Common Sense Approaches to Home Security using your brain, not your wallet.

There seems to be no end to the number of devices and services to deter residential burglary. Every year a new system utilizing a new technological breakthrough is available and promises greater result than the previous model.  I’ll leave it to the technical experts to dissect and display the latest systems, I want to discuss methods of crime prevention that require nothing more than a bit of time and vigilance.

Criminals move through an area following the path of least resistance. If one house seems risky or unprofitable, a would-be burglar will move on to the next.  Having that criminal avoid selecting your house in the first place is really the best possible outcome.   Here’s a few ideas from both police groups and insurance companies that protect your house without investing in the newest technological wonder.

1)      Out of sight, out of mind: You wouldn’t believe how many lawn mowers, bikes, ATVs are stolen each year completely unsecured. Always keep these items inside a shed or garage under lock and key. Don’t make theft as easy as rolling something away.

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2)      Always be home: You might not always be able to be home but no one needs to know that. Having a radio on during daytime hours along with a few LED bulbs will give the illusion of occupancy without raising your electric rates too much. When taking vacations ensure that your mail and newspapers don’t pile up and that someone takes care of shoveling your sidewalks and cutting your yard.

3)      Know your neighbors: The only thing better than keeping your eyes on your property is having multiple trusted people doing the same. Getting to know your neighbors will help ensure that suspicions are at least checked out.  This is especially true if you are renting; the turnover rates of rental properties mean that seeing new people on the premises isn’t necessarily suspicions to your neighbors.  Renters are 85% more likely to experience a break in, so get to know the people in your area.

4)      Lock and key: Make sure all your doors and windows are locked and secured. As simple as it sounds, 40% of burglaries aren’t break-ins at all. Slipping through an unlocked window, accessing the interior through an unlocked garage door, or even opening an unlatched front door happens more than you’d think. Make a mental list of all the openings to your home and check them for yourself. I bet you find at least one insecurity you didn’t think of. Speaking of keys, don’t leave keys out. Leave a key with a trusted neighbor or friend instead.

5)      No place to hide: Walk around your property and discover what areas of your yard obscure vision and where someone could sneak in and out without being seen. If your house backs to an alley, consider having motion sensitive lighting or a lock on your back gate. Again, the goal is to make your property not worth the risk. Don’t allow your landscaping or clutter allow easy access to and from your property.