Home break-ins are unfortunately very common: According to the Burglary Prevention Council, across the country, a burglary will occur roughly every 15 seconds. This kind of crime can happen in any neighborhood, so it's important for individuals to keep the risk in mind. And while it perhaps isn't possible to eliminate the risk of a break-in entirely, there are a number of strategies that can be implemented by homeowners to lower the chances of a burglary occurring.
If you are keen to learn more about the ways you can make your home more secure, read on. We've compiled a list of seven effective tips:
1. Don't hide a key
It is easy to become secure and complacent, particularly if your neighborhood experiences little crime. The age old tactic of hiding a spare key – under the mat or a potted plant, for example – is actually a risky one, Consumer Reports noted. This is for the obvious reason that burglars will often look in those places first, in a bid to secure easy entry to your home. Don't take the risk by hiding the key – give it to a friend or family member instead.
2. Install a security system
This may seem like obvious advice, but it is surprising how few homes have working alarms and/or security systems. As detailed by Money Supermarket, alarms are one of the best defenses your home can have. They range in price and scope, from basic to sophisticated, so you should be able to find something that suits your budget.
3. Use more secure locks
Home improvement store chain Lowes advised investing in deadbolt locks for your front and back doors to strengthen the protections already in place. Given that standard locks are at risk of being tampered with, deadbolt locks can serve as another line of defense against burglars, giving you peace of mind in the process.
4. Maintain your yard
While trees, bushes and shrubbery can improve your home's curb appeal, if you let it grow out of control you are providing more spaces for intruders to hide, Bankrate argued. Consequently, it helps to keep your plants trim and tidy, as well as trying your hardest to remove areas where a burglar could potentially hide.
5. Always keep entry points locked
According to an article from Safewise, a surprising amount of burglaries occur – some 30 percent– after a criminal accesses the home via an unlocked door or window. That's why simply ensuring that all door and windows are locked before you leave your home is so important. Indeed, don't become complacent – you may live in a safe neighborhood, and you may be tempted to leave that window open to let in a spring breeze while you run to the store, but that's a mistake, as the risk of a break in remains. After all, it's better to be safe than sorry.
6. Post signs
Having signage from a security company around your property can definitely help deter criminals. This is an effective strategy, even if you don't necessarily have a security system in place!
7. Don't publicize your absence
As advised by Money Supermarket, it is important not to advertise your travel plans. Very often burglars will live close by, and they may be attuned to your absence – whether it's for a long vacation or business trip – so it's wise to be discreet as possible. Ask trusted or neighbors or friends to check in your home while you're gone, and try not to tell too many people that you will be leaving. As the source noted, this means refraining from publicizing your travel plans in detail on social media.