How to Keep criminals OUT of your home!
Many people think it will never happen to them, however according to the FBI a home is broken into every 14 seconds. Luckily, there are a lot of simple and affordable things you can do right now to prevent this from ever happening to you and your family!
1.) Advertise You Have An Alarm... (Even if you don't.)
Typically, criminals are looking for the path of least resistance. When they see that a home may have an alarm on it, chances are they will move on to the next home, says Dr. Paul Cromwell, a criminology professor at the University of South Florida Polytechnic. The alarm system doesn't even need to be monitored, but having a sign in your yard or a sticker on your windows or even better both can go a long way to deterring a criminal.
2.) Showcase Fido
Most criminals don't like the thought of having to deal with a dog, whether it's a Chihuahua or a 90lb German shepherd. Just having a "BEWARE OF DOG" sing out front of your home can also deter criminals.
3.) Use Your Locks!
Simply having locks on your doors is not enough... You have to use them! This may sound obvious but 28% of burglars don't have to use force to get into a home, they simply walk through the door or climb through a window. So make sure you always secure your doors & windows!
4.) Make Sure You Have the Right Locks
The Department of Justice statistics show that 73% of forcible entries involve damage to the door. To make sure this doesn't happen to you, make sure you have the proper hardware on your doors. You should never rely on a handle (knob or lever) to secure an exterior door to your home. You should have a deadbolt on every exterior door to your home, that’s properly installed with a strike plate that is also installed correctly, secured with at least 3" screws directly into the studs.
5.) Fortify Your Windows
Leaving your windows open is like a welcome sign to a burglar, however living in Southwest Florida we are provided with some beautiful weather so there are a few things you can do to still enjoy the weather without compromising your homes security such as; locks that secure to the track of the window that only allow the window to open so far as to prevent a burglar from climbing through, you can also add laminate to older windows to prevent the glass from being easily broken by a criminal.
6.) Guard Your Garage
Just because you may not use your garage as an entrance doesn't mean a burglar won't. Especially if you have a door that leads from the inside of the garage into your home, you should make sure there is a deadbolt that secures this door. Your garage can become a hidden enclave for a criminal where he can take his time and use your tools to gain access to your home.
7.) Use a Time
Ninety-nine out of 100 criminals will avoid a home if they think someone is in it, says Cromwell. To accomplish this you can put lights on a timer so that they switch on when you are away from your home. You can also hook your TV up to a timer which will also create noise inside the home adding to the possibility a criminal will think it is occupied.
8.) Maintain your Landscaping
There is a fine line between maintaining your privacy and maintaining good security around your home. You don't want to have bushes that cover your windows or doors that would allow a criminal to hide behind while breaking into your home. So make sure you keep your landscaping pruned as much as possible in areas like this. Also, you may want to consider prickly plants such as hollies, and trimming climbable branches from mature trees.
9.) Install "Surprise" Lights
Lights that are activated via a Motion sensor are an excellent deterrent to criminals. Not only is it a surprise, it creates the feeling that someone may now be watching you.
"The single best way to keep burglars at bay is to make your home appear difficult to break into. Thieves are just looking for an easy target." - Dr. Paul Cromwell, Criminology Expert