Erin Doman on December 31, 2015 0 Comments In the United States, a home burglary happens every 15 seconds. However, there are methods of protecting yourself and your belongings by deterring burglars in the first place. Unfortunately, if a home invasion were to occur, much of the damage does not just result from those items stolen from the home. Many home intruders cause significant internal damage to the home and can steal computers or documents that store priceless memories. It turns out that most burglars are lazy and look for the easy, low risk homes to rob. With a little effort, you can make most burglars pass your home up when they are looking for somewhere to rob. Take the following six easy steps to keep your home, possessions and family safe from burglary. 1. Outdoor Lighting Criminals seek homes that can be easily entered without detection. A simple way to protect your home, especially during the night, is to install lights outside your home. Start by installing lights by the major entrances to your home, including your front, back and side doors. It would be especially wise to use a continuous light for the front door and motion sensor lights for the back and side doors. Solar panels make it easy for you to install a motion sensor light anywhere on your home, even if you do not have power or an outlet near the light. Simply choose a spot on your house that has direct sunlight where you can install the light. These panels store enough electricity to power the motion sensor light during the night. Light, especially motion-sensor light, draws attention to burglars and makes them avoid your home. 2. While You’re Away Vacation can be one of the most dangerous times for home security. All it can take is a few glances to notice that the lights are off in your home for multiple nights in a row. Some residents have taken advantage of new timer systems that will automatically turn on lights in your home at specified times. These lights will trick burglars into thinking that your home is occupied. These timers save electricity because they help you avoid leaving a light on the entire time you are away from home. 3. Advertising Your Absence Although you might not realize it, you may be announcing to criminals when your home will be unoccupied and easy to rob. Make sure to be careful about where you announce your schedule and your upcoming vacations. Even though you might be able to trust whomever you are telling about your schedule, if you are telling a friend or family member in a public place, you will not know who else is listening into your conversation. It is best to limit your conversations that involve when you will be away from home to only those whom you trust and in private settings. Social media can make it easy for burglars to know when you are away from your home. For example, you might post a picture of yourself at the beach or away at a cabin online. If your friend shares your picture or message, others will know that you are away from home instantly. The same can apply to your day-to-day schedule. If you tell the world about where you are on each day of the week, you might be telling a burglar when to best rob your home. The best path as a homeowner to take is to limit any personal information that you share online. Avoid giving personal details about your possessions, home and schedule to social media sites. If you cannot avoid sharing those kinds of details, make sure that you share these messages privately and only to those that you really know. 4. Security Camera System A decade ago, it was not all that common for the average home to have a security camera system in place. Today, new technologies in digital cameras and wireless transmission of video have made installing a surveillance system around your home easy and affordable. You can buy a set of four or five video cameras that are small, easy to conceal and easy to install. These devices will wirelessly send and record video online so that you can view your home while you are traveling. You can customize alerts to match your needs. One of the helpful options that many residents enjoy is to get alerts when there is motion detected by your cameras. These alerts can be sent via text message to your phone, and you can easily check if there is a dangerous intruder or a cat at your front door. Additionally, these pictures and videos can be stored online so that you always have a record to which you can refer. 5. Trees and Bushes One of the major fears of burglars is being seen before, during or after a crime. You might not realize it, but your house might have plenty of places where criminals can hide, including trees and bushes. These plants might seem integral to your landscaping, but unfortunately they might make it easy for intruders to conceal themselves. When reevaluating the layout and components of your yard, know that you do not need to remove all the plants from around your home. Instead, focus on big plants next to entrances to your home or backyard. These are the plants that create the most risk for your home. With a little planning, your landscape can be beautiful as well as add to the safety of your home. 6. Door and Window Locks The entrances to your home can be prime targets for home intruders. In certain documented cases, burglars have gone from home to home, only entering the homes that were unlocked. As stated before, the criminal is looking for the low-hanging fruit. Invest in durable door and window locks. For doors, invest in a strong deadbolt. If you are afraid of getting locked out, install a keypad system with a high security code of your choosing. Window locks come in many shapes and sizes and can be as easy and affordable as sticking a wood dowel in the window channel. Keeping your windows and doors secure is a major step in protecting your home. How to Protect Your Home Take the time to protect your home, and you will enjoy the peace and security of a safe home. New technology has made it affordable and easy to make your home secure. With a little effort, you can rest easy that your home and belongings remain safe and your family unharmed.