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Making Your Home More Secure

Did you know that most burglaries happen during the day when nobody is home? Moreover, nearly one third of household burglaries in the United States do not involve forced entry, meaning someone walked (or climbed) right in those homes.

Burglaries are at an all-time low due to the coronavirus and people being confined to their homes, but once we have made it through this crisis and everyone goes back to work, here are some simple things you should — and shouldn’t do — to make your home more secure.

1. DO have your locks changed

Have your locks changed if you didn’t when you first moved into your home. In addition, make sure you know everyone who has the keys.

2. DON’T leave spare keys outside

Don’t leave a spare key under the mat or in a flowerpot (or any obvious hiding spot) on your front porch. Give one to a trusted neighbor instead.

3. DO install motion sensor lights

Install motion sensor lights to deter uninvited visitors from getting too close to your home.

4. DON’T advertise your new things

Advertise that you have new big-ticket items like a TV or computer by tossing their boxes in the trash or leaving them out on the street.

5. DO show off your alarm system

Let the would-be criminals know that you have an alarm system. Display the alarm company sign prominently in your yard because the most effective alarm is an obvious one.

6. DON’T announce that you’re out of town on social media

This is a biggie! Be careful even posting vacation photos while you are still away. One status update or photo could tip off a burglar that your home is empty.

7. DO get to know your neighbors

Studies consistently show that Neighborhood Watch programs reduce crime and violence. You can also ask a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on your home when you’re away or for anyone else who might have access to your house. A burglar might not be a stranger.

8. DON’T let mail or newspapers pile up if you leave town

Be sure not to let mail or newspapers pile up if you leave town. That’s an open invitation for criminals. Ask a friend or neighbor to pick it up. Also have them move your car in the driveway so it looks like someone’s home.

9. DO keep your yard well-lit

Keep the outside of your home well lit and the bushes cut low and manicured. This is called Crime Prevention through Environmental Design. The idea is that a person is less likely to commit a crime if they think someone will see them do it.

10. DON’T keep your windows open

Even second floor windows can be accessed via trees and ladders… and always lock them too. Be sure you have a solid wood or metal front door with a reinforced kick plate and strong deadbolt.

Finally, find out if your local police force provides a free home security evaluation. They can survey your property and identify any further steps you can implement. Check online crime maps in your area too, and become a vigilant homeowner and neighbor by keeping an eye out for suspicious activity. You’ll not only help keep your home safer, but your neighborhood as well.