Good weather gives you opportunities to get out of the house and enjoy the outdoors. It also gives some unscrupulous people the opportunity they are looking for to burglarize your home or car and take your valuable possessions. You cannot prevent 100 percent of the thefts, but there are steps you can take to minimize the potential problem.
According to the FBI Uniform Crime Statistics, victims of burglary offenses suffered an estimated $4.9 billion in lost property in 2011: overall, the average dollar loss per burglary offense was $2,185. Burglaries of residential properties accounted for 74.5 percent of all burglary offenses.
These statistics clearly show that we have to be very aware of the potential for theft and take necessary steps to minimize this crime.
The National Crime Prevention Council offers the following tips to help you protect your property:
- Light the outside of your home to eliminate hiding places
- Leave some lights on in your home to make it appear occupied (timers on lights are a good option in the event you will be gone)
- Plan landscaping to provide maximum visibility to and from your home
- Cut tree limbs back from your home to prevent access to windows
- Use a strong exterior door — either solid wood or metal — and add lighting at every door
- Install locks on all sliding glass doors and place metal or wooden bars in the tracks to prevent opening
- Make sure your windows are secure and have a good locking mechanism
- Use strong and reliable locks; this is one of the most cost effective ways to help secure your property
- Always keep doors and windows locked, even if you are going to be gone only a few minutes
Some additional suggestions for keeping your property safe:
- Purchase a home security alarm
- Let a trusted neighbor, friend or relative know when you are going to be gone for more than one night
- Don’t allow newspapers or mail to accumulate; have a friend pick them up
- Let your local law enforcement know if you will be gone for an extended time
While you may not be able to prevent every break-in, making a few changes in home security can help minimize thefts.
Note: This blog was originally published on April 17, 2013. The crime statistics have been updated to reflect 2011 numbers, the most recent figures available.