It’s not something we like to think about, but banks, businesses, and other commercial locations aren’t at the top of robbers’ list of places to break in. In the vast majority of cases, they’re stealing stuff from residential homes, according to the most recent data published by the FBI. Out of 2 million burglaries reported in 2010, nearly 74 percent were committed on residential properties.
You can take steps to make your home more secure against burglaries in less time than you may think. Here are several important measures you can implement within 2 days or less.
1. Make your security system visible. There’s a good chance you may have an alarm system on your home. Besides regularly activating it when you leave the home, consider installing surveillance cameras at different points of your property. Don’t try to hide them. Likewise, make sure your alarm company installs stickers in places where they are visible. Taking these measures could deter criminals from trying to break into your home, according to a study by the University of North Carolina. Out of 400 convicted felons surveyed, 83 percent said they would try to find out if a home had an alarm before trying to burglarize it. And 60 percent said they would try to find another target if there was evidence of an alarm.
If you already have an alarm system, it should only take a day or two to get some of those decals from your alarm company. Posting them on your home takes just a few minutes. And if you don’t have a security system, it’s time to get one. A professional can install a security system and those cameras in a day or two.
2. Secure your doors, garage doors and windows. Surprisingly, many burglary victims didn’t make sure their windows and doors were locked. Although 60.5 percent of burglaries were classified as forcible entry, 33.2 percent were unlawful entries — meaning that the burglars entered through unlocked doors, windows and garages. Also, if you regularly park your vehicle on the street, make sure you don’t leave your garage door remote in the vehicle. A burglar could break into the car as a way to get into the house. It only takes a minute to adopt these preventative security habits.
3. Regularly maintain garage doors. In some neighborhoods across the nation, police are reporting that burglaries of garages are spiking. In Spokane, Wash., for example, 180 burglaries of garages were reported in August of 2015 — compared to an average of 150. Have your garage inspected annually to ensure that it’s not vulnerable to break-ins.
An inspection should include checks on all of the parts, including springs, tracks and cables, to ensure they are properly operating and secure. Schedule an appointment with a garage door professional to conduct the inspection, and ask how secure your overall garage is against intrusions. An inspection and any potential maintenance only will take a couple of hours.
With some simple precautions, as well as a few changes around your home, you can help you discourage criminals from trying to burglarize your property. And it only takes a couple of days or less.