How to protect your home from a break-in
Enjoy your summer vacation in peace
(NC)—By far, the most common threat to our home while we are away on summer holidays is burglary. Burglary, by definition, is a non-confrontational crime but being victimized can leave a family feeling vulnerable and violated.
According to Patrice De Luca, V.P. of Marketing and Business Development for Reliance Protectron Security Services, the first step in burglary prevention is gaining an understanding of who commits these crimes and why.
“The majority of home and apartment burglaries occur during the daytime when most people are away on holidays, at work or at school,” De Luca explained. “Burglaries also occur at night when there are obvious signs that residents are away.”
Most home burglars are young males looking for things that are small, expensive, and can easily be converted to cash. Items like cash, jewelry, guns, watches, laptop computers, and other small electronic devices are high on the list. Quick cash is needed for living expenses and drugs. Although home burglaries may seem random in occurrence, they actually involve a careful selection process.
“This selection process is simple,” De Luca added. “They choose an unoccupied home with the easiest access, the greatest amount of cover, and with the best escape routes.”
What follows is a list of suggestions from Protectron to minimize your risk by making your home unattractive to potential burglars.
• The first step, according to De Luca, is to “harden the target” or make your home more difficult to enter. “Remember burglars will simply bypass your home if it requires too much effort or requires more skill and tools than they possess,” he says. Most burglars enter via the front, back, or garage doors. Burglars know to look inside your car for keys and other valuables so keep it locked, even inside your garage. Use high quality Grade-1 or Grade-2 locks on exterior doors to resist twisting, prying, and lock-picking attempts.
• When vacationing, leave a car in your driveway or arrange for a neighbor to keep a car there and move it around from time to time. Have someone mow your lawn, rake leaves and pick up your mail while you're away.
• Home security systems play a crucial role in a home security plan and are very effective, if used properly, especially when monitored 24-7 by ULC-listed monitoring centres. “The reason why home security systems deter burglaries is because they increase the potential and fear of being caught and arrested by the police,” added De Luca. “The deterrent value comes from our house alarm system decals on the windows.” De Luca cautions that home security systems need to be properly installed and maintained to be most effective. He recommends your home security system include a loud inside alarm, detectors at all exterior doors, and motion sensors in the master bedroom and main living areas. More information on home security is available at www.protectron.com.