20 Ways To Prevent Home Break-Ins & Burglaries

From AsYouAge

  1. 1.Make sure you have strong locks on your doors and windows - and use them faithfully (not only when you are away from the house, but also when you are at home). 

  2. 2.Don’t forget to lock the door that goes from your house to the garage, especially at night.

  3. 2.Keep your house looking lived in.  Have one or 2 indoor lights on a timer that you use all the time at night.  Install motion-detecting outdoor floodlights at entrances, on decks and in the back yard.  Make sure hiding spots like clusters of trees, detached garages or garden sheds are well-lit. 

  4. 3.Keep some curtains or blinds slightly open during the day - just enough to make it appear like someone is home.   Close your  curtains and blinds at night. Close and lock your windows, too, especially at night.

  5. 4.Don’t leave your purse, wallet, credit cards out where people can see them through windows and doors Be careful about telling people that you have cash or valuables in your home, or that you just got a new TV, stereo, computer or laptop. Cash and electronic gadgets, along with tools, home furnishings, building supplies, bikes and jewelry are most often taken in home burglaries.   

  6. 5.Cut the lawn and maintain the landscaping.  Trim the bushes all around your property to make your house more visible.  Keep shrubs in front of windows trimmed down so windows aren’t hidden from view. (Spiky low bushes like thorny barberry work well under main floor windows.)

  7. 6.Cut back tree branches near windows to prevent thieves from climbing the tree and using them to gain access to the house.

  8. 7.Don’t have large rocks or other heavy objects in your yard that would make it easier for a thief to gain entry into your house. Don’t store ladders outside.

  9. 8.Keep cars, tools, ladders, bikes and other equipment locked in the garage. Cover the windows in garage doors and entry doors so that thieves can’t see into the garage. Garages are a favorite target for thieves because they contain cars, bicycles and tools that are easy to fence. Also, garages are not likely to be occupied at night, so they make an easy target. Once thieves get into the garage, it's easy to get into other parts of the house.

  10. 9.Don’t leave trash cans, papers, packages or flyers lying out for several days. Bring in your trash cans after the trash has been picked up.  Take in the mail and paper daily.  Keep your garage door closed.  If you don’t have a garage door opener, keep the garage door locked.

  11. 10. Don’t hide extra keys under the door mat, under flower pots or in other conspicuous places outside your door.  It’s a much better idea not to hide a key outside at all, but leave an extra key with one or two neighbors you know and trust.

  12. 11. Don't be predictable in your daily activities. If you always leave at the same time every day, are gone for about the same length of time, and return at the same time, thieves can easily memorize your routine and take advantage of the times you are not at home.

  13. 12. If you will be gone for a few days, leave a locked car in you driveway to make it look like someone is home.  Make sure all keys, cameras, cell phones, valuable papers and the garage door opener are removed.

  14. 13. Don’t leave notes on your door when you are gone.  If you are going away for any length of time (including a hospital or rehabilitation stay), don’t announce it in emails or on Internet social networks. 

  15. 14. Install a security peephole in your door and use it faithfully.  Don’t unlock your door until you know who is at the door. Never let a stranger into the house. 

  16. 15. If you haven’t made an appointment and a delivery person or service person comes to your door, ask for identification.  Check them out by calling their company to verify they work there (use the number from a phone book or the yellow pages - not from a business card they may show you).  

  17. 16. Never tell someone that you are alone, you live alone, that you are leaving for an appointment, or that you will be gone for a few days. Whether they come to the door, call you on the phone or you talk with them when you are out in pubic, it’s none of their business. 

  18. 17. If a stranger knocks on your door and asks to use your telephone, keep the door locked and offer to make the call for him or her yourself.  Don’t let them into the house to make the call.

  19. 18. Consider an alarm system to discourage thieves. Depending on a  dog to bark at intruders is not nearly as effective or dependable as the shriek of a noisy security alarm. 

  20. 19. Don't have your name or anything beyond your house number on your mailbox or on the outside of your house

  21. 20. Ask your local police or fire department to conduct a free safety check of your house and grounds and ask for suggestions that will  help prevent burglaries.

Don’t put your name on a mail box.  Your house number and street is enough.

A barking dog may help keep strangers and burglars away from your door.  Loud alarms work even better.

Many people think that hiding a spare house key outside is a good idea.  Too often burglars know where the best hiding places are.  It’s a better idea to ask one or two neighbors you trust to keep a spare key for you in case you should need it.

Most burglars enter a house through the front or back door. Installing bright lights at entry points and keeping the exterior of the house well lit are two  simple and effective ways to help keep burglars from breaking in to your home.

Use These AsYouAge Tips

To Keep It Safe From Burglaries And Break-Ins

Home Break-Ins And Burglaries

Are Becoming Unfortunate Facts of Life

For most burglars, it’s not that difficult to break into a home.  In fact, burglars are more concerned about being seen than they are about getting into the house.  FBI studies show that almost every home has its weak points; and experienced thieves know how to find them and use them to gain access into your home.

The average loss in a residential burglary is about $1750 in value.  Only about 13% of home burglary cases are ever solved.

FBI Facts And Statistics

About Home Burglaries

  1. Every 15 seconds a home or residence is burglarized in the U.S.

  1. More than 70% of home burglars are white; 86% are male.

  1. Only about 13% of reported home burglaries are ever solved.

  1. More than 85% of all home burglaries occur in large metropolitan areas.

    - More than 36% of homes in the South have been burglarized.

    - More than 23% of homes in the West have been burglarized.

    - More than 22% of homes in the Midwest have been burglarized.

    - More than 19% of homes in the Northeast have been burglarized.

  1. More than 40% of residential burglaries that happen every year are not forced entries.  That means that a burglar was able to walk, climb or crawl inside of houses through a door, window or garage door that was left unlocked, open or had a flimsy lock.

  1. Most residential break-ins and burglaries happen in broad daylight -   between 9 AM and 3 PM.

  1. Victims of home burglaries lose an average of $1700 in cash or possessions.

  1. The number of home break-ins and burglaries increase significantly in the summer - especially in July and August.  During the hot summer months people are more likely to leave their windows open for ventilation; they also go on vacation  and don’t take necessary safety steps to keep their home safe while they’re gone.

  1. Burglars are more concerned about being seen by someone than they are about being able to break into it.

  1. Burglars usually get into the home through the front or back door - because the lock is inadequate or because the door isn’t even locked.

  1. Burglars do their homework when they choose their target houses:

    - They look for houses that look empty or have no activity going on

  1.   - They look for houses they can get into quickly

  2.   - They look for houses without dogs or alarm systems: they do not    

  3.       like loud sounds

  4.   - They look for houses that provide outside cover for them so they    

  5.      can get in without being seen or drawing attention to themselves.

Most burglaries happen during the day, between 9 AM and 3 PM.

Regaining A Sense Of Control

After Your Home Has Been Burglarized

Home break-ins and home burglaries are difficult and unsettling events to go through. Feelings of both fear and anger are common among homeowners whose homes have been invaded and whose valuables and precious memories have been taken from them.

There are several things you can do to help yourself regain a sense of control after your home has been burglarized.

  1. 1.Report the break-in and burglary to the police.

  2.   Reporting a crime is the first step toward emotional recovery    

  3.       after a burglary.  By taking action you’re taking back control.


  5. 2. Actively participate with the police in the investigation.

  6.     Make a complete list  and provide detailed descriptions    

  7.         (including any identifying marks) of the stolen items.

  8. 3.If your home has been ransacked, clean it up and rearrange your possessions.

  9.     Cleaning up and restoring order to your home after a break-in    

  10.         helps you reclaim your home and your possessions and

  11.         helps you fight against feeling like a victim.

  12.     Rearranging furniture, repainting a room or redecorating after a    

  13.         break-in or burglary is a way of coping with the event and    

  14.         moving forward.  (The old version of the house was broken    

  15.         into; this is the new version that hasn’t been violated.)

  16. 4.Take steps to improve your home security and take a self defense class.

  17.      Take action so this doesn’t happen to you again.  Making    

  18.         security improvements to your house; being more careful    

  19.         about locking windows and doors not only when you leave    

  20.         the house, but also when you are in it; taking a self defense    

  21.         class - all of these actions help restore your sense of security    

  22.         after a break-in and burglary.

Call the police as soon as it’s safe, and help them with the investigation. If you don’t report a crime, the criminal remains free to do the same thing to others.

After a burglary, it’s important to restore your sense of control. Clean up the mess, rearrange your possessions, and take steps to improve security in and around home.

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Prevent Home Break-Ins & Burglaries

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