The prospect of someone breaking into your house and stealing your belongings is unsettling to say the least. Though it is nearly impossible to burglar proof your house 100% there are things you can do to make it much less likely someone will break in and take your valuables. Here are ten tips for protecting yourself from becoming a victim:
1.) Make sure all of your doors and windows are locked. This includes second story windows and balconies. It doesn't matter if you are going to be gone for an hour or for a week, make sure your home is locked tight.
2.) If you are going on vacation call your local police department and let them know. MTPD will take your information and will check on your house for you while you are gone.
3.) Let a trusted neighbor know you are going to be gone if you are leaving for more than a day. That way they can be alert to anyone suspicious on your property.
4.) Do not leave ladders or any other instruments outside of your home where a burglar could use them to break in.
5.) Do not hide a key outside. Burglars know to look in planters, under door mats, under landscaping blocks, in the mailbox, and other places outside. Buy a numbered keypad box that can be mounted to the side of the house or apartment. They are virtually impossible to get into and the combination can be changed at anytime if you give the combination to someone you don't trust. They can be purchased for approximately $30 at your local hardware store.
6.) Try not to leave valuables in sight of windows. Do not let a burglar do any window shopping at your house or apartment.
7.) Buy a safe that can be mounted to the floor. Too often people put valuables in a safe and the burglar steals the entire safe. Do not underestimate a burglars determination to get your things. Just because your safe is heavy does not mean they cannot steal it. If someone brought it inside it can be brought back outside. Safes that can be mounted to the floor may cost a little more but they are worth the extra money to protect your valuables.
8.) Document your belongings. Make a list of all electronics with make, model, serial number, and value at date of purchase. Take pictures of your jewelry, electronics, and tools. Get jewelry appraised. Photocopy important documents such as passports, social security cards, and birth certificates. Keep the list, pictures, and photocopies with a trusted relative or friend or get a safety deposit box at your bank. If your property is ever lost to theft, fire, or flood this information will be greatly appreciated by the police and the insurance company. It will also greatly increase the chance the police will be able to recover it in the future.
9.) If you have the means, get a home security system. And if you already have a home security system make sure you use it. It is easy to get complacent and forget to set the alarm from time to time. Make it a part of your daily routine to set the alarm when you are away or when you go to bed. If you cannot afford a monthly fee for the security system there are other options. Window sensors can be purchased at your local hardware store. If the sensor is tripped an audible alarm will sound. The audible alarm will generally be enough to make a burglar uncomfortable and they will not stay.
10.) Get motion sensing lights outside of your home. Burglars are generally not violent people and they have no desire to get caught. They will just as soon go on to the next house if they think they will be noticed at your house.
Though most of us do not have the means to ensure our homes are as safe as Fort Knox there are simple steps you can take to make sure you, your family, and your property are safe. If you follow these simple steps you will greatly improve your chances of never being a victim of a break in.