There are two main reasons why break-ins happen: the first is that everyone knows you have valuables in your home—we all do; the second is that there is someone somewhere brazen enough to want to take what you have for their own gain (thieves).
These two reasons on their own, however, are not good enough to prompt a burglar to break into your home and steal from you. There has to be a third catalyst.
Something that makes that ‘would-be thief’ think that they can successfully get in and out of your home without getting caught: your lack of safety and security measures.
To be honest, almost every burglary you have ever heard of came about as the result of an opportunity presented to the burglar by you.
As much as most people do not want to hear that something is their fault, the truth is that, in many cases, it really is the homeowner’s fault for not doing enough to deter the burglary in the first place.
To prevent thieves breaking into your garden, it is safer to have locked gate and a large dog to protect you. To prevent a serious fire, it is better to have a smoke alarm.
To prevent identity theft on your computer, it is better to have anti-virus software. If you have a child, you would lock away household bleach and other things that can harm them and ensure their personal safety.
And it’s the same with your home… stay safe and reduce the risk of a break in with lockable windows and doors and more at night and in the daytime.
- Why do you think people hardly ever rob army barracks despite there being a cache of weapons and valuables on campus?
- Why do you think the Federal Reserve doesn’t get broken into?
The answer to these two questions is simple: there just aren’t enough opportunities, if any, for that to happen. The chances of success are almost non-existent.
That is the kind of scenario you should present in your own home. Make it so difficult to break into that the ‘would-be thief’ chooses to go somewhere else instead.
The video below gives you a good idea why thieves single you out:
Now with that information in mind, here are some ways for you to do what is right and keep and stay safe in your own home.
Tips To Stay Safe In Your Own Home
There are many things that you can do to keep your home safe from intruders. Some of these things don’t even involve the use of money.
Yes, having a state-of-the-art security system is an excellent way to ensure that you always have round-the-clock protection and that your home is secured by professionals, but what if you do not have the money for a fancy alarm system? Does that mean that you are doomed to be robbed every other day?
The tweet below shows you simple ways to keep thieves out and your home safe:
Tips to avoid home break-ins… pic.twitter.com/NR87ZUaEo6
— Wasatch Front PM (@SaltLakeRentals) November 12, 2017
As you can see, many of those things are simple and cheap enough to make sense to even the most frugal of homeowners. With that being said, here are some other things that you can do to feel safe in your own home:
Run A Thorough Assessment Of Your Home’s Security
This is something you should have already done as soon as you moved in. Run a quick and thorough check of your home to see if there are any weak points that might need rectification:
- Make sure that the door is made out of metal or solid wood and that it is firmly fixed to the door frame and wall
- Use deadbolts on every single entrance
- Light up your walkways
- Make sure that the home exterior is well lit
- Make sure that all doors and entry points (including the garage door) are locked at all times even when you are home
It is these little things that minimize the chances that an opportunistic robber will think about breaking into your place.
Get To Know Your Neighbors
There was a time when neighbors were friends and all their children were safe as long as they were within the same neighborhood. Those were simpler times. Nowadays, people do not like making friends with their neighbors.
For whatever reason, the world has become a little bit more selfish and self-centered. Neighbors are now adversaries or strangers to one another at best. Everyone is minding their own business.
While that might be good manners (keeping your nose out of other people’s business) you should at least make an effort to know and be friendly towards your neighbors.
In essence, these are the people who are most likely to deter a burglary attempt when you are not home. If a well-wishing neighbor notices a suspicious-looking character casing your home, they should tell you. If they see someone breaking in, they should call the police.
Do you think this will happen if you are a nasty neighbor? They are more likely to organize the robbery themselves just to peg you down a notch. Be friendly with your neighbors. You need their watchful eyes to keep the neighborhood safe.
Always Have An Emergency Exit Plan
If there is anything that the movie ‘Panic Room’ featuring Jodie Foster taught us is that even the most protected of homes and safe rooms can be compromised by the most determined of thieves.
But it also taught us that it is a good idea to have a strong room in the house; a panic room where you can run and hide when an invasion happens. These are rooms that are almost impossible to open from the outside and give you time to call the police and wait for help to arrive.
But what if you do not have the money, space nor zoning rights to build a panic room? The next best thing is to always have an emergency exit in place. The options here are almost endless depending on your location and type of house:
- It could be a basement that has a hidden door
- It could be the attic
- It could be a hole through the wall in your closet
The point is, as long as you have an easy to access exit strategy when thieves do break in, you will feel that much more secure when in your own home. At least you know that you will be safe while you call and wait for help to arrive.
Get A Hold Of Your Spare Keys
It is understandable. We all lose keys at one time or another. When this happens, we want to have a way to still get into our home without having to break down the front door.
That is why most people have spare keys under the front door mat, in a fake rock out front, or with the neighbors down the street. While all these are excellent ways to ensure that you can still get into your home if you lose your keys, some of them are also excellent ways to ensure that burglars have an easy time breaking in.
Experience and professional burglars know exactly where to look for that all-important spare key.
- Is it hidden in your mailbox? They’ll find it.
- Is it under that odd-looking rock near your front door? They’ll find it.
- Is it on the ledge above the door? They’ll find it.
The point is, if you can think of an excellent ‘no one will ever think to look here’ hiding spot, there is a good chance that it is exactly the first place a smart burglar will look.
When it comes to spare keys, think of better ways to keep them away from thieves. Leave them at the office or give them to a good neighbor, family member or even with your homeowner’s association president. Just don’t leave them under the welcome mat.
Have A Peephole Installed
Most home security companies have a checklist of things that their customers should do on their part to ensure that their homes are secure. The list involves items such as:
- Getting motion sensor lights installed
- Securing mail slots and pet entrances
- Shredding documents with personal information before throwing them out
- Keeping all the doors and gates locked at all times
- Keeping your valuables such as jewelry out of sight
One of the most important line items on that list is ensuring that you have a clear view of the entrance should someone (uninvited) knock on your door.
Ensuring that you can see who is at the door without necessarily opening it first is an excellent way to give yourself some time to plan a proper response. Installing a peephole will help with this endeavor.
Watch What You Post Online
We live in a world where you can share every single moment of your life with the rest of humanity on social media. While going to Barbados on vacation is an excellent way to get your Facebook friends green with envy, posting it up online is also a great way to tell all would-be burglars out there that it is open season on your house.
They will know that you are not home and they will know exactly when you leave and when you intend to come back. They will also know that you are well off enough to afford a vacation away on a warm sunny island, meaning you are well off enough to have valuables at home.
Every self-respecting thief will definitely want to break into your home while you are away. Watch what you post online. Some of these things are all about common sense and safety awareness.
The same instincts that ensure you jump out of the way when a runaway truck is headed in your direction should be the same survival instincts that ensure you keep your home safe.
All it takes to feel safe in your own home is a little caution and doing the right things to secure your property. These tips should help.
When it comes to spare keys, think of better ways to keep them away from thieves. Leave them at the office or give them to a good neighbor.