January 3rd, 2018
It may not be a very comforting thought, but most homes are not that difficult to break into. In fact, most burglars worry more about being seen than how they are getting into your house. And although most home burglaries occur in the warmer summer months, thieves still need to eat in the wintertime, so neither you nor your loved ones should let your guards down this time of year.
Protecting your home from break-ins doesn’t have to be a daily worry – not if you know your home’s vulnerable points and take the proper precautions to protect yourself. Even those who live by themselves can find a level of peace-of-mind by following the advice of home security experts.
Approximately 2,000,000 home burglaries are reported each year in the U.S. – and about 30 percent of those break-ins aren’t actually a “break” in at all, because the thief is able to enter through an open or unlocked window or door. So the simplest measure to take in securing your house is to make sure all access points are securely closed and locked.
But here are several other key ways to keep burglars at bay:
*Keep your house looking lived in. This can be accomplished best by simply making sure curtains or blinds are slightly open during the day, and closed over-night. One or two indoor lights hooked up to a timer won’t hurt either.
*Keep valuables out of plain view. Purses, wallets and credit cards should never be left lying where they can be easily seen through a window.
*Keep up appearances. Make sure snow is shoveled in the winter, and grass and shrubs are trimmed in the summer, and don’t leave trash cans, newspapers, packages or flyers lying outside for several days at a time.
*Be cautious. Don’t tell people you live alone, don’t leave notes on your door when you’re gone, and if a stranger knocks on your door don’t automatically let them inside. If they say they’re making a delivery and you didn’t ask for one, ask for identification and call the company they say they’re working for. Or if someone asks to use your phone, offer to make the call for them.
Okay, we’ve gone over the basics of home security, but what about the various “extras” that can keep you or your loved ones extra-safe? Here is a list of additional measures to consider:
*Install motion-detecting outdoor floodlights at entrances, on decks, and in the back yard.
*If you don’t already have deadbolts on all your doors, have them installed.
*Install a security peephole in your door (and use it faithfully).
*Ask your local police or fire department to conduct a free safety check of your house and grounds and ask for suggestions that will help prevent burglaries.
*Last but not least, consider having a home security system professionally installed.
Electronic home surveillance systems don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. But remember the old saying about only getting what you pay for!
Nationally, the average installation cost of an alarm system is $664, but can range anywhere from $85 to $1850. Of course, you’ll also have to account for basic equipment packages, including a control panel, sensors, and a siren, and those can range between $300 and $1,000.
Monthly monitoring fees can range between a low of $15 up to $100.
For a ranking of the Best Smart Home Security Systems of 2018, check out this page from PC Mag:
Home break-ins can wreak havoc on your sense of security. So to regain a sense of control as soon as possible, take these steps after your home has been burglarized:
*Report the break-in and burglary to police.
*Actively participate in any investigation by providing a detailed list of all stolen items.
*If your home has been ransacked, clean it up and rearrange your possessions. This way you can stop feeling like a victim sooner.
*Take additional steps to improve your home security (see above), and consider taking a self defense class. (Yes, there actually are various classes geared toward seniors, including Verbal Judo and even one called Cane Fu!).