The problem: According to the FBI, a burglary occurs in the U.S. every 15.4 seconds. Most burglaries occur during the summer months during the day. The average burglar spends no more than 4-5 minutes to break in.
Where they get in/How to secure it
- Secure doors with quality locks and use heavy duty 5 screw strike plates so they cannot be kicked in.
- Have a peephole in the door so you can ID visitors.
- Consider alarms with identifying stickers to discourage burglaries.
Windows and sliding glass doors
- Lock windows and have secondary blocking device to prevent sliding them open (some use a wooden pole).
- Never leave your garage door open for extended periods of time. Criminals can identify objects worth stealing. It can give access to the home if attached. It is a common entry point. Be sure to lock your home. Don't rely on your automatic door for security.
How to reduce your risk of being targeted
- Have exterior lights and motion detectors.
- Make sure your landscape doesn't provide bushes and trees to cover the burglar hiding. If you do have bushes by your windows consider bushes that have sharp prickles or keep them trimmed so burglars can't hide.
- Have alarm stickers posted on doors and in front of the home.
- Hide the garage door opener in your car because it can be stolen and access can be gained at a later time.
- When on vacation stop the mail and newspaper and have your lawn mowed or sidewalk shoveled. If requested, some police departments will patrol more often.
- Never leave notes on your door outside to alert criminals you are gone.
- Never leave ladders outside to allow a burglar to reach your second story.
- Consider having a radio playing and timed lights if you are gone.
- Burglars go to typical places in the home for valuables (in the drawer in the bedroom). Consider putting some "seed money" so the burglars think they were successful but put your valuables in your child's room or use a safety deposit box at the bank.
- Dogs, even small ones, create disturbances that burglars want to avoid.
- Keep your guns locked up. Guns are the number one valuable that burglars want because they are easily sold to other criminals.
- Never leave a message on your answering machine telling people you are on vacation.
- Be a good neighbor, and call the police (9-1-1) if you see any suspicious activity.