For most of us, home is where we feel the safest. It is where we spend time with our families, return after a stressful day, and lay our heads to rest at night. It is also, where we keep most of our valuables and important documentation. It might be surprising to know that burglary occurs at a rate of every 14 seconds. Over two million burglaries are committed every year, and 60-70% of these are residential. As a result, billions in personal property loss occurs each year, and this leaves individuals at risk for identity theft due to stolen documentation and financial information. While these statistics are worrisome, there are a number of ways to protect your home from burglary.
It is typically assumed that most burglaries occur at night, when detection is harder and most inhabitants are asleep, but this is not always the case. In actuality, most home invasions occur during daylight hours, mostly after 9:00 a.m. and before 3:00 p.m. This is because adults are usually at work and children are in school or daycare. This leaves the house unattended and easier to rob. Furthermore, it is not the professional thief that usually invades your home. It is usually a young male, and more often than not, he lives in your neighborhood and is familiar with your comings and goings.
To protect your home from theft, there are a several ways to make your house an unappealing choice. Since 34% of thieves enter the house via the front door, make sure to keep it and all other entrances locked with a good quality lock. It may sound simple, but a large number of people leave their front door or other doors such as garage, basement, and back doors, unlocked. Simple locks are easy to bypass, make sure it is a deadbolt lock, and secure pins in windows and sliding glass doors to prevent entrance. An alarm system is an excellent deterrent. Alarm systems can be motion sensitive, alert when a door or window is opened, or accompanied by a monitoring service that will alert authorities when you are away. Often, just a simple sign in the window alerting potential thieves that the house is protected, is enough to scare them away.
Other deterrents include keeping a car in the driveway, and lights that are on timers. This gives the illusion that someone is always at home. Security cameras are another option. This will make the thief think twice, and also provide visual proof for authorities. Befriend your neighbors. This is crucial when it comes to relying on them to pick up mail or keep an eye out on your house when you leave town.
Sometimes, taking all of the necessary precautions does not work. If a thief does gain entry, a home safe is an excellent way to protect documents and valuables. Most of us store important information in drawers, file cabinets, or even the freezer. Thieves know where to look. They come in looking for cash, jewelry, guns, electronics, and other sellable items, and they spend less than ninety seconds in the home. Ninety seconds is all it takes for them to swipe your personal items. A home safe is the perfect place for birth certificates, social security cards, emergency cash and financial documents stored on CD or flash drives. Thieves do not want or have the means to carry out extremely large items like a safe. Safes can have electronic and combination locks that make them almost impossible to open. Identity theft is a huge problem and it can take several years to recover from since it jeopardizes everything from credit ratings to bank accounts. A home safe has other benefits as well. It protects from natural disasters like fire and flood, and keeps guns kept for personal safety out of children's hands.
While a home burglary is a scary thought, there are many things we can do to protect personal property and ourselves. Sound locks, alarm systems, and investing in a good quality safe, are sure ways to make a potential thief think twice.
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