Two weeks ago, we looked at the importance of having a home inventory. Having one helps any insured renter or homeowner be fully and accurately reimbursed for their contents if they’ve been burglarized or experience a loss from a fire or natural disaster. We followed up that post with what to do if you’ve been broken into. Avoiding being broken into is better yet.
Here are 14 steps you can take to reduce your odds of being burglarized by making it harder for a burglar, as published by the Dallas Police Department.
- Lock all door and windows. Check them now. Most people will find at least one window or door unlocked.
- Invest in good door locks. Deadbolt locks with long bolts that terminate in a good solid door frame makes it tougher to get through. Exterior doors should be solid core doors.
- Keep shrubs trimmed back. Don’t provide a place for someone to hide and allow your neighbors or the police to spot a broken window.
- Consider thorny shrubs near windows to help deter someone from using a window as an entry point.
- Keep your garage door closed at all times. This prevents items from walking off and doesn’t announce whether you’re home or away.
- If you have a garage, use it to park your vehicles. This makes it harder for someone to know whether you’re home or not. It also protects cars from being broken into.
- Get to know your neighbors. This is one of the best deterrents to being burglarized. They’ll watch out for you as you watch out for them. If you see something suspicious, report it.
- Consider an alarm system. Not every insurance company offers a discount for having one and many times the discounts are small, but they can offer peace of mind. Even the alarm company signs provide some level of deterrent.
- Don’t put a box for a new computer, big screen TV or something like that out on the curb or top of the trash. It only announces what you just bought. Cut the box up and dispose of it in trash bags.
- Make sure your home looks lived in even when you’re away. Put timers on lights and make the schedule the same whether you are home or not. Consider putting them on a radio or TV too.
- If you’re going to be away for a long period of time, put your mail delivery on hold, and paper too if you still get that. Have a neighbor remove door hangers and take delivery of any packages.
- Consider keeping jewelry in a safe deposit box, especially expensive pieces or items you may not wear often.
- Form or join a neighborhood crime watch and partner with your local police department.
- Turn on exterior lighting after dark. Use the same schedule for lighting when you’re away that you do when you are home and put timers on exterior lights.
Doing these does not guarantee you won’t be broken into, but they do help reduce the likelihood of a break in. Have a suggestion, comment or question? Write it in the comments section below or on our Facebook or Google + pages. We’ll all learn something!