There are more than 3 million home burglaries a year in the United States. In a third of the cases, a person living in the home was present at the time of the burglary. Fortunately, most thieves are not professionally trained or experienced. While you may not always be able to prevent a burglary from happening to you, there are 5 simple and inexpensive ways to discourage a thief from breaking into your home.
Change your locks
This is only necessary if you've only recently moved into a new home or if you or someone in your family has misplaced a key. It's always a good safety measure to change all the locks in a new home because you don't know if the previous owners had given a forgotten key to someone. Chances are slim that a lost key on a sidewalk will allow someone to realize it's easy access to your home, but for peace of mind, call a trusted locksmith like Saguaro Lock & Safe and change all of your locks. If you or someone in your home is handy, new doorknobs, deadbolts and locks can be purchased at a home improvement store and installed yourself.
Install security bars on patio doors and windows
It should go without saying that locking windows and doors to your house is a necessity in deterring a burglar from entering, but in approximately 30 percent of home break-ins a thief makes his entrance through an unlocked window or door. A free safety precaution is to always lock windows and doors when you're not home and at night, whether you're home or not.
For additional security, security bars for patio doors are fairly cheap. They can be purchased at any home improvement store and are more secure than just a ruler or block of wood jammed in the track. Some actually make it impossible for a patio door to be lifted from its track, which believe it or not, is a not-so-difficult way some burglars get into homes.
There are many different types of window bars that can be purchased depending on the type of windows you have on your home. Windows are not made with storm shutters anymore, which makes it easier for a burglar to break in even through a locked window. A security latch or bar is going to ensure that your lock holds up in the event someone tries to force it open.
Update outside lights to motion detector models
Most people who try to break into homes are amateurs who just happen to walk or drive by a house they think looks like it has goods worth stealing. This usually means that they will be easily scared off. Changing your outdoor lights to motion detection lights will scare many thieves away—they want to avoid detection and if there's a spotlight on them, a neighbor or someone driving by may easily see them trying to gain access to your home.
Buy a self-installed home security system
Having a company come and wire your home with a whole house security system is extremely costly and not something many people can fit into their budget. Fortunately, technology has made it easy for people to purchase and install their own security systems. Some self-installed security systems just make a loud noise if an exterior window or door is opened but some can be monitored by a third-party company to alert law enforcement if the alarm is set off. Regardless of the type you choose, majority of burglars will run at the first sign of an alarm system.
If even a self-installed security system is not in your budget, consider purchasing a sticker for your front window that claims your home has a security system. That simple strategy may deter a potential thief from attempting to break in to your home.
Purchase a safe
The actual cost of one of those fire and water proof safes is a little pricey, but this is good added protection should a thief actually make it inside your home. By keeping important personal identity documents, cash on hand, and other precious belongings on hand in a safe, a thief will most likely not waste his time trying to decipher your security code. Your televisions, DVD players, etc., may end up being theirs for the taking, but at least family heirlooms and your identity will mostly be protected.
Home burglaries are on the rise, but that doesn't mean it has to happen to you. Being vigilant and taking these small steps may frighten off anyone who is looking to break into your home.