It’s true that these days, much of America is unemployed or working from home. But the high unemployment rate and empty store shelves that have accompanied the coronavirus pandemic also mean that some people are getting desperate.
In addition to preparing your family with food and supplies, you should also be preparing to prevent house break-ins.
House Break-Ins Can Happen Anytime and Anywhere
Burglars will strike day and night, in all kinds of neighborhoods. They will often spend time researching an area and the patterns of its residents. Thieves are opportunistic, so you’ll want to take precautions with the interior and exterior of your home to discourage unwanted entry.
To make sure you and your family are safe, here are safety precautions to take:
- Walk around the outside of your home and look for weak spots where a thief could gain entry, like a window that’s often open or an old side door. Get these replaced or reinforced.
- Look in the windows of your house and see what’s easily spotted – computers, televisions, or artwork. Moving these items slightly out of view can make your house a less appealing choice for a break-in.
- Trim shrubbery and landscaping around the front door so that a burglar cannot easily hide when attempting to enter your home. Planting thorny flowers like roses or bougainvillea under your windows can deter burglars, as well.
- Put a fence around your property. Privacy fences will block some of your windows but are easy to climb and hide behind. Chain-link or aluminum fences provide a clear view of anyone trying to get away.
- Store bikes and cars in the garage if you have one. If not, make sure both are securely locked.
- Install bright motion sensor lighting on the corners of your home as well as a few security cameras.
- Be friendly with your neighbors. You both can benefit if you keep different schedules and are motivated to look out for each other. Great neighbors will notice if anything is amiss and will want to keep crime rates low.
- Keep your yard free of toys. Thieves can assume that your home is full of expensive video games, computers, and tablets.
- Keep your neighborhood clean and neat. Speak to your neighbors about helping if needed. Well-kept neighborhoods are less of a target.
- Always lock garages, exterior doors, and fence gates. Visible padlocks are the best choice.
- Make sure your house number is clearly visible so that if you call the police, they can easily identify which home is yours. This makes getting away harder for a burglar.
- Check the security of your current door and window locks, and replace those that are weak or old. Add deadbolts to exterior doors and vertical bolts to sliding doors. You can also put a piece of wood or a metal rod in the track of your sliding door to prevent someone from pushing it open.
- Anytime you move into a new place, change the locks. It’s impossible to know how many copies of keys were made in the past.
- Invest in a safe or lockbox for your valuables. If it is small, bolt it to the floor so that someone cannot walk out with it. Don’t keep the combination posted anywhere in your house.
- Avoid labeling your keys or leaving spare keys hidden outside your home. Use a combination lockbox or a combination door lock set.
- Add shutters, curtains, or privacy film to windows around front doors to prevent people from looking in.
- Purchase a home security system, but speak to your family about false alarms. You’ll want to be careful not to set it off unintentionally.
- Turn the volume on your doorbell down, and leave a radio on low near the front door. This way if someone rings the bell to assess if you are home, they won’t be able to tell.
- Keep lights on timers so that they go on even if you are not home.
- When going on vacation, don’t tell the whole world about your trip. Stay off social media!
Make your home too much of a hassle for thieves to consider it, and don’t leave clues out about what you have inside. You will greatly reduce your chances of a break-in and protect your valuables.
What other safety precautions do you take? We'd love to hear from you in the comments section!
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