I know. You always lock your doors when you leave your house. But what else can you do to prevent a break in? Well first of all, make your home appear occupied. Timers are inexpensive and can be effective at fooling thieves. Use them to turn lights and TV’s on and off at various times of the day and night. Light sensing timers for turning outside lights and flood lamps on and off at dusk and dawn and motion detectors are also good.
Have a neighbor pick up your mail, newspapers or other deliveries that are left on your doorsteps or doorknob. Arrange to have your lawn mowed and driveway shoveled and notify the police if you’ll be going away for any length of time. Some people even have a friend house sit if necessary.
Don’t advertise your absence, especially on Facebook. Thieves read that too. Don’t leave notes to anyone regarding your absence. Instead, handle those instructions by phone or in person before leaving. If you arrive home and think you’ve been burglarized, call the police from your cell phone or neighbor’s phone. Don’t enter your home or touch anything until the police have time to investigate.
Dead bolt locks are highly recommended for all outside doors. Don’t forget to secure basement windows and don’t hide your keys under flowerpots, doormats or on top of sills.
Keep your valuables out of sight, preferably in a safe deposit box, and refrain from keeping large amounts of cash at home. And don’t advertise recent purchases, like big screen TV’s, by putting the empty boxes out with the trash. Break up the box the TV came in and put it in a bag in the trash rather than outside of the can.
Keep your doors locked, and never allow a stranger to enter your home. Question him or her and ask for identification. Call Utility Companies, (electric, water or cable companies) for confirmation when someone wants to enter your home to read the meter or do repairs. Teach your children to answer the phone correctly and never to say you are not home. Make sure to lock up sporting goods, gardening equipment and tools and keep your house locked while you are working in the yard.
If you move into a new home or apartment, change the locks as soon as possible. Be aware of what goes on in your neighborhood and report anything suspicious to the police. You’d want your neighbors to do the same if your home was being burglarized.
And be sure your home and personal property are adequately insured. Talk to your independent insurance agent about homeowners or renters insurance and about replacement cost coverage on your belongings. They can provide you with the best coverage options to meet your needs.