16 Tips to Prevent Break-ins and Theft

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If you own a home or even live in an apartment, you should worry about theft and burglary. Although it’s an uncomfortable thought, many more break-ins and burglaries happen than we would like to admit.

For instance, in the US, there are two or more burglaries per minute or over 3,300 break-ins per day. Although not always the case, many of these break-ins can be prevented thanks to simple tips. So, let’s go over some of the best tips to prevent break-ins and theft.

Preventing break-ins and theft is doable. Of course, nothing is foolproof, but every little bit helps.

Tips to Prevent Break-ins and Theft

1. Keep Entrances Locked

One of the biggest mistakes people make is leaving doors and windows unlocked. Over 40% of all home break-ins occur when doors or windows are unlocked.

Thieves will go to your house and see if they can open a door or window. Therefore, always lock all doors and windows when you leave, and when it comes to doors, deadbolts and high-end locks can make a big difference. Having a lock that can withstand a strong kick is called for.

2. Use a Safe for Valuables

Although using a safe to store your valuables might not prevent a break-in per se, it will prevent your valuables from being stolen if someone does break in.

If someone manages to get into your home, but your valuables are in a safe, which is also secured in your home, they won’t be able to steal anything too valuable. Ensure that you get an excellent safe and firmly attached somewhere in your home.

3. Change Codes and Passwords

If you have security panels on your doors, windows, or garage door, a good idea is to change the codes monthly. Thieves can be persistent, and some will keep coming back to try new codes; eventually, they may guess it, either through plain luck or by using common sense (such as seeing which keys are the most worn down), to determine your codes. Don’t use the same codes for different security systems; change them regularly.

4. Keep Valuables Out of Sight

Another good idea is to keep your valuables out of sight. Don’t keep fancy jewelry and other expensive belongings in view of doors or windows.

If thieves see something worth a lot of money, they’re much more likely to break in. Therefore, keep valuables out of sight. At the very least, use curtains to your advantage, so would-be thieves can’t inspect your home from the outside and decide whether or not to relieve you of your belongings.

5. Don’t Hide Keys

A mistake many make is leaving spare keys outside in case the primary keys are lost. Sure, this makes it easier for you to get in, but it does the same for criminals.

If you think you are sneaky by hiding a key above the door frame or in one of those horrible fake rocks, think again because criminals have seen it all. If you leave a spare key outside, you invite thieves and burglars into your home.

6. Eliminate Hiding Spots

If you have shrubs, trees, fences, and other obstacles around your home, you should eliminate hiding spots from which thieves can lurk, case your home, and potentially strike. You need to remove any possible hiding spots that thieves could use.

7. Use Motion Sensor Lights

The next tip to help prevent burglaries is to use motion sensor lights. You should not use regular lights that are always on because this gives criminals a clear line of sight into your home.

Instead, use motion sensor lights that activate when a crook approaches your home. This provides a shock effect —that fear of being seen by neighbors when a light suddenly turns on. It’s also a good indication that you have additional security measures inside your home.

8. Upgrade Your Locks

You should also upgrade your locks to ensure your home is as secure as possible. We’re talking about upgrading thumb latches on your sliding doors and windows to something more secure. A deadbolt always helps, which goes for front and back doors.

We aren’t saying that you should be one of those people with ten locks on each door, but two high-quality locks are recommended.

Tips to Prevent Break-ins and Theft

9. Install an Audible Alarm with Door and Window Sensors

A good idea is to get a motion sensor-activated alarm to prevent break-ins. Here, we are talking about door and window sensors that activate when someone opens a door or window. The alarm will go off if the sensors go off, but the security code is not entered into the main panel.

As far as theft deterrents go, audible alarms that can be heard from afar are some of the best deterrents. This way, if someone tries to open a door or window, an audible alarm will sound immediately, scaring criminals away.

10. Don’t Announce Travel Plans

A bad idea is to announce your travel plans, particularly on social media. If criminals know you won’t be home for an extended period, it gives them ample opportunity to plunder your home.

There’s no point in telling anybody but your friends and family about travel plans. By announcing plans on social media, you’re literally inviting a break-in to happen.

11. Change Locks When Moving

When moving into a new home, always change the locks. You should also change the locks if you lose your keys. You never know who has keys to your home, so to avoid those keys doing would-be criminals any good, change your locks and possibly upgrade to better locks.

12. Close the Lobby Doors Behind You

If you live in an apartment building, always close the entrance and lobby doors behind you, and never let people in you don’t know. Lobby doors must be closed behind you to prevent criminals from gaining access to the entire building.

13. Don’t Showcase Your Valuables Outside

People often leave bikes, lawnmowers, tools, expensive toys, and other valuables out in the yard or leave garage doors open with all of their tools and costly gadgets. This shows criminals that you have valuables worth stealing and aren’t too focused on security. Don’t let criminals go window shopping on your home.

14. Put Lights on a Timer

If you’re leaving for an extended period, make sure to put lights on a timer. You want your home to look like there is someone there. However, if the same lights are always on, crooks will catch on. Therefore, put lights in various rooms on timers with different schedules, so it looks like someone is turning lights on and off.

15. Put Mail on Hold

If you leave for a prolonged period, either put mail on hold or have neighbors regularly empty your mailbox. You don’t want mail piling up as this indicates no one is home.

16. Get a Dog  

Simply put, criminals usually avoid homes with dogs. Loud barking acts like an alarm; nobody wants Fido’s teeth lodged in their leg.

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