According to the FBI, a home invasion occurs in the US every 15 seconds. If you don’t want to become another statistic, there are many things you can do to stop burglars and protect your home and your loved ones.

1.  Lock and secure your doors and windows
Part of your daily home security routine should be to always make sure that all doors and windows are locked and that there are no entrances that could offer an intruder the opportunity to get into your home. Ensure that each door has a heavy-duty deadbolt with at least a one inch throw and a reinforced strike plate. Windows should be constructed of laminated glass, not tempered, and need high quality locks, especially on ground level. 

2.  Secure sliding glass doors
Each sliding glass door in your house should have a wooden dowel or stick in the door’s track to prevent an unauthorized entry. Installing a vertical bolt will also forestall a burglar from forcing the door open.

3.  Secure your garage
Your garage is similar to an external door.  Install a dead bolt on your door and keep your car locked. If you have just purchased a new home, change your factory-set door opener code.  Burglars have access to these codes and will use common brands of remote openers, looking for a garage door that will open.  

4.  Use outdoor and indoor lighting to your advantage
Timed lighting inside and outside the home is a necessary security measure.  To create an appearance of constant activity, use light-timers inside the home. Motion sensor lighting installed near pathways, doorways and the driveway is also an effective way to scare off an intruder. Always keep the perimeter of your house well lighted with security lights that allow you to see at least 100 feet in front of you.

5.  Avoid telltale pileups
If you are going to be on vacation, have your mail and newspaper deliveries put on hold. If you are expecting one or more packages, have a neighbor pick up those packages and hold them for you until you return.  Nothing screams “I am not home” more than having a pile of newspapers or mail stacked at your doorway. 

6.  Keep house keys in a safe place
Never hide your house key under the doormat or on the ledge of a door. These are one of the first places a burglar will look.  Instead give your house key to a trusted neighbor for an emergency or to check on your house regularly when you are away.

7.  Keep shades and blinds in their normal position
Close enough shades so a burglar can’t see if there is anything worth stealing while keeping a few shades open to make it look as if someone is home.  If all the shades are closed, this is a sure indication of an empty house. 

8.  Don’t announce you are going to be gone
Social networking sites give a false sense of security, allowing people to openly divulge their travel plans to strangers and friends. This is just an open invitation for a robber to invade your home. To keep your home secure, don’t tell people on websites such as Facebook or even on voicemail when you will be on vacation.

9.  Evaluate your landscaping
Prune bushes and shrubs and keep them clear from entrances and walkways so that a burglar does not have a place of concealment. Place a thorny plant, such as a cactus under a vulnerable window to slow down an intruder. Also, examine tall trees near second-story windows and make sure intruders can’t use them as ladders.

10.  Have a home alarm system installed and monitored
One of the biggest deterrents to a home invasion is having a home alarm system.  Whether it’s wired or wireless, a monitored home security system reduces home burglaries by up to 66 percent.

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Filed under: Real Estate

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