Home security is one of the most important aspects to consider for both homeowners and renters. Currently, a burglary occurs about once every ten seconds, with 47% of these resulting in an injury to the occupant.
When you are not home, there are several things you can do in order to keep your property safe from home invasion:
- Using light timers and proper lawn construction can stop a thief before they get to your front door. However, if you are going to hire a lawn maintenance company, make sure you know who you are hiring before the work starts. Thieves will sometimes use their "day job" to scout your home.
- You should also enlist the help of friends and neighbors, who can park their car in your driveway, get your newspaper, keep an eye on your home, and start a neighborhood watch.
- A family safety plan should be in place for fires, natural disasters, or burglaries. Your family should know where to hide and where to meet up. Go over these plans several times in order to assure everyone knows what to do.
- Alarm systems can also help deter would-be burglars by alerting police and creating a "scene".
- Always ensure that windows and doors are locked before leaving your home, and hide spare keys where they are not obvious.
Finally, look for these scams that burglars will use in order to gain access to your home:
The Distressed Citizen
One popular scam is to park outside of your home and put their hood up. They will then ask to come inside and use your phone. This is designed to prey on the sympathy that most people have for others in a bad situation. The best course of action in this case is to offer to call a tow truck or the police without unlocking your door.
The Unexpected Package
Another scam that is used often is an unexpected package. The thief will come with a package from an unknown delivery service that requires your signature. If you don't recognize the delivery company, or you weren't expecting anything, always have them leave the package on your porch – even if they claim to need your signature. Even if someone looks like they are who they say they are, it is always a good idea to call the company they claim to work for and verify their identity. Thieves will try many different ways to gain access to your home, and it is better to double check than give them the opportunity.
Whether in a house, apartment, or somewhere else, home security is everyone's responsibility. No area is immune from the threat of home invasion. In some areas, home invasion crimes are increasing. Below are links to detailed information on how to keep your home and family as safe as possible.