What You Should Know About: Preventing Home Burglary
You love your home, so make it unattractive - to home burglars
What you should know:
- Most burglaries take place during the day between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
- Residential burglaries account for 69.5 percent of all burglary offenses, according to the FBI.
- Most insurance companies provide discounts for qualifying security devices for your home. Check with your insurance representative for details on discounts that may be available.
Start with the right insurance coverage to protect your home and possessions
Standard Homeowners Insurance typically covers the theft of most personal belongings and damage associated with burglary. However, jewelry, art, golf clubs and other expensive possessions are generally limited to $1,000 to $2,000 worth of coverage. To protect your high-dollar items up to their full value, you can purchase special coverage, called a Floater. Talk to your insurance agent or company about special, unique or expensive belongings you own when you buy or renew your homeowners insurance policy.
Protect your home from thieves
Whether away at work during the day or away for a week or more on vacation, take time to safeguard your home and belongings by following these tips.
If your home is typically vacant during the day:
- Install an alarm system. Consider installing and using an alarm system that is monitored at a central location or from your smart phone
- Lock all doors and windows. Sliding glass doors have weak locks. Install a bolt lock and place a broomstick or dowel in the inside door track.
- Reduce the darkness. Consider having exterior lights and motion detectors mounted around your home and out of easy reach.
- Trim hedges next to your home so burglars don’t have a place to hide.
- Do not hide keys in secret places outside your home. Experienced burglars usually know where to look.
If you’re traveling for an extended period of time:
- Don’t announce your travel plans on social media. Resist the temptation to update your Facebook and Instagram status announcing your upcoming vacation. Burglars can scan social media from local residents to target homes. Wait until you return to post about your great vacation.
- Make your home less attractive to thieves. Leave blinds open in their usual position. Leave a little trash in your garbage can and arrange to have your lawn mowed. Use timers to activate and deactivate lights and televisions in your home. These tactics can give burglars the impression that someone is home.
- Stop all mail and deliveries. A stuffed mailbox or pile of boxes at the front door indicates that you aren’t at home.
- Tell dependable neighbors when you plan to be away and when you expect to return. Have a friend or neighbor keep an eye on your home and property, and make sure they know how to reach you while you’re away.
- Conduct a home inventory of all your personal belongings. Document each room of your home and supplement with photos or videos from your smartphone. Take photos of receipts for new purchases and keep the inventory in a safe place offsite or backed up to the cloud if you’re doing a digital home inventory.