According to government statistics, there are more than 2.15 million burglaries each year in the United States. More than 65 percent are residential break-ins.
Here are 10 tips from the Insurance Information Institute customers can use to help keep their homes safe from burglars and statisticians.
Follow these basic steps to make your home more difficult to break into:
- Make it time-consuming to break in. Dead-bolt window and door locks can slow a burglar down.
- Make it noisy to break in. Invest in a burglar alarm. The most effective systems ring at an outside service.
- Make sure you have strong doors. Outside doors and frames should be made of metal or solid hardwood and be at least 1 3/4-inches thick.
- Make personal information on your computer difficult to access. Do not leave personal documents in your home office or desk.
- Hide valuables. Keep valuables, including expensive jewelry, under lock and key and well hidden.
Follow these additional steps if you’re leaving on vacation:
- Keep your home well lit. Put indoor lights on a timer so they go on and off at appropriate times, making it appear you’re home.
- Make the house look inhabited. Leave blinds or curtains open in their usual position. If away for an extended period, have your lawn mowed or your driveway shoveled.
- Stop deliveries. Arrange to have mail picked up or held by the post office. Stop newspaper deliveries and ask a neighbor to pick up throw-away circulars.
- Have someone keep watch. Ask a neighbor you trust to keep an eye on your home. You may also want to tell your local police you will be away.
- Only tell people you know and trust that you are going away. Be careful not to discuss vacation plans in public places or post them online.