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3 Basic Things You Can Do To Make Your House Safer
By John Keefe
Home security is no laughing matter. Millions of burglaries are reported every single year, and a significant portion of them are made easier by unlocked doors or windows. Losing valuables and having your home ransacked can be emotionally devastating, not to mention dangerous and expensive.
If you’re adamant on keeping your home as safe as possible, a good security system can’t be beat. But there are a few things you can do in your daily life that will help deter burglars and keep your home secure. Here are a few basic tips to make sure your home is as safe as possible.
1. Lock your Doors and Windows
Let’s start with the absolute basics. Leaving your windows, doors, or even your car unlocked while you’re out is one of the worst things you can possibly do. Every year in the United States, over 2 million homes are burglarized, and at least one-third of those crimes occurred through an unlocked window or door. Sometimes a simple turn of the key is all it takes to deter a would-be robber. There’s simply no reason not to do it.
It’s also been noted that around 85% of all burglaries are committed by non-professionals who often commit these crimes randomly without any forethought. A wide open door makes their job a whole lot easier.
2. Leave the TV, Radio, or Lights On
Burglars want to break into empty homes. Running into a homeowner during their heist is an unnecessary complication. It means they either have to flee and pray the police don’t identify them later, or they have to turn violent and run the risk that you’ll defend yourself. Anything you can do to convince potential burglars that someone’s in the house is worth the effort.
Leave lights on in at least one room in the house, preferably with a window that’s visible from the street. Also consider leaving a TV or radio on so there’s noise. This way, burglars will have no idea if someone’s at home hiding just around the corner. It’s a risk most burglars won’t be willing to take.
3. Don’t Leave Spare Keys Lying Around
Getting locked out of your own home is one of those obnoxious things that happens to everyone. Many homeowners keep a spare key hidden somewhere outside their property for these occasions. This is a risky proposition. Some hiding spots are obvious, such as fake rocks or doormats, and burglars can simply check these areas, take the key, and have full access to your house for as long as they want. You’ll have to consider some better options.
Consider wrapping your key in foil or cellophane and burying it in an inconspicuous spot in your garden or lawn. You can also leave lockboxes or key vaults around your front door as a decoy. Anything you can do to waste the criminal’s time is a good thing. If they’re still fiddling around trying to open a key vault when you get home, you’ll be in a wonderful position to call the police.