As crime statistics continue to show an increase in burglaries across much of the US, plenty of local law enforcement agencies have stepped up their efforts to educate the public on ways to protect their homes and families with specific security tips that can lead to greater peace of mind. FrontPoint offers its own list of home security recommendations, but another great example just came across the web, this time from Missouri’s St. Louis County Police Department. Their list is definitely worth the read – especially #7!
If you plan to head out for a holiday vacation or relocate for the winter, Santa might not be the only one sneaking in during the night. Although it’s impossible to burglar-proof a home, the following steps can help you protect your home and valuables.
The Top 10 Tips
- Identify your home’s most vulnerable areas. Is the home poorly lit inside and out? Do bushes or shrubs provide convenient hiding places? Do your doors securely lock? The St. Louis County Police Department offers a “Residential Inventory & Security Education Handbook” that can help you identify and eliminate weaknesses.
- After you have identified your home’s weaknesses, takes steps to correct them. One important area to address is the quality and quantity of exterior lighting. Each exterior doorway as well as night blind spots should be lighted from dusk to dawn. Lights that detect motion can be used to conserve energy; however, no vulnerable area should be left in the dark.
- Inside, timers should be used to turn on and off lights, radios and televisions to give the appearance of a well-lived in home.
- Trim bushes and shrubs to limit hiding places, and trim the branches of trees that are in close proximity to the home to prevent entry into second-story windows.
- Good key control (knowing everyone who has a key to your house) as well as the use of solid core doors and dead bolt locks also helps to prevent break-ins.
- When you plan to be away for an extended period it is important to keep up appearances. Stop mail delivery, or have a trusted friend of neighbor pick-up your mail. Keep the yard maintained in the summer and the driveway shoveled in the winter.
- Officer Eva Fischer of the Neighborhood Policing Office, explained how an alarm system can contribute to your home’s security. “If your home is broken into and an alarm goes off, it’s likely that the burglar will move quickly so as to remain undetected. Anything that makes noise is a good deterrent.”
- If a break-in does occur, you’ll want to recover your stolen items; however, Officer Fischer noted that only property which is clearly identified as belonging to the homeowner can be returned. “It’s very important for homeowners to mark their belongings in such a way that we know it belongs to them,” Officer Fischer said. Items should be marked with a driver’s license number, the person’s initials, specific numerics, etc. “As long as it is marked in some unique way that they can relay to the officer, that’s fine,” Officer Fischer said. Do not use your social security number.
- Items that cannot be marked should be photographed with a unique identifier. It is also very helpful to keep an inventory (including serial numbers and photographs) of all items within the home.
- Finally, do not tip off burglars by announcing your vacation plans on social media or other methods, but do alert the police department and close neighbors that you will be away, so that they can be extra vigilant. “The Office of Neighborhood Policing can come and walk through your house and let you know what you can do better in terms of security,” Officer Fischer said. “Just call.”
FrontPoint cares about your safety and peace of mind – after all, protecting homes and families is our highest priority. We’ll keep on sharing great tips when we find them: it’s our goal to be your resource for crime statistics, burglar behaviors, and the latest technologies to thwart intruders. After all, FrontPoint is the only alarm company in the country to use safer cellular monitoring on every system we sell – and charge less for it. But what people really know us for is our smarter Interactive level of monitoring. Make sure your home is protected: by FrontPoint, the leader in wireless home security, and the #1 ranked alarm company in the US.