According to the FBI, the rate of burglaries fell by over 30 percent between 2007 and 2016. Whether or not this drop in crime has anything to do with law enforcement or stiffer penalties is uncertain, but there are ways you can reduce the chances of being burglarized. Here are some of the strategies security experts recommend to homeowners to deter burglars and robbers:
Install Security Devices
If you own a home, one of the best things you can do to prevent burglaries from happening is to install a home security system. Over the years, technology has allowed remote sensors to become virtually unidentifiable to the naked eye. If you do install a security system, it is best that you advertise the fact somewhere in front of your house to alert potential criminals to stay away. Should they decide to try and enter your home, the police will automatically be contacted as loud alarms warn the neighborhood. At this point, the burglars are trying desperately to get as far away from your home as possible and they certainly won’t be back to try their luck again.
Keep Travel Plans Offline
Social media is great for sharing pictures and stories, but you should not share your travel itinerary online. Criminals are more likely to strike when they know you aren’t home, and posting your vacation days on Facebook is similar to taking out an ad in the newspaper. Discussing travel plans with a friend in a public place is also a bad idea. If a criminal overhears your conversation, they could easily follow you back home and come back when you’re gone.
Reinforce Your Locks
Deadbolts and security chains can help reinforce your door in its most vulnerable spots. Handles with locks that prevent the knob from turning do not stop forced entries very well. However, a door that has a deadbolt can withstand a significant amount of force without breaking. Grade one or grade two locks should be used for doors that can be accessed outside your house as these are more difficult to lock-pick.
Dogs are great deterrents because criminals don’t know if your dog is nice or mean, and they’ve been effective at deterring criminals for over 100 years. If a burglar is going to pick a random house, they are significantly less likely to pick a house with a dog. That’s because dogs are unpredictable, and they’re also smart. They may seem friendly to every stranger you pass on a walk, but they can sense when something isn’t right, and they feed off of their owner’s energy.
Consider Using a Safe
If the above deterrents don’t stop a burglar from gaining access to your house, a safe is a great way to make sure the criminals can’t easily steal your most valuable possessions. Safes are heavy and it’s unlikely that a burglar will take the time to carry the safe to a distant location. Instead, they will probably just grab what they can and get out before they get noticed.