Home Security & Crime Prevention - 12 Easy Steps

By: Ed Anderson

With a recession in full swing the criminal element will be looking for easy targets. Don't let your home be one. Criminals are getting smart and you need to get smart too. Burglary is an easy choice and here's why:

  1. The chances of getting caught are very low as the burglar is in and out of your home in 3 to 5 minutes.

  2. Evidence is hard to collect and usually the police don't have time to collect evidence anyway.

  3. According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report the conviction rate for burglaries (property crime) is only 16%. And their chances of serving time is even less.

As a homeowner you need to be proactive and keep your home from being an easy target. Most criminals will give up after a couple minutes of trying to break into your home. If you can make it much more difficult to break into your home they will move on. Here are 12 easy ways to harden the target and prevent yourself from being a victim of a crime. These are inexpensive and simple Do-It-Yourself projects.

  1. Door reinforcement with StrikeMaster II to prevent doorframe failure. 80% of all break-ins come right through an outside door. The weakest part of the door is the doorframe. It's made of soft wood that is easily broken when kicked. A deadbolt without a reinforced doorframe is nearly worthless. Available online at http://www.asafehome.net.

  2. Put motion sensitive lights on all sides of the home and make sure they are high enough not to be quickly disabled. Check them monthly to make sure they are working.

  3. Lock all outside buildings to keep opportunistic criminals from using the tools you have in these buildings to break into your home.

  4. Lock away all ladders and tools even when you are working on a project covering several weekends - don't leave ladders and tools around the yard when you're going to be gone for more than 3 hours.

  5. Lock all your doors and windows when you leave. So many people just leave doors and windows unlocked and open.

  6. Use a Charlie Bar on a sliding glass door. Also a couple of screws in the header above the sliding door will prevent the door from being lifted out and off the track.

  7. Lock your doors when you're home - criminals are opportunistic and might not know you're home. You don't want to run into a criminal in your home. This can be very dangerous.

  8. If you have an alarm system set it so it makes a lot of noise if it's activated. This can scare away criminals. They don't want to have the attention of the neighborhood. Yes, it might bug the neighbors when it goes off, but that's better than the alternative.

  9. Put window film on your downstairs windows to make the windows more difficult to break. Breaking a window is not the preferred way to gain access to your home because of the noise. Criminals do resort to breaking windows sometimes. Window film makes it much more difficult to break a window. The longer it takes to gain entry, the better chance you have they will give up.

  10. Make sure you have deadbolts on all your outside doors and replace them if you lose a key. Don't go cheap on the deadbolt. Pay a little more for a deadbolt that can't be picked or key-bumped.

  11. Don't hide keys outside. Criminals will look for the hidden key. You might think it's a clever hiding spot, but they will find it. That fake rock doesn't look that fake to the criminal.

  12. Lock your cars if you are not driving them. Especially if they have a garage door opener inside. Many people forget to lock their car doors but a burglar will check them.

Remember the best way to protect your home, your family and your belongings is to prevent the criminal from getting in. With a little bit of time and a few inexpensive products you can harden the target. Make the task of breaking into your home so difficult they will give up and move on to easier hunting grounds.

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