There are so many threats to personal property nowadays that people easily forget about. With all of the advanced headlines like under-water home loans and exotic mortgages, it is easy to forget about the classic robberies that are going on. According to Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates, there were about 2.2 million burglaries in the United States in 2007 alone. Although this is slightly less than the 2006 levels, it is still about a one percent increase in burglaries compared to five years earlier. Even worse than this is that over two thirds of the thefts in 2007 involved residential properties. However, there are some things that homeowners can do to reduce their chances of their homes being targeted. Below is a list of 5 simple and inexpensive things that every homeowner can do to try to prevent property theft.
Just put a sign up: Home security systems are a great way to prevent property theft. However, they can often be very expensive. A program director for Theft Talk, Steve Houseworth, says that putting a home security sign in front of your property without actually obtaining the service is an affordable alternative! According to Houseworth, the sign convinces the thieves that your home is actually protected by the security system which makes them a lot less likely to aim for your home. If you think in the mind of the thief, would the would-be burglars want to break into a home with a security system or go to the house next door that doesn’t have one?
Be a neighbor: Your neighbors can play a very important role in preventing home burglaries. Homeowners who are friendly with their neighbors are less likely to be persecuted by them. If your neighbor is having a tough time in his/her life and needs money fast, they are less likely to want to rob you if you are on good terms with them. In addition, neighbors who are closely nit are more likely to call emergency services if they see someone suspicious on your property. Houseworth has said, “If they like you and they care about you and they are concerned about their community, then if they see something unusual going on then they will check it out or call the police.” So, one of the best things you can do is really interact and reach out to your neighbors.
Keep valuables outside the bedroom: If a robber is searching for the valuables in a home, they will most likely check the master bedroom first. This is where the jewelry and cash are most often stored in many people’s homes. If this is the place that your store all of your valuables, find another place for them. Houseworth recommends that you keep nothing of great value in your bedroom. You might not even want to keep small valuables – that robbers usually like to steal – in your home at all.
No land escaping: Thieves prefer to go after homes that have escape routes and hiding spots in the yard. These are things like an abundance of trees and bushes which make great cover. Therefore, homes that have less shrubbery and plants in their yards, and more open spaces, are not appealing targets to the robbers. Houseworth says, “If the home is open and relatively exposed, a burglar will think, ‘I’m going to go in, and if something goes wrong, how am I going to get out of here?’ “
Free police inventory: Everyone who owns a home should be sure to keep in mind the basics of preventing property theft: keeping doors and windows locked at all times. Anyone looking to go a step further than this can call their local police department and ask for an officer to check the house for improved safety. This means that you can just call up the local police and ask them to do an inventory check of your home and ask for suggestions on how to improve safety. Houseworth says he does not know of any police department that would not do this. Police officers will feel happy to come out and give you advice on how to improves your homes safety.
Every Homeowner should remember these five easy and affordable tricks to help prevent their homes from property theft. Every step you take towards a safer home can lessen the chance of your house being robbed.