What to do in case of a burglary:
A home burglary happens every 15 seconds in the U.S. Considering how easy it is to pull off and get away with this crime, it is amazing that rate is not higher. The bottom line is that if a burglar wants in your home, that burglar is going to get in.
Burglars, though, like things to be easy. As a homeowner, your job is to make your home a less inviting target.
Most of us probably believe that if we keep our doors and windows locked that our home is pretty safe. While keeping things locked up is a good start, it’s not going to even come close to stopping a break in. The easiest and best way into your home is usually the back door. And, if you think that expensive deadbolt lock is going to do the job, think again. Locks are only as good as the hardware on the door frame. Most dead bolt strike plates are held in place by two 1/2-inch screws. One solid kick and your door opens easily. So tip number one, head to your local hardware store and buy a new strike plate that will be held in place by long screws that pass though the door frame and into the wall studs. If the burglars have to work to hard to bust through your door, chances are they will leave vs. taking the time and effort required to gain entry into your home.
A good number of home burglaries happen during broad daylight. Thieves will almost always verify that no one is home before they come crashing in. They might call your home number to see if you answer, but most likely they will simply ring your doorbell. A great tip is that if you are home, always, always either answer the door or at least respond with some sign that the house is occupied. Ignoring a knock at your front door could lead to a break-in at your back door within minutes.
Next, create the illusion that someone is in the house even when they are not. The quick and easy way to do this is to buy a few light timers and hook them up to table lamps or radios. Many models available on the market have features to randomly vary the times they turn things on and off.
Alarms systems are great deterrents. If you have one, make sure you have the alarm decal in a window or two. Burglars will usually skip over your house and find another easier target. Most insurance companies, including Indiana Farmers, offer a homeowners premium discount for policyholders with a monitored alarm system.
Burglars want to do their work without being noticed. If you have bushes that hide windows, be sure and trim them back. If you have outdoor lighting, keep the lights on during evening hours or install motion detectors.
Sometimes crooks hide in plain sight. Most people wouldn’t think twice about a van parked in a neighbor’s driveway if it looked like a repairman or contractor. Often thieves will set out paint buckets or a tool box to create the illusion that they are at your house for a legitimate reason. So the next time you have a neighborhood gathering tell everyone what to look for and help protect each other.
While it’s almost impossible to protect your home from a determined burglar, taking some preventive measures like the ones above can make your home a less inviting target.