Deterring a Home Invasion

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a house break-in occurs every 13 seconds.  While it’s a bold move, 34% of intruders enter through the front door, usually between 10 AM and 3 PM, taking a mere ten minutes to avoid detection.  Most burglaries occur during the summer months, when foliage offers coverage and occupants are often not home.   If there’s one location where you should always feel safe—it’s your home!   After all, it is a place of refuge, privacy, and, hopefully, security.   Now that children are home for the summer, it’s time to start making wise decisions to keep your castle safe!

What you can do: 

  • Reinforce Doors: Special hardware that offers door and jamb reinforcement plates takes less than an hour to install and is likely to be an easy DIY project.  In addition, one of the best barriers is a storm door;  intruders will avoid accessing two doors! 
  • Secure Windows: Old homes, especially, may have susceptible security risks, such as faulty mechanisms that cannot be closed or appropriately locked from the inside; therefore, consider investing in a window lock.  While there are many types, the locks prevent a window from opening beyond a set height, only allowing air to circulate.  On the other hand, safety windows are constructed from tempered glass to avoid breaking.
  • Trimming Concealing Foliage:  While shrubs may cast shade into your living room, they’re the perfect camouflage for an intruder.  Consider trimming!   
  • Social Media:  Never announce your plans to vacate the home for a weekend or longer.  Always wait until you return to share pictures.  You never know who will use the information to break in. 
  • Observe Parked Vehicles:  Burglars often research a home’s defenses to determine its patterns and weaknesses.  Sometimes a potential burglar may be a suspicious jogger, walker, or driver who suddenly shows interest in a particular home or houses.  Consider your own patterns.   For instance, does your family depart the house like clockwork or let the dog outside at a certain time?  
  • Solicitation Scams: Burglars will go door-to-door to gain information about your home; perhaps using the pretext of taking a survey or posing as a representative from a legitimate business.  It’s always important never to let a stranger into your home.  Children, too, need to know the rules of house safety! 
  • Install a Camera:  The doorbell camera and similar systems, which offer video surveillance, create a challenge to burglars.  Whether you decide to invest in a home security system or install cameras, it will reduce the risk to potential intruders. 
  • Add a Driveway Alarm:  Through infrared motion detection technology, homeowners can receive a notification when a person is within 400 feet of the home.  No need for surprises with the help of a home security device. 
  • Add Lights:  Whether it’s by means of exterior motion detectors or lights on a timer, it’s essential to keep visitors from remaining in the dark.  Spotlights also help to eliminate dark corners and concealment! 
  • Arrange a House Sitter:  Next-door neighbors will gladly watch your home during the weekend or week-long excursions.  If needed, they may recommend a trustworthy house sitter or dog walker.   Allowing someone to check the mail, open and close curtains, and move a vehicle now and then offers evidence that someone is at home.  
  • Man’s Best Friend: Perhaps not a friendly Golden Retriever or a Beagle, yet, breeds such as Akitas, Belgian Malinois, German shepherds, Doberman Pinschers, and Rottweilers will not be compromised by a treat or the chance for freedom.  Protective dogs with loud barks will do more than guard hearth and home. Their presence will deter unwanted visitors. 
  • Install a Safe:  Hiding valuables in a shoebox does not provide the same protection as a home safe.  A fireproof safe can ensure your valuables remain secure from essential documents, such as birth and marriage certificates, passports, and passwords. 
  • Add Signs:  The goal of every homeowner is to make a house invasion challenging.  Add signage to alert the world to, “Be Aware of Dog” or, “Cameras in Progress, Smile!”  It will make a difference! 

Children, through social media and openly sharing with friends, can unwittingly defeat home security plans.  It’s vital that parents engage in conversations with their children about what should not be shared publicly, even with best friends.  Families who adopt a security protocol within and outside the home can protect their valuables and each other!   

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