A lock only keeps honest people out
As the saying goes, “A lock only keeps honest people out.” Anyone who really wants to break into your home will. Most likely, a burglar isn’t targeting you in particular. He’s looking for an easy mark. Don’t put out the burglar welcome mat. Here are some tips to make your home unappealing to burglars and precautions to take in case they should they get in.
The first point of entry is usually the front door. The next most favored entry points are terrace doors and windows. Bear in mind, it typically takes 15 seconds for a seasoned burglar to break in. He will likely move on if he isn’t able to get into your home within two to five minutes. Solid doors with good bolts and windows with locks make it more difficult and time consuming.
Don’t forget to lock your garage and garden sheds. You don’t want to provide burglars with the tools to get in.
Be on the lookout
Be suspicious of people who come to your door trying to sell you something, asking for work or looking for a handout. It might be a stake out. If this does happen, be extra vigilant over the next few weeks.
Thank goodness for nosy neighbors. If a burglar has the sense that neighbors are watching out for each other, they will likely move on. Let your neighbors know if you are going out of town.
Sound the alarm
Alarm warning signs are a good deterrent. Burglars are unlikely to take the risk that you don’t actually have or didn’t turn on your alarm system.
Get a dog! Burglars don’t like them at all. A “beware of dog” sign is a good burglar repellant. The sound of barking when they knock on the door is even better.
Don’t advertise you are on vacation
If a burglar knows you are on vacation, they can take their time cleaning you out.
Use timers to turn lamps on and off so that it looks like someone is home.
Never – never – post your whereabouts on social media.
Shed a light on crime
Though most break ins happen during the day, burglars also like to work in the dark. Motion sensors mounted outside may make your house seem risky enough that a burglar decides to move on.
Overgrown foliage or hedges provide great cover. You may want to rethink your landscaping.
Hide your valuables
The first room a burglar targets is usually the master bedroom where most people keep their jewelry, collectibles, cash and safes. Think of storing these items in another room. Speaking of safes, they should either be bolted to the floor or too heavy to carry.
Put car keys away. You don’t want to provide burglars with a get-away car.
Know what you have and be ready to prove it
Keep an inventory of your belongings, take photos of particularly valuable or one-of-a-kind possessions, and write down the serial numbers of electronic devices and appliances. This will help police relocate your valuables should you be robbed.
Keep receipts of anything not nailed down. Have expensive jewelry, silver, artwork, antiques, etc., professionally appraised.
Safeguard your identity!
Credit and debit cards, old checks, tax returns, bills and even medical information can all be used to hijack your credit cards and bank account. Don’t leave this kind of information in unlocked drawers or easily identifiable in filing cabinets. Shred sensitive documents. Keep your passport, birth certificates, marriage license and social security information in a safety deposit box.
This article originally appeared on Allianz.