By Hometown Insurance
You can take simple crime and burglary prevention steps to help ensure the safety and security of you, your family and your property. How prepared are you against burglary and fire emergencies? Did you know that many burglaries and break-ins are crimes of opportunity where the burglar lets themselves in through unlocked doors or windows? Some people believe a home is ten times more likely to be burglarized without basic security. Because criminals are opportunists who will take advantage of opportunities to steal, taking simple steps can go a long way in increasing your home and family security.
In addition to a monitored home security system, easy steps can help to protect your home and family from burglary, fire and intrusion.
Steps to Increase Your Family Safety and Home Security.
- Burglary Prevention 101 -Two thirds of intruders gain entry through a door. Keep all doors locked at all times, even when you’re at home with family or alone, especially interior garage doors.
- Always install quality locks on your doors and windows. Window locks that are easily seen from outside may deter thieves because they would have to break the glass and risk attracting attention and cutting themselves climbing through a broken window or glass door.
- To prevent burglars from entering sliding doors, place a pipe or broom handle in the bottom track of the door slide. The pipe or handle should be almost as long as the track. Unless they already have a multi-locking system, sliding patio doors should also be fitted with anti-lift devices with locks on the top and bottom to stop them from being removed from outside.
- Many burglaries happen when a house is empty. If you leave your home for an extended period of time, create the illusion that someone is there. Use timer switches to turn on lights, radios and other appliances. If you’re going on a trip, cancel any mail or newspaper deliveries, or get a friend or neighbor to keep an eye on your home. Ask them to collect your mail and draw your curtains at night and open them in the mornings to make your home look lived-in.
- One of the most intrusive and dangerous forms of burglary occurs when somebody pretends to be a legitimate worker, for example from a utility company, and tricks their way into homes. Protect yourself against this by fitting a door chain or bar and door viewer (spy-hole), and use them.
- Don’t leave spare keys under doormats, potted plants or any other obvious outdoor location. Burglars have experience and know exactly where to look. Find an uncommon place to hide the keys or give a set to someone that you can really trust, such as a friend or neighbor.
- Always keep your garage doors closed, even when you are home.
- When you go out in the evening, leave your lights on and shut the curtains.
- Develop the habit of performing a security review before leaving your home. Check to make sure all of your doors and windows are locked, that candles and fires are completely extinguished and that any potentially hazardous appliances are turned off and unplugged.
- Don’t leave notes for service people or family members on the front door, mailbox or garage as these are beacons to potential burglars that you are not home.
- Ensure that your street address is clearly visible so that responding emergency personnel can easily identify your home.
- Install exterior security lighting to keep your home well-lit on the outside. If other people can see your property a burglar may think twice.
- Keep your tools and ladders out of sight and securely locked up. A burglar could use them to get into your house.
- Increasingly, burglars are breaking in to steal expensive cars. Make sure your car keys are inaccessible and, if you have a garage, keep your car in it rather than in the driveway.
- Don’t leave empty boxes of new purchases outside your home that indicate new and valuable equipment that may be attractive to a potential burglar.
Contact your helpful Hometown Insurance Independent Insurance agent to review your theft coverage on your homeowners or renters insurance and inquire about group discounts for Firefighters, EMTs and other community helpers by calling 1-800-568-SAVE (7283) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org