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Keeping Your Home and Family Safe From Burglars

August 25, 2014

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Believe it or not, but according to the FBI, a burglary occurs every 15 seconds in the U.S. Reports show that in 2012, over $3 billion worth of property was taken from innocent families.  A burglary may appear random, but the criminal chose your home for a reason. Here are eight ways to defend your home from thieves.  Here are some preventive measures you can take:

1. Most Important Step – get an alarm system! Many people put signs of alarm system in their front yard and by their front and back doors.  This will encourage the burglars to move on. You want your house to be the least appealing home on the block to thieves. Ask the security company about wired versus wireless systems, the benefits of motion-trip sensor lasers and if you can supervise your home from other locations.

2. Make your home appear occupied at all times. Set up light and TV timers to go on and off while you’re away on vacation. Many alarm systems now have amazing smart phone applications.

3. Make sure stop mail and newspaper service while you’re gone as well. Mount outside lights up high to prevent burglars from unscrewing the bulbs. Take your name off the mailbox altogether. These days with Google and the Internet, it’s very easy to find your phone number online. The thief can call to see if you’re home.

4. Install a deadbolt lock to the front and back door; use a steel bolt and check to make sure the length extends at least 1 inch into the door frame. Purchase free-spinning cylinder locks that are difficult to remove. Change locks immediately when moving into a new home or if you lose your keys.

5. Keep shrubs and trees trimmed. Burglars look for overgrown bushes to use as hiding places while trying to enter your home. If you can’t, hire a landscaper to cut the lawn weekly so that burglars know the house is regularly occupied.

6. Burglars know how to jimmy windows and sliding glass doors.  Pin your windows. Place a drill at a slant inside the top left side of the window frame. Drill a 3/16-inch hole into the frame and halfway through the outside frame. Repeat on the upper right side. Put a nail in each hole so that the window cannot move.

7. Lock up bikes, lawn tools and backyard toys as visible items tempt burglars. Draw curtains in rooms with electronic equipment and expensive personal belongings. Place a fireproof safe in an out-of-the-way place and store jewelry, money and irreplaceable objects in it at all times.  If your family has the tendency to leave valuable electronics out in the open, encourage them to put the items inside a drawer, cupboard or closet when not in use. A collection of electronics is reason enough for a snooping burglar to make your house his next hit.  It might surprise you that medication is on the list of most commonly stolen items, but there’s a massive black market for drugs. From pain killers to anti-depressants, burglars want your prescription medications so they can trade, sell or use them.  Try to conceal them somewhere other than the medicine cabinet.

8.  Get a permanently fixed safe secured to the floor or wall for jewelry and weapons.  Also, Data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics reveals that on average, 172,000 firearms were reported stolen every year from 2005 to 2010. At least one firearm was taken in 63 percent of household burglaries.

9. Get a dog, preferably a large one. Burglars will almost always avoid a home with a big dog unless they are really stupid!

10. Lastly, check your homeowner’s policy to see what coverage you have against burglary.

About 87 percent of burglaries are considered preventable. So start an action plan for your home today!

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