Burglars be gone: Four easy ways to improve home security

Burglary is the illegal entry of a person into a home with the intention of committing a crime, usually theft. Although the number of burglaries committed in the United States are dwindling, there is still some cause for alarm. Approximately two million burglaries occurred in 2012 alone.

In order to adequately secure a home against burglary, homeowners and renters should take the necessary precautions. The following are five easy ways to improve home security against intruders.

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Install an alarm system

Several studies have shown that alarm systems are an effective deterrent to burglars. Many companies now offer affordable options: there are numerous DIY home security systems that can be purchased online or through major retailers.

Secure doors and windows

Before leaving the home, even for just a short while, it’s best to make sure all points of entry into a home are locked and secured. A tough metal rod slid into the back grooves of sliding glass doors and windows will prevent them from sliding open, even if the burglars manage to pick the locks. Consider installing metal door and jamb reinforcement plates on weak, older doors.

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Don’t leave expensive belongings in plain view

Burglars don’t choose a home to steal from at random: often, they pick the one that looks like it has valuable items inside it. Move bicycles, scooters, and power mowers into the garage when not in use, and make sure expensive items cannot be seen from outside the windows. If purchasing expensive items, avoid leaving their boxes outside: cut them up into small, unidentifiable pieces or bring them directly to a recycling facility.

When going on vacation, make the house look occupied

Residential crimes increases during summer when many people leave their homes to go on a trip. To avoid tipping off potential burglars that a home’s residents are away, homeowners and renters should stop their newspaper deliveries until they return, have a friend or neighbor pick up their mail and flyers periodically to prevent them from piling up, and arrange for someone to mow their lawns or shovel snow from their driveways.

Homeowners and renters insurance both add an extra layer of protection: both cover personal possessions in case of theft. For questions on policy limits and terms, it’s best to consult a trusted insurance agent.

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