A burglary is one of the biggest fears that many homeowners face. While it is true that a determined burglar will probably find a way into your home, there are several things that you can do to make your home safer. Most of these methods are free or cost very little.
One of the simplest things that you can do to make your home safer is to remember to lock your doors and windows. Many homeowners forget to lock their doors and many burglaries result from people who simply walk into a home. First story and sometimes basement windows can also be entrance points for burglars. Your locks should be steel locks and should extend an inch at the very least. Opt for dead bolts, not standard doorknob locks. If you have a sliding door, make sure that you have a lock for it that keeps the door from being pushed off the track or slid open.
It is important that you lock your windows and keep the areas around them clear. Large shrubs, for example, can hide an intruder who is looking for a way to get into your home. Many people do not lock their windows and sometimes leave them cracked at night for fresh air. While the fresh air is enjoyable, this leaves an access point for criminals. All windows should be locked, especially at night or when you are gone, and this includes second-story windows. Most homeowners do not lock the windows on the second floor, and if a ladder is left nearby, this can let a burglar into your home.
Make it look like you are at home, even if you aren’t. This is an easy and effective strategy for protecting your home. Nothing tells a burglar that you are gone like the mail overflowing your mailbox or the pile of newspapers littering your porch. Ask that your newspapers and mail be held while you are gone. If you can, have a neighbor keep your driveway shoveled or grass mowed. You can also set timers to have your lights turn on and off at random times. If you’re just going to be gone for a few hours, you can leave the TV on, which will make a burglar think someone is at home.
One of the best ways to protect your home is to learn who your neighbors are. You do not have to make your neighbors your best friends, but you should be on good terms. Offer to watch your neighbors’ homes when they are gone and let them know when you see something that seems strange. They will be glad to return the favor. This way someone is always watching after your home. If you exchange cell phone numbers you can easily call or text if you see something that seems suspicious. However, it is not a good idea to give your neighbors a key to your house, just in case they aren’t as trustworthy as they seem.