Your home is an important financial asset. But more than that, it’s the center of your family’s life. It’s a place where you find shelter and should feel safe. Unfortunately no matter where you live break-ins can occur. According to recent FBI data a burglary occurs every 14 seconds. For residential burglaries, 63% involve forcible entry, more than half occur during daylight hours. These are frightening statistics, but here are a couple of steps you can take to minimize your chances of becoming a victim.
• Protect you doors. Statistics show that 80% of all break-ins are through a door.
• Keep your doors visible and well lit.
• Install dead bolt locks. Simple door locks are easy to get past.
• Purchase a timer that will automatically turn your lights on and off when you’re away.
• Have your mail and paper delivery stopped if you will be out of town for an extended period of time.
• If you see a strange vehicle on your street, jot down the license plate number.
• Keep important papers in a safe deposit box.
• Mark all your electronic equipment with a permanent etching of your name and address. This helps identify property and makes it harder for a thief to sell.
• Hide a spare key in the mailbox, over the doorway or under the mat. These are the first places a thief will look.
• Leave a note on the door, saying that you’re gone. You don’t want to announce to the world that your house is empty for the weekend.
• Keep a lot of cash in your house.
• Enter the house if you arrive home and see any signs of a break-in. Call the police and let them go inside first.
For the ultimate in home security, you may want to consider an electronic security system. As a Realtor® I am seeing more and more homeowners install electronic systems they all commit to me that it has defiantly made them feel more at ease about there family’s safety. Also keep in mind that when selling your home a security system can be a valuable amenity. These systems typically include a combination of door and window censors, motion censors and smoke detectors. The cost of an electronic system will vary with how extensive a system you install. With a monitored electronic system you have the assurance that someone is watching your home at all times. No matter what kind of system you chose remember to keep it activated during the day, when most break-ins occur.
An investment in a home security system may earn you a discount on your homeowners insurance. You should contact your insurance agent for more information.
The above information should be used as an informational tool only.