Help Make Your Home Burglar Proof

Posted in: Personal Insurance

According to FBI statistics, burglaries of residential properties account for 73.2 percent of all burglary offenses, and victims suffered an estimated $3.9 billion in property losses. Also, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reports seasonal variation in household burglary victimization rates, which tends to be about 11 percent higher in the summer than during the rest of the year.

At PSA, we help our clients decide which insurance option best fits their needs.  With the proper insurance they can rest assured that if they experience a burglary, they’ll be covered – but prevention is always best. By taking a few simple precautions, whether you are on vacation or just out and about, you can substantially reduce your chances of becoming a burglary victim.

Generally thieves are lazy and avoid difficult jobs. Smart homeowners make it difficult.

Vacation Precautions

  • Remove valuables from your home. Put into a safe deposit box or leave with a relative or friend.
  • Join a citizen watch or hire a house sitter.
  • Ask a neighbor to pick up delivered items while away.
  • If possible, stop deliveries while you are away – including mail and newspapers.
  • Have your lawn cut and watered in hot weather.
  • Reduce phone volume so it cannot be heard outside. Or redirect calls to another number. Or disconnect the phone.
  • If taking a cab to the airport, mention to the driver your trip will be short and your home occupied while you are gone.
  • When you return, walk around the home before entering. Check windows, doors, welcome mat, any clue something has been disturbed. If you see evidence of any entry. Go straight to a neighbor’s home and phone police.
  • Don’t post on social networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) that you will be away on vacation.

Good Security Habits

  • Vary your daily routine. Walk the dog at different times; vary lights left on when you leave home.
  • Keep house keys, car keys and your address separated. When you park in a garage that holds your keys, or have your auto serviced, leave only your ignition keys.
  • Keep keys in-hand and ready to use when approaching car or door.
  • Leave at least one light on all night. Do not leave it on during the day or burglars will think you are on vacation.
  • Give only a work number if you must give strangers a phone number.
  • Watch for oddities – a car circling a block. Record the license information.
  • Report any crime you see to the police; you would want others to do the same.

Personal Precautions

  • Photograph small, expensive items along with your driver’s license to make identification easy.
  • Hide valuables in unlikely places – in refrigerator, behind a baseboard. Burglars first look under beds, in medicine cabinets, in night stands and dressers.
  • Store valuables where not visible through a window.
  • Leave cheap decoy jewelry in an accessible place.
  • Even if you do not have a dog, keep a dog bowl and/or leash outside. Burglars will be less likely to break into a home if they know there is a dog inside. You can also post a “Beware of Dog” sign.
  • Keep suitcases locked, even when empty, so they can’t be used to carry away belongings.
  • Consider installing automated lighting which can be turned on before you enter a dark house.
  • Don’t program your exact address in GPS as “Home.”
  • Always use a deadbolt lock.
  • Leave big work boots outside a door to give the impression that a large male lives in the home.
  • Install a home security system. Depending on the type of system, it can cost between $100 and $500, which is a fraction of the cost if your home is burglarized.

We recommend following these precautions to help deter burglars from breaking into your home and becoming one of the millions of victims. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at john@psafinancial.com.