We live in times when we have to be more mindful about protecting our families and property. According to Gallup, since 2000, the percentage of households that have been victimized by crime ranges narrowly between 22% and 27%. Property theft (15%) and Vandalism (14%) top the list with burglary hovering around 6% nationally. According to crime-tracker professionals, neighborhood with a higher volume of vacant foreclosed homes tend to be particularly vulnerable.
So what can you do to protect your homes without breaking your wallet?Lets take a look.
Lock it up! Sounds silly to say, but did you know that law enforcement investigators cite unlocked doors and windows as the entry point for more than one-third of residential break-ins? A quick check of your locks and a sturdy bar for sliding glass doors or windows, and you’ve got a fast fix at ZERO cost that you can put in place today!
Clean it up! Don’t let whats OUTSIDE your home advertise whats INSIDE your home. Break Down the boxes for items such as a new high definition TV, stereo equipment or a new computer. It’s another FREE but smart solution to protect your family from criminals who cruise trash pickup days to target homes with new high-end purchases! Also be sure to shred financial documents before placing in your trash to eliminate cyber and credit card fraud.
Turn it down! Turn down your home phone’s ringer when you’re not home. Loud and persistent unanswered phones can often be heard outside and send a loud and clear message that you’re not home.
Trim it! Keep bushes and shrubbery trimmed low around your home, eliminating potential places for a burglar to hide while looking for ways to get inside your home.
Take it off! If you have your name on your mailbox, take it off! A theif can use your name to call 411 to very often get your home number to call you at home. The unanswered call can be a “thumbs-up” to indicate that no-one’s home. You’ll also want to safely drop your outgoing mail at the post office or in a postbox. Many theives cruise neighborhoods collecting outgoing mail to learn key financial information and credit card numbers ( Which can lead to identity theft) and use the checks from bill paying to commit check fraud.
Light it up! Consider installing motion sensor lighting on the perimeter of your home. Talk to your home improvement professionals about what lights would work best for your house. Look for adjustable sensitivity settings so that a prowling cat, flying bird or rustling trees dont easily trip the lights. While not free, there are many inexpensive brands, somein the $20 to $30 range.
These tips can help burglar- proof your home and provide a much-needed sense of security for your whole family.