the house with a video recorder, talking aloud about the the valuables. This could save a lot of hassle with the insurance company if you should need to file a claim.
8. Strike the right balance. Only you can make the trade-off between security measures and the burdens they impose. You may wish to place irreplaceable items in a secure location, such as a fireproof safe. This can include expensive jewelry, family photos, and financial records. Your insurance policy is up to date, right? Also, label your possessions with your name. An engraver is best, but a Sharpie is a lot better than nothing.
We feel bad for everyone that has had the misfortune of being burglarized. But, we are not just sending theives over to the next house. If an entire neighborhood becomes aware of crime prevention, it gets that reputation among criminals. That is why we strongly recommend you start or join a neighborhood watch program.