The FBI says there's a burglary every 15 seconds in this country. Most of the targets are homes and the average loss is about 16-hundred dollars. However, arrests are made less than 20% of the time.
Here are 5 ways to protect yourself:
- Make your house look lived in. Most burglars want to break in to an empty home. Many of them will call and see whether you pick up the phone or simply knock on the front door. Leave a radio or TV on while you're gone. If you're going to be gone for days at a time, have a neighbor or relative park a car in the drive-way and have them put trash on your curb on trash day. And, of course, have them pick up your mail and newspapers every day.
- Don't show your wares. Don't keep your shades open in the room where your TV, stereo, DVD player, silver, etc are visible. Criminals are opportunists... they see something they want and they take it. You don't want to entice them. Park expensive cars in the garage and if you have trailers, boats, motorcycles, store them inside, not in the drive-way. If you buy something new, break down the box and put it in the trash, don't sit it on the curb and advertise you just bought a new t.v. Hide your extra checks and take your expensive or sentimental jewelry out of your jewelry box. Those are two of the first things to be stolen.
- Keep all your doors and windows closed and locked and check them often. I cover a lot of crimes where someone slips into a house through an unlocked window or sliding glass door. Never hide a key someplace outside... a burglar can always find it. Make sure you lock the door between your garage and your living space.
- Get an alarm system or at least put an alarm sign in your front yard. You want to make your home a hard target. Crooks want to take the easy way out.
- Install steel doors that aren't as easily kicked in and put in good deadbolts that extend at least one inch into the doorjamb. Bolt your safe to the floor. Install motion lights outside and keep your bushes well trimmed.
Nearly every victim I've ever interviewed as said, "I never thought it would happen to me." Everyone of us should be thinking, "It could happen to me." Just that change in mindset will help you stay safer!