According to FBI statistics, a house, apartment or condominium is burglarized once every 15 seconds. That's a lot of break-ins. And that's a scary thought.
Fortunately, there are lots of precautions you can take to reduce the risks of having your home robbed. I found some great tips on State Farm's website:
How to prevent break-ins:
- Always lock all doors and windows when you leave the house.
- Use a peephole to identify visitors before opening your door.
- Do not hide spare keys outside your home, instead give one to a trusted neighbor.
- Do not provide your house keys to service people.
- Do not have money or jewelry lying out in view from a window.
- Do not tell strangers your daily routines.
- If you are at home working outside, leave all other doors that are out of sight locked.
- Use automatic timers on lights or radios when away from home.
- Always park your cars in the garage with the garage door shut. A burglar may otherwise notice a pattern that a closed garage door or no cars in the driveway means no one is home. Closing the garage door and having curtains or blinds on the garage windows also hides some of your belongings.
- Lower the sound of your telephone ringer and answering machine so that they can't be heard outside.
- Never leave notes on your door that can tip off burglars.
- Eliminate hiding places, such as shrubs around windows and doors.
- Install motion detectors, especially where you park your car and near doors.
- Discuss home security with your kids, such as not talking with strangers about their home, its contents or family schedules.
When away for more than a day:
- If possible, have your telephone calls forwarded when you are away from home. Burglars sometimes check to see if someone is home by making a telephone call.
- Have a trusted neighbor pick up the mail and newspaper. If possible, do not have either stopped. That gives information about you being away from home to others whom you do not know.
- If away for an extended period, have a plan in place to have the grass mowed or snow shoveled.
- If you are away from home on garbage pickup day, ask a trusted neighbor to put your garbage cans out to the street and take them back in. You may wish to have your neighbor use your garbage cans while you are out. Burglars sometimes check for empty cans as a sign the family is away.
In short, make your house look the same whether you are away or at home. Have you ever been robbed? What precautions do you take?