There is roughly one burglary every 15 seconds in the United States with most of them occurring during the day, specifically in the hours between 10AM and 3PM. The average loss suffered by victims of burglary is around $2,000. However, the loss of valuables is not usually the most traumatic aspect of a burglary. Victims of burglaries can lose the sense of comfort and peace of mind that most associate with the concept of “home.” Burglars take not only the belongings of their victims, but their ability to feel secure while within their dwellings. While there is no 100 percent guaranteed way of ensuring that your home will never be burglarized, there a few a few layers of protection that you can implement to make it less likely.
1. Avoid Advertising Your Valuables
This means not leaving your expensive new bicycle in your driveway where someone passing by could walk away with it. Avoid leaving evidence of expensive goods you have purchased outside as well. For example, empty boxes for brand-name electronic goods may make burglars interested in the contents of your home. Keep your windows and garage door closed so that passersby cannot easily view your possessions.
2. Get a Dog
While they are unpredictable, dogs can be extremely effective for home protection. They are unpredictable in that a dog may not attack a burglar, but they may still alert you and your neighbors to the fact that there is an intruder in your home. Also, the burglar has no idea whether your dog will bite or not and most will not take the risk to find out. Note that dogs are a big responsibility, so it is important to consider all aspects of dog-ownership prior to adopting one.
3. Get an Alarm System
You should get a system that signals (loudly) that there is a break-in in progress. You can opt for a monitored alarm that will ensure that the authorities are called. A monitored home security system may also come with signs that you can place on your lawn and that indicate to potential burglars that your home has protection in place. Most burglars will avoid your property because of this.
4. Lock Your Doors and Windows
As obvious as this tip may seem, about 40 percent of residential burglaries take place without force being used to gain entry. Ground floor windows are an easy point of entry so securing these should be your first priority. Your entry doors should be made of solid wood or wood and steel. You should install strong deadbolt locks to make even it more difficult for burglars break in.
5. Avoid a Routine
Burglars will sometimes observe a home and its owner prior to attempting entry; this is so that they can determine the most opportune time to break in. By keeping your schedule unpredictable, you may be able to discourage watchful thieves from entering as they will be unable to tell when you will be home.
6. Make Your Yard More Secure
This means trimming your shrubs and trees to remove hiding places and shadows. Additionally, a badly-kept yard may indicate to them that you are away, so you will want to make it clear that the yard is regularly maintained. You do not want to eliminate foliage entirely since it can also serve as a barrier that prevents them from getting easy access to windows. Low bushes with thorns make excellent barriers under windows.
The vast majority of burglaries are considered preventable but there is no single step that will make your home burglar-proof. The most effective way to render your home resistant to burglary is to educate yourself about the crime and to employ multiple layers of protection.