Throughout Dane County we have seen a significant increase in the amount of ‘break-ins’ or thefts in homes during the past few weeks. No community has been untouched, and it has affected many homeowners. Think about your home. Where would you break in if you were a criminal? Do you have to “break-in” or do you leave your windows, doors, vehicles unlocked at night? What windows or sliding doors are at ground level that can be broken? Can you see your home? Do you leave outside lights on? Many of the thefts are just opportunities waiting to happen. Check these Quick Facts and follow our tips below to keep your family and your home safe this holiday season.
Facts about Burglary
- Burglars Tend to avoid homes with security systems
- Most Burglaries happen between 10:00-3:00
- Majority are commitment by people who live within 2 miles of your home
- Most Burglaries happen in less than 10 minutes (snatch and grab)
- 30% occur through unlocked doors and windows
- 34% of burglars enter through the front door
- First Room for burglars – Master Bedroom
- 30% of homeowners are home during the burglary!
Many Police Departments are focusing on “Nightly Lockup”. The majority of burglaries occur between 10:00-3:00 and 30 percent happen when homeowners are home. Don’t you think you would want to take preventive measures all day long? We suggest practicing the following all day, every day.
- Keep exterior doors and windows locked, including the door from the garage to the home
- Make sure garage door is closed
- Lock all vehicles parked outside
We admit that we get a little annoyed by constantly locking and unlocking doors. Consider smart locks. Most smart locks can auto-lock after you enter the home, can be controlled from a smart phone, and have a keypad for easy entry.
Make sure to leave exterior lights on at night especially around windows and doors. If leaving the lights on will keep you awake or if you are worried about your electric bill, consider motion activated lights. Here are a few examples of Motion Activated Lights.
We all love online shopping because it is super easy and convenient. It is also very easy for neighbors and people driving by to see all the goodies you just had delivered to your home. For now, there is not much you can do to prevent someone from walking up to the porch and taking your package. Of course, being home and bringing the package in as soon as it is delivered is ideal, but we all know that is not always possible. If you are not going to be home, ask a neighbor to pick up and hold your packages for you. Consider installing a security camera or Ring® doorbell to catch thieves (see cameras for more options).
As burglars scope out homes they look for opportunities. Leaving Christmas Presents below your tree that burglars can see through a window is an incident waiting to happen. Move your tree out of window view or close your clients/curtains.
Don’t advertise your expensive gifts to your neighbors and people driving by. What do we mean by that? We all have seen the big T.V. boxes next to a garage container or on the side of someone’s house. Break down the -box and stick in the container.
60% of burglars said they would not break into a home that has a security system. The majority of burglars will go running for the hills as soon as they hear the blaring siren, but that also means they have successfully made it into your home. Security Systems have come down in price and many can be self-installed without a professional. If you don’t want to spend the money on a security system you can still, make it seem like you have one by buying stickers and sign posts from ADT or other alarm companies.
For many when they think of Security Cameras they think of a big expensive elaborate system. Just like Security Systems camera prices have come down and they are relatively easy to install. For instance, Arlo has a Security Camera system that is wireless and operates off Wi-Fi. The system can be watched live or can be setup to send alerts/10 second clips of when motion is detected. Placing Security cameras on the exterior of your home is not only an excellent deterrent, but also can help Law Enforcement catch the criminals. The Ring® doorbell is also a great option. Get notifications when someone is at your door and the ability to speak to them without having to open the door.
Going on Vacation or Leaving Town
If you are going on vacation or leaving town make sure to have someone pick up your mail and plan for someone to shovel your sidewalks and driveway. 12 inches of snow in the driveway a week after a good snow is a clear indication that nobody is home! If you have a security system and cameras you can monitor your home while you are gone, but it’s a good idea to ask a neighbor to keep an eye out or ask the local Police Department to do checks on your home.
Everything all together…
We have given lots of recommendations to help deter, detect, and prevent criminals from entering your home, but nothing can 100% guarantee that your home will not be broken into. As always, we recommend calling 9-1-1 if you see anything suspicious or if you have an emergency.
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John Reuter is your local Homes for Heroes affiliate and licensed Realtor with Home Buyers Marketing II Inc.