Consumer Advice

Preventing Break-Ins: How to Keep Your Home Safe from Thieves

A View from the Beach

It’s been reported that in the US, a home is robbed every 14.6 seconds.  The average loss is just a little over $2,000.  So, if you have a $1,000 deductible on your homeowner’s insurance policy, only half of your loss would be covered.

Here are some strategies for keeping your home safe from would-be thieves:

Tear up cardboard boxes – There’s no better way for thieves to see that you just bought a new TV, computer, microwave, than by the empty box that is left alongside the trash containers.  Tear/cut them up and bundle them so they are inconspicuous.

Lock doors and windows – It may seem obvious, but most thieves gain access through open doors and windows that someone forgot to lock.

Don’t hide your keys in the obvious places – Thieves look for the “fake rock.”  The ledge above the door.  The door mat.  Consider leaving it with a neighbor, or in a less conspicuous location.

Don’t announce your plans on social network sites – While you may be excited to share your vacation plans (or a trip out of town for a wedding or funeral), don’t announce the dates you will be leaving and returning.  Wait till you return to post your pictures.

Do a little landscaping – Cut back bushes and trees that may hide windows and doors, which may also hide a thief from view.

Replace light bulbs – Another obvious strategy, but a well-lighted house will thwart thefts.

Close drapes/blinds – Giving someone a clear view of what you have inside can be trouble.  Even if you are leaving your home for a short period of time, close the drapes or blinds so thieves can’t see what you own.

Just a little prevention can save you money, as well as the heartache of someone violating your private space.

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