Many homeowners and apartment dwellers are worried about their homes becoming a target of burglary today and are looking for ideas for home security. This is because home burglaries are definitely on the rise.
While we should not be surprised by this trend, we also should not be worried by it either. You can keep you and your family safe. Here are some tips on how to keep your home from becoming a target of burglary:
- Clean up your yard. Keeping your home safe begins with the outside appearance of your home. Do not leave toys, tools or other items lying around. Make sure that your yard is kept neat and tidy. If you live in an apartment, you should be sure that you never let anyone that you do not know into the building; this is one way that criminals gain entrance to apartment buildings.
- Make sure that there are no dark or concealed areas around your home. Cut your shrubs if they are too big.
- Close all of your windows whenever you leave home. It does not matter how long you're planning to be gone; all of your doors and windows should be locked whenever you leave home.
- Install a peephole. Install a peephole in your door so that you can see who is at the door without opening it.
- Never leave notes on your door for deliverymen.
- If you need to let someone into your home while you are away, purchase a lockbox for the key. For the best security, never leave a key "hidden" near your house as this makes your home an easy target for burglars. Whenever you move into a new apartment, you should make sure that a new lock has been installed so that old tenants cannot gain entrance into your apartment. Also be sure to replace your locks whenever you lose your keys.
- Unplug your garage door opener if you are going on vacation. For those who live in an apartment, when you go on vacation, you should be sure that you tell a trusted neighbor when you are leaving and when you will return so that she can keep an eye on your apartment for you. Regardless of your dwelling, you should also stop your mail and newspaper delivery or have your neighbor pick it up for you while you are gone. It is also a good idea to invest in timers so that your lights will automatically turn on and off while you are gone.
- If your apartment has a parking garage, make sure that the garage is well lit. Always be aware of your surroundings when you are in the garage. Never leave valuables in your car.
- Place an extra lock on your sliding glass door. Use a piece of wood placed in the door track if you do not do anything else. Also if you leave your door open while you are home, make sure that you keep the door open only far enough to let air in, but not enough that a person could fit through it.
- Purchase a timer for your lights if you are not going to be home at night. This is very important because typically burglars don't want confrontation and would rather break in an empty house. You need your home to appear to have occupants at all times.
- Install motion detectors and proper lighting if you have a privacy fence.
- Immediately replace any door locks or latches that are in need of repair.
- Properly lock all of your basement windows. You should never overlook this area of your home simply because you do not go down there as often as you go into the other parts of your home.
- Temporarily stop your mail and newspaper services if you are going on vacation. Your other option is to find a reliable person (i.e. friend, neighbor, or other family member) who is willing to pick up your mail for you each and every day.
- Make sure that the doors that lead outside to your pool or back patio are kept locked for best house security. You should also place a deadbolt lock on these doors for added protection.
- If you have an elevator in your apartment building, do not enter the elevator if it makes you feel uncomfortable (for example if you do not get a good feeling from someone who is in the elevator already). You should also be sure that you know where the emergency button is in the elevator.
- If you see a crime being committed, you should immediately call the police. While crime prevention is everyone's responsibility, you should never try to resolve the issue yourself. Try to get the car's license number and description for the police, as this is also great information for the police to use. If the crime has taken place in your residence, do not enter the dwelling but immediately call the police instead. You should also keep a list of your valuables in case the crime occurs in your home or apartment.
To keep your home safe, try to think like a burglar. Take a walk through your home and look at all of the areas listed above. Also, look for anything else that will help a burglar make a fast, easy, undetected entry and exit to and from your home. These are the things that you really want to pay extra special attention to fixing or making secure, since they are what give a burglar an open invitation to burglarize your home.