Use Common Sense to Keep Your Home Safe From Burglars and Other Threats

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The media and popular crime shows and movies haven’t helped alleviate the general public’s worry about their safety, even in their own homes. Many people worry about the safety of their homes or businesses, and about being the victim of a robbery, even with good locks and computer controlled access systems. However, given that car keys are the third most common thing to lose and house keys are the second most common things we lose, it seems that we ourselves could implement better safety measures of our own. So how do you gain some peace of mind and reassurance that your home or business is going to be as safe as you can possibly make it? There a few steps that you can take today that will let you rest easier about your valuables and the safety of you and your loved ones.
How Often Do Burglaries Occur?
Unfortunately, the United States is the world leader when it comes to how often burglaries occur; there are about four every minute, or one every fifteen seconds. One larceny-style theft happens every 5.1 seconds here in the United States as well. That, coupled with the fact that burglaries are notoriously difficult to solve (only about 13% of burglaries are solved by the police and the statistics are even lower for recovered property), probably doesn’t make anyone else feel better about their home or business’s safety.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report says that in just under 30% of home burglaries, someone was home when it happened and around 7% of burglaries were violent towards the member who was home. However, far more burglars prefer to enter when they know no one is home; the chances that they’ll be discovered and prosecuted are far greater if someone is home and they prefer to mostly get in and get out. Typically, the FBI says that the average loss per burglary is a little over $2,100, but if criminal justice expenses are added on top of that, the typical home invasion can cost a family almost $20,000! Additionally, about 60% of burglars forcibly broke into a home to gain access, but 30% simply walked in through an unlocked window, door, or other entryway without having to use force.
What Are Ways I Can Protect My Home Against Burglaries?
So what do these statistics tell us? First of all, lock everything when you leave the house. Most people think about locking their front door, but what about your back door? A sliding door that goes out to the deck? Your basement door? Your windows, even the ones on second or third floors? Window gates can also prevent burglars from smashing windows and entering that way.
Secondly, keep your key at least 20 feet away from the front door. Most burglars are going to go hunting for that spare key that most families keep for emergency. Don’t, for heavens sake, hide it under your doormat. Make the location semi-inconvenient — it’ll take more time for the burglar to find it, and hopefully they’ll be noticed by a passerby or neighbor. Change the location of your key as well, so that anyone staking out a home for a potential burglary won’t be able to pinpoint the key’s location.
Third, invest in a security system. High security alarm systems can often now send a signal straight to the police department if the home is broken into and police can be on the scene before you even make it home. Have an emergency plan in place as well, in case someone is home if your house is broken into. You want to make sure they’re safe and know what to do in the face of such an emergency.
Fourth, keep the bulk of your valuables that are easily stored away and not often used (cash, jewelry, etc.,) in a semi-difficult location or in a well-hidden area that’s changed fairly often.
Keeping your home and your family safe isn’t terribly hard to do. Just remember to remain alert and be prepared. Don’t skimp on security measures even if you think you live in a safe area — these types of things can happen anywhere.

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