How to Protect Your Home Against Break Ins

It goes without saying that your home serves as possibly the single most valuable asset in your life – it represents all of the hard work that went into purchasing the house, the work that you’ve put into making it your own, and the place that you and your family call home. The thought of an unwanted person making their way into your home and rummaging through you and your family’s belongings makes your stomach turn. After the burglar has left, chances are that you’ll find their mess, some signs of entry, and many other things, but what you won’t find is a large amount of your valuable possessions. As awful as this scenario might sound, it happens once every 13 seconds. With homes being intruded so frequently, you are going to want to take steps in order to prevent you from becoming a victim.

Understanding the burglar

If you want to stop the burglar, you have to think like the burglar, that is, you have to understand their motives, triggers, and desires. Some burglars will break into a house on a moment’s notice if they see you drive off without locking the door or if they spot an open window. Some will force their way into your property if they have reason to believe something inside is worth their time. Others will be well-experienced in the act of breaking and entering, and have ways of bypassing general security systems. Realizing that there are numerous types of burglars and burglaries and that your home may be at risk to any of them (on-the-spot, forceful, and experienced) is essential to protecting you and your wealth.

Remember to use common sense

The easiest burglars to keep out are those that act in the moment, that is, when they see an opportunity to easily make their way into a house and act. To avoid these, it is best to remember to keep your windows locked at all times if possible, and to remember to check that all doors are locked whenever you get ready to leave your house. These actions seem obvious, but it becomes very easy to forget when you are running late and are trying to get into your car and on your way as soon as possible. All it takes is receiving a reminder text that sends you running out the door with your keys and coat for you to forget to check the back door, and other possible entries which may have been opened recently. This is when the spontaneous burglar strikes. Remembering that it is better to be safe than sorry may mean being a few minutes late to an important meeting, but may also mean the difference between coming home relieved and coming home to find that you are missing thousands of dollars of jewelry, electronics, cash, and so forth.

In addition to checking that all doors and windows are locked prior to leaving the house, it is best to get motion-sensing lights for your front and back porch which are activated and turn on when they detect movement. Similarly, it is smart to use light timers in and around your house. Seeing a light turn off may dissuade a burglar from wanting to break in, thinking there’s someone there.

It is also smart to make sure that all of the doors leading into your home have heavy duty locks, such as inch thick deadbolts.

Putting up curtains or shades of some sort may also keep curious thieves from seeing what’s inside your property. If the thieve doesn’t have a strong enough reason for wanting to break in, then they probably won’t. Keeping your home private with shades or curtains might dissuade someone from wanting to break in.

If you are on a tight budget, and are currently unable to afford an advanced security system for your home, these simple steps can save you from the spontaneous burglar. Although it is in your best interest to think about making an investment in a security system, as these tips may not protect you against other types of burglars.

Fighting off the experienced burglars

Unfortunately, simply keeping your doors and windows locked isn’t always enough to keep some intruders out. Some will go as far as breaking in doors or windows if they believe that your home is holding some very valuable items. Often times, these thieves are triggered when they see cardboard boxes that once held electronics and other expensive items outside near a trash bin. Make sure to break apart your boxes and fold them so as not to advertise what is inside your home.
An experienced intruder will look for a home that is shielded from its neighbors (either by trees or shrubs) and that has an easy escape route (broken backyard fence). To make your home a less likely target, keep your trees and shrubs trimmed, and make sure you keep your backyard well-secured.
Investing in a home security camera that syncs to your phone is the best way to keep these experienced intruders away. If someone manages to make their way into your home without having to force their way or trigger someone’s attention, then a motion sensing camera will notify you, wherever you are.

To remain safe

The most efficient way to keep your home from being burglarized is to, of course, purchase a home security system. In today’s technology, these systems can alert your local police of an intrusion and have someone dispatched in minutes. Though this may not necessarily keep burglars from getting in, it will definitely scare them off, or keep them from taking much.

It’s best to obtain a homeowner’s policy to ensure that if your home is broken into, you will receive some type of recuperation. If your home is vandalized or damaged during the break-in, the typical policy will cover the cost of repairs. In addition, having homeowner’s insurance may help you pay for the cost of replacing your stolen items. Though your insurance may not cover the cost up to 100 percent, there may be caps on certain items or amounts depending on the insurance company and your premium. Regardless, receiving any amount of aid from your insurance will help offset the total cost, and that means you won’t have to pay as much. To learn more about obtaining an insurance premium, or to speak to an agent, visit our home insurance page.

Having a security system or homeowner’s insurance does not eliminate the need to lock all doors and windows while away. Having these, however, adds a secondary layer of protection to your home.

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Steve Gebhardt

Gebhardt Insurance Group was honored by AAA Insurance for being the top New Policy Agency in Arizona for 2013 and achieving the "Emerald Achievement Award."
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