Tips to safeguard your home against burglary and crime

Whether you are a new homeowner, someone who just moved in, or someone about to leave for vacation, home protection ranks high in your list of critical things to remember. Peace of mind is always worth it, even if taking the effort seems time-consuming. Remember, statistics show that there is a burglary incident every 21 seconds, and most burglars actually strike during daylight hours.

Here are some steps and strategies you can apply, to keep that sense of security for both inside and outside your home even while you are miles away. It pays when you let the thief see that robbing your home is a pointless exercise!  

These tips are special because these were derived from interviews with burglars and thieves. Go through these carefully and learn something new:

1. Have as few as possible hiding places in your yard. Tall/thick shrubs have to go, especially if they are near windows and doors.

2. If you want to send a message that someone’s watching the yard, then get an outdoor floodlight. But if you want to say, any trespassers are in big trouble, then a motion sensor floodlight is for you.

3. Staying low about your belongings helps get rid of any prying eyes. An expensive car will need to be kept in that garage. Nice decorative stuff indoors is kept behind blinds. This applies even to your trash! The box of the latest laptop will need to be in a trash bag before getting.. trashed.

4. Help the neighborhood and spread the word about vigilance. Granted: everyone has work to do round the clock. During your out of town trips, it still helps that someone gets to check in on your home from time to time.

5. Putting up a “Protected by XYZ Systems” on your door does not help at all. Why is that so? Making public the brand of your security system gives away valuable information already!

6. A dog is a lot of help but get not just any dog. A burglar counts on the element of stealth; so a yappy dog (regardless of the size) will send your interloper away.

7. Keep your home simple but secure. It’s true that you built a house to have a home, and not to feel like you are in a secure jail or a nuclear bunker. But, all these measures are simply meant to discourage any unhealthy interest. Your goal is to keep your home secure and nothing special.

8. An important tip for social media fans: Posting about your trip on some future date is fine; announcing it ahead or on the same day is obviously a no-no. This might seem obvious, but still many people are oblivious to the danger; worse still if your post is on a public setting. A family officially on vacation implies a totally empty house. If you must leave for a trip, no need to leave a message on your answering machine.

It is good to know there are many more practical tips against theft (even if coming from repentant felons) to add here. Focus on the one or two that is critical to you now. We can never deny that awareness and preemptive action (which tolerates no sneaky surprises) are trusted ingredients for a more secure home.