Every 13 seconds, a burglary occurs somewhere in the U.S., adding up to approximately 2.5 million burglaries each year, according to Alarms.org. Two-thirds of those crimes are home break-ins, and if it were not for home security systems, that figure could be significantly higher – a study from UNC Charlotte found that 83% of convicted burglars said they checked for an alarm system before attempting a break-in, and 60% said they would change their mind if a system was found.
In recent years, the home security industry has experienced a renaissance with self-install options and internet-connected alarm systems sparking consumer interest with their ease of use and modern features. While alarm systems serve as an effective deterrent against potential burglars, only 17% of homes have one installed, says Alarms.org. Nevertheless, there are other precautions homeowners can take to prevent their homes and families from being victimized.
- Change Locks: When moving into a new home, change the locks on all exterior doors.
- Use Alarm Systems: A home is three times more likely to be broken into if it doesn’t have an alarm system, says Alarms.org. Alarm and security systems are a powerful deterrent against criminals, and many can even notify law enforcement in the event of a break-in.
- Keep a Clean Yard: Overgrown trees, bushes and hedges can be an ideal hiding spot for intruders. Keep shrubbery trimmed and maintained to avoid having anyone take advantage of unkempt landscaping.
- Don’t Advertise an Absence: An empty home is an easy target for a burglar. Adding timers to interior lights to give the impression someone is home can put off criminals. Also, when leaving on vacation, call a neighbor to collect mail and/or newspapers and avoid posting plans publicly on social media.
- Keep Doors and Windows Locked: Although this might seem like an obvious tip, making sure all entryways are locked and secure is one of the easiest ways to prevent a crime. This includes using a dowel or small plank of wood to prevent sliding doors from being opened from the outside.
- Install Motion Sensors: Flood lights connected to motion sensors can be enough to scare away potential criminals, as most won’t risk getting caught if they believe they can be seen.
Source: Property Casualty 360