By Linda Williams
Experiencing a home invasion can be emotionally draining, physically violating, and financially devastating. Besides wreaking havoc on your emotional well-being, the short-term effects of burglary can strain your wallet as you rush to replace stolen or destroyed belongings. In the meantime, the long-term emotional destruction can leave victims feeling fearful and violated for years to come. In more extreme cases, those affected may have to spend lots of time recovering from physical injuries and PTSD.
Break-ins are the top property crime concern in America and happen a lot more frequently than one might initially think. Every 26 seconds, a burglar invades a home, snatches irreplaceable items, and robs homeowners of their sense of security. The average person may assume burglaries occur at night, but most take place in broad daylight.
If you identify as a homeowner, you may be wondering what puts properties at risk for invasion. Unbeknownst to most, select homeowners may be at a higher risk for break-ins, including those who rent and tend to neglect their yards. Burglars will also target homes with weak locks, glass doors, and even pet doors.
Every homeowner has sentimental keepsakes or valuable heirlooms that are impossible to replace stored in their home. To properly defend your home against intruders, here are six ways you can burglar-proof your home.
Firearms can be a valuable form of protection against intruders and can help level the playing field when faced with a physically sturdy intruder. Even announcing that you own a gun can sometimes be enough of a deterrent, compelling the burglar to flee. A smaller gun like this is perfect for storing in a safe, locked container. Not to mention, it’s easy to use in an emergency.
Criminals will more likely shy away from areas with high visibility. While you don’t necessarily have to invest in a spotlight, placing lights in the front and back entrance of your home will help deter an intruder. Consider motion-activated lights for areas you don’t want to illuminate 24/7 and solar-powered lights engineered to keep your power bill low.
Security systems are extremely affordable and allow you to keep a close eye on your home when you are out of town or at work. Most burglars avoid homes when they see a security system is watching their every move.
Manufacturer locks on doors and windows can sometimes be flimsy and easily breakable, especially in older homes. Make sure to enhance your entry point security with key-operated locks or even window bars. You can also install glass break sensors and security film on thinner windows. For sliding glass doors, install an auxiliary foot lock to decrease the intruder’s chances of successfully breaking and entering.
In addition to staking out your home in person, many burglars will also keep tabs on your social media to determine when you’ll be out of town or at work. It might be tempting to brag about your luxurious vacation plans, but you never know who may be watching and waiting on the other end.
A well-landscaped yard is a good indication to burglars that someone is actively living in your home or looking after it. Make sure to hire someone to mow your lawn while you’re out of town, or ask a neighbor. By keeping trees and shrubs trimmed, you can prevent this greenery from becoming hiding spots for devious intruders. You can also plant rose bushes and spiny plants under windows to deter burglars from creeping in through common entry points while simultaneously adding aesthetic value to your front and backyards.
Home invasions happen every day, causing thousands of dollars in damage and lasting mental impacts. Using these expert tips, you can keep your home from becoming another statistic and keep your family safe from a potentially traumatic experience.