Remember Home Alone, where the hapless intruders are chased away by Macaulay Culkin’s clever booby traps? You don’t have to go quite that far to make your own home unappealing to burglars, but a little preparation is a good idea.
According to the FBI, there were on average more than 4,000 burglaries a day throughout the country in 2011.
To keep your home off the books, help protect it with these five simple tips:
- Keep your front entrance clear. The FBI reports that more than a third of burglars enter through the front door. How can you discourage them? Keep your entrance free of shrubbery or furnishings so your neighbors can clearly see everything that’s going on. And make sure the entrance is brightly lit at night.
- Install screen doors at the front and back. It may look decorative, but a solid locking screen door can dissuade criminals, who want to get in and out as quickly as possible. Your main door should be solidly built and reinforced, with a deadbolt that makes it harder for crooks to get in.
- Secure your windows. Make sure your windows are double-pane glass, which is not only harder to break into but can also make your home’s heating and cooling more efficient. You can protect your windows by putting plants or furniture underneath them inside your house. No burglar wants to climb onto a cactus.
- Keep your lights on a timer. Automatic timers that switch your house lights on and off create the illusion that someone’s home even when you’re away. For the backyard, try a motion-sensor light.
- Don’t advertise your vacation. Save the social-media updates about your Caribbean cruise until after you’ve returned. Letting the world know you’re about to leave your home unattended is an invitation to strangers who may be listening in. Before you set off, ask a neighbor to collect your mail and clear away fallen leaves, which, to observant criminals, is a sign that nobody’s home.
Whether you’re a homeowner or a renter, get extra peace of mind by having the right insurance policy. If you’ve taken steps to protect your home, like installing a monitored alarm system or deadbolts on your doors, you might even qualify for a discount.
How do you keep your home secure? Tell us in the comments below.
By Sam Song