Have you or anyone you know been victimized by home burglary? The US Department of Justice warns that more than two million households become victims of burglary each year. In many cases, a family member is in the house during the break-in. The impact of the incident to the victim’s’ financial and psychological well-being cannot be understated.
Unfortunately, security experts say that thieves tend to return to a house they’ve entered before as they know there are other valuables left. Some burglars know when stolen items may have been replaced by insurers, giving them a reason to break into the same house. Know what to do after someone breaks into your house.
If your home had been burglarized, here is a 10-point guide on how to secure your house again.
There is something more important than your home safety: YOUR safety. This is not a time to play a Marvel superhero. Don’t enter your home during or immediately after a break-in. Call the police at once. Wait for them outside your property or in a neighbor’s house. Your home shall be the subject of investigations so don’t do anything (like touching items) that will disrupt the collection of evidence.
Update your home security software
What to do after your house has been robbed? Do a security sweep in every corner of your house. Change locks and bolts as well as your passwords and pincodes. If you already had an alarm system, you should evaluate it so that you can cover any weaknesses that the burglars may have taken advantage of. Seek the services of a professional if you must.
Get a guard dog
Getting an indoor dog doesn’t mean you can do away with home alarm systems. However, dogs are unhackable and they offer protection that basic home security devices cannot.These reliable pets are also unpredictable as they may or may not bite intruders. Expert dog trainers recommend several breeds of dogs for household protection including the bullmastiff, doberman pinscher, rottweiler and komondor.
Secure all entryways
One of the things to do after a break-in is to boost your home security because some burglars do come back. According to home security experts, 34% of burglars enter through the front door while 23% use first-floor windows. Take no chances this time. Secure all entryways around the perimeter. You should also utilize a second layer of defense such as motion detectors so that if they manage to get through the first layer, the motion detectors will pick up their movement inside the home. If you have pets, get sensors that can detect pet movements to avoid false alarms.
Consider double-key bolt locks
A double-key deadbolt requires a key both upon entry and exit. Although a thief may break in, it’ll be hard to get out without a key (unless they break down the door or jump from the window). These kinds of door locks are effective home security devices but may be an obstruction during emergencies such as fires and earthquakes. Make sure you know where you keep your keys. These may not be safe for every situation.
Explore sliding door safety measures
You may find difficulty securing your sliding door as it only has a small latch lock on one side. Burglars don’t typically smash glass doors to avoid alerting people so you need to focus on securing the lock. Install a slide-locking bar that keeps the door shut even if burglars were able to damage the latch. Don’t forget to have an alarm monitoring system in entryways including your patio sliding doors.
Observe proper cash control
The Portland Police Bureau advises proper cash control to prevent residential burglary. Keep only the amount of cash you’d need for your normal daily expenses. You may purchase cash vaults for money, bonds, jewelry and other valuables. Otherwise, deposit these at the bank.
Install a high-quality surveillance camera
Portland police discourages the use of fake cameras. If your bluff didn’t work the first time, there’s no way it’s going to protect your house when burglars come back. Ask for wireless surveillance cameras and other security devices at a top alarm systems store. With new innovations, you may now monitor your home 24/7 via the Internet. Check your bedroom, porch and garage through your smartphone while you’re away.
Keep your valuables out of public eye
You wouldn’t want a burglar to know that you’ve just bought a new entertainment system or where you keep your jewelry. Avoid burglary by using privacy curtains in all rooms. It may also consider strategic landscaping to discourage thieves from breaking into your home. Trim bushes to the minimum and place loose gravel to alert you when someone is on your property. In your porch, mount security lights that can automatically turn on and off via motion sensors.
Next time you’re on vacation, don’t let burglars know it
Today, criminals can simply log into social media to know their next targets. Protecting your home requires vigilance and lot of common sense. Don’t advertise your out-of-town trips and prolonged absence from your residence. This also goes both for your Facebook account and answering machine. You can post your overseas vacation photos when you get back. As additional protection, you can purchase battery-powered lamps that automatically turn on when it gets dark outside. Explore home security systems that you can monitor and control remotely.
A study at the Rutgers University School of Criminal Justice reported that home security systems help decrease the rate of residential burglaries. The findings noted that “a burglar alarm, as a target‐hardening measure of situational crime prevention, not only protects the home without displacing burglary to nearby houses, but in fact also provides these other houses with protection from burglars.”
Despite the need for a security system, many households still fail to install even a basic alarm device. The main consideration is cost. However, there are a lot of choices in the market that suit various needs and budgets. You can even opt for DIY home security systems to save costs. These alarm systems will often be the same exact systems that the professionals would install at a fraction the cost. Compare products, prices and services online. You may also check customer reviews to have an idea whether you’re choosing the right items. Most importantly, seek professional advice if you feel the need to do so. Remember that the safety of your family and your home is at stake here.