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Home security consists of the measures that prevent potential intruders from entering your house. It can be as simple as a lock or contain various layers to make it even more difficult for the criminals from harming you.
These surprising statistics by FBI will surely make you think twice about your safety:
- A burglary occurs every 14.6 seconds in the US.
- There are over 5,400 burglaries, per day.
- 73.9% of all burglaries were on residential property.
- Of residential burglaries where a time was known, 65% were during the day.
- The highest rate of property crime occurs in the South region (which includes Atlanta and D.C.). According to the data compiled by the FBI, there were 3438.8 property crimes per 100,000 inhabitants in the South region of the United States in 2010.
- Property crimes in 2010 resulted in an estimated loss of $15.7 billion dollars. Burglaries accounted for $4.6 billion in lost property.
- 60.5% of burglaries are a forcible entry.
- 33.2% of burglaries are unlawful entries. This refers to burglaries where no forcible entry was noticeable.
These statistics make securing your home, all the more important. Ensuring that your house is protected in the best possible way, not only helps you to deter criminals from your home and prevent robberies; it also gives you a sense of security and peace of mind.
It saves your valuables and the lives of your loved ones since burglars can even attack you if you get to know about their presence. For your own and your family’s security, it is important to lay emphasis on the security of your house.
We don’t ever imagine ourselves as a victim of any kind of crime and so did these people. While these are the statistics of 2010, thefts and burglaries are constantly on the rise.
Before you too become one of the statistics, take some precautionary steps against it.
Internal Security Measures for Houses
Some quick internal security measures which can make your house much more secure than what it is now:
Common sense (which is not so common):
The most obvious thing is to lock all the doors and windows when you go away.
While, this is the most obvious thing to do, many of us forget to lock all of them. Also, remember to lock your garage and backdoor too, as one easily tends to forget locking them and they become easy to access points for the criminals.
Get your basics right:
Install durable and well-installed deadbolt locks and peepholes that are of good quality. The deadbolt lock should have at least one and a half inch horizontal bolt and try getting a Grade1 or Grade2 deadbolt.
Also, consider using locks with an anti-saw pin so that the thief cannot saw through the bolt.
Secure your windows:
Secure your windows by using key locks. Windows can also be made safer by coating them with an impact-resistant film.
Also, you can install stops to prevent them from opening more than 6 inches and everyone in your family should know how to remove the stops in case of an emergency exit.
Install a good and reliable home security system:
It is probably the most obvious and best way to protect your home from unwanted intrusions. They don’t make your home full-proof from crimes, but they increase the risk of burglars from getting detected.
They usually include a combination of motion sensors and door and window contacts that connect back to a home alarm device and protect you 24/7. If someone tries to break into your house, it will trigger the alarm and have it connected to your phone; the company’s monitoring centre will be notified of the emergency.
If you already have one, don’t put the stickers which indicate which type of security system you have, instead just use generic stickers which indicate ‘protected by a security alarm’ or something similar, so that the thieves know you have your house protected.
External Security Measures
Don’t do the obvious:
Many of us hide a spare key, in and around our house to prevent getting locked out. This just simply gives the criminals an easy way to your house.
The doormat, plant pots, mailboxes and door ledges are the most common places, the thieves look out for. Instead of this, you can leave your spare key at one of your trusted neighbour or a friend’s house.
Don’t make it easy to hide:
Try not to keep high shrubs around your house and if present, trim them regularly. Thieves can easily hide behind trees and shrubs.
A pruned and maintained landscape robs the intruders of hiding places. Don’t forget to remove the ladders and other tools from outside, as again they can also be helpful to the intruders.
Adequate lighting :
Install ample amount of lights, in and around your house. Also, use exterior lighting with motion sensors which can deter the burglars from the fear of getting detected.
You can install them in your garage, driveway, backyard and other outside areas.
Don’t forget the backside :
Securing the back side of your home is also very important as it is the obvious access for burglars.
So, make sure, all the back entrances are secured and try installing a tall fence which provides security as well as privacy.
Be a part of Neighbourhood-watch program :
Take time to get to know your neighbours. Meet your neighbours occasionally and ask them to keep an eye on your house, while you are away.
Also, do the same for them. The neighbourhood watch programme is one of the most effective and inexpensive ways to prevent crimes and thefts. If you don’t have one in your neighbourhood, start one. You can ask your police department for the details.
Get your building structure right :
From the start, make sure your house can be protected in the best possible way. Avoid placing trees very near to your main building; instead plant them a little away so that it does not provide cover to the intruders.
Also, ensure have big open spaces outside your house, to make it even more difficult for burglars to hide. Natural surveillance following the premises can be a great way and it works against the fact that the criminals do not wish to be noticed, providing window views increase the risk of getting caught.
Erecting high walls, ravines, fences and hedges to define boundaries can reduce access points and escape routes.
Security Measures when you are away
Your home becomes even more vulnerable when you are away on vacations and you have to leave your house unattended.
So while you are away, make it seem like that your house is still occupied by the following tips:
- Leaving lights with automatic timers, on inside.
- These timers can also be used to turn on and off your television or radio.
- Have your calls forwarded while you are away so that potential intruders don’t get suggestive ideas through unanswered phone rings.
- Temporarily stop or ask your neighbour to collect your mail and newspaper delivery.
- Leave shades and blinds as you usually do.
- Ask one of your neighbours, whom you trust to look out for your house.
- Also, be careful about posting your whereabouts on social media sites.
- If you are leaving for a long time, make sure to get your lawn mowed, snow cleared and hedges clipped timely.
Other minor but useful things
Don’t advertise your wealth :
Don’t appear to have anything valuable. For example, if you have an expensive car, keep it in your garage.
Also, conceal your priciest possessions from plain sight from outside and try to keep your blinds closed for the same. Though they won’t save you from burglary, they will surely make your house a less attractive target.
Have a dog or pretend to :
Also, getting a dog will make your house less approachable. Thieves know that dogs can smell danger and raise an alarm very quickly.
Even if you don’t want to get a dog or can’t afford one, just put up a “beware of dogs” sign on your front door, so that it gives an impression that you have one.
Technology at your fingertips :
You can access your security alarm system anywhere, anytime through your mobile phone. Simply connecting it to your security system can benefit you in many ways.
You can get immediate alerts on your phone, it enables you to see live video of your home in your absence and also, in case of emergency it can directly place a call to the police department.
You can arm and disarm your system from your Smartphone. They are affordable and easy to use and a very good solution for your safety.