In the past 10 years, the number of American home burglaries has declined. Whether that’s thanks to our economy or better security systems, it’s hard to say, but it does feel good to know that the number is going down. Unfortunately, we still haven’t eliminated burglary, and in 2016, the FBI stated there were around 1.5 million reported burglaries across the US. That’s still a pretty big number, and while renters and homeowners insurance policies can help to defray the cost of lost possessions, it’s hard to get over the anger and the feeling that your privacy was violated so abruptly. Since burglaries do still happen, it’s a good idea to set your house up to deter burglars as best you can. If you’re interested in keeping your home safe, here are five ways you can deter burglars from even seeing your home as a potential target:
Motion Sensor Light
Burglars and robbers like to be hidden when they’re doing their work—because it’s illegal. Installing a motion sensor light on your front door or garage is a great way to scare them away. Even if you’re not home, when that light comes on, everyone on the street can see them trying to break in. It’s a fairly inexpensive investment, and a surefire way to at least make burglars think twice about hitting your home.
Walk Around Your Home With the Lights On
Ever wondered what a burglar looks for when they’re casing a home? Turn the lights on in your home at night, open up the curtains, and take a walk around your house on the outside. You’ll be able to see exactly what a burglar sees when they’re looking at your home from the road. Now, have someone turn the lights off, and see what you see even when it’s dark. Chances are, more things are visible than you expected. This is a great way to see what stands out in your home, and it gives you an opportunity to move expensive, valuable items out from the direct sight line of the window. With those valuables out of sight, a burglar is less likely to target your home.
Don’t Post Travel Plans Online
Even though you’re really excited about your upcoming trip, try not to post too much about it online, especially if your account isn’t private. Burglars can see that you’ll be gone, a prime tip that tells them when it’s easy to strike. Wait to talk about your trip online until after you’ve returned, when you can post pics of the fun time you had from the comfort of your safe, unharmed home. Remember to have someone drive up your driveway to get the mail and check on the home regularly while you’re out of town — just another way to deter potential burglars.
Have Police do a Safety Check
You can call up your local police station and have an officer come by to tell you what aspects of your home could be made a bit safer. The police will do this for free, and it can be a great way to learn about some safety precautions you may not have considered. These safety checks are great because police officers regularly deal with robbers and burglars, and know what they look for. A police officer’s opinion can help out your home security quite a bit.
Home Security System
Probably one of the best ways to deter a burglar is to get a home security system. If a burglar knows your home is set to alarm, they’ll think twice about breaking in, and if they do break in, the alarm is often enough to scare them away. Make sure you set the alarm to sound after just 10 to 15 seconds, so they don’t have enough time to run through the house and grab obvious valuables before it goes off. If you’re not up for a security system just yet, posting an alarm notice in your front yard can be a mild deterrent. That way, burglars will think you have a home security system, even if you’re just bluffing.
Burglary and robbery are scary things to consider, but to keep your home and valuables protected, it’s a good idea to take a few safety precautions. And while we never want to consider something terrible happening to our home, it is a good idea to create a home inventory of the items in your home, and your valuables in particular. With a home inventory, you’ll be able to tell police exactly what was stolen, in the unfortunate event that a burglary does occur, and you’ll know what you can claim on your homeowner’s insurance policy.
For more information on how your homeowners or renters insurance policy covers you in the event of a robbery or burglary, get in touch with the experts at Doyle & Ogden. We work with the most reputable insurance agencies in the area to find you better coverage, at the right price, and we’re happy to help answer any insurance question you might have. Give our office a call at 616-949-9000 for more information, or request a free quote online today!