Although there are no panaceas to end home burglaries, there are many important things we can do to be proactive in preventing our homes from being burglarized. Our homes are places where we share our love with our families and we desire for them to be secure. The purpose of this piece is to offer ten ways to reduce the chances of your home being burglarized.
1. Purchase a home security system. When people see that your home is protected by a home security system, they’re less likely to attempt to burglarize your home. They know that your home is being monitored by a 24 hour team of security experts, which will immediately trigger police officers to come to your premises. Robbers don’t want to see the police.
2. Don’t leave windows and doors unlocked. Sometimes people make it easy for their homes to be robbed by leaving windows and doors unlocked. Before you leave your home (and even while you’re home), make sure all windows and doors are locked.
3. Don’t advertise when you’re away from home. Don’t let everyone know when you’re not at home. You increase the likelihood of your home being burglarized when you do this. Stop announcing on Facebook where you’re located when you’re not at home. You’re letting people know you’re not at home. Facebook “friends” can be some of the very people who can and will break into your home.
4. Stop posting pictures of your home and possessions on Facebook. Too many people let robbers and potential robbers know exactly what they can steal from them by posting on Facebook every new thing they buy and have in their home. While it’s understandable that you’re proud of your home and possessions, there are cruel people out there who want to steal your things. Don’t entice them into stealing from you by posting pictures of your home and possessions on Facebook.
5. Vary the way you use your outside and inside lights. Don’t make it easy for folks to know when you’re away from home. Robbers look for a routine pattern of how you keep your outside and inside lights on, so vary the way you use your outside and inside lights.
6. Have a reliable neighbor to watch your home and/or the Neighborhood Watch. Be sure that your neighbor and/or Neighborhood Watch can truly be trusted to watch your home.
7. Purchase a real or fake security camera outside of your home. A real or fake security camera can make robbers less likely to feel comfortable attempting to burglarize your home.
8. Don’t make it easy to see the inside of your home. Many people don’t have curtains and mini-blinds and you can see the inside of their homes. This is a significant mistake. While you should certainly have the right to not have curtains and/or mini-blinds up to your windows, just know you’re giving robbers a clear view of what you have in your home.
9. Don’t bring and invite everyone to your home. The more people you invite and bring into your home the more people who are familiar with your home and what’s in it. This, of course, increases the likelihood of your home being burglarized by someone you invited and brought into your home.
10. Purchase a gun. Even when you’re home, people will try to rob you. When they make the decision to do this, be prepared to greet them with some bullets. You have a right to defend your home and family from a robber.
Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison