Burglary is the most common threat to our homes, and it usually happens during the day while many are away at work and other activities.
Because not everyone can fit a home security system in their budget, we decided to put together a list that doesn't require a huge up-front cost. You don't necessarily have to arm your home with a system to make it less attractive to thieves.
Stop the Everyday Home Burglary
We're luckier than most people around the country because we live in a metro area that experiences significantly less crime than other areas. According to FBI statistics, Idaho's state crime rate is the lowest in the West. Serious crime rates 21.3 percent lower than the national average. However, no area is immune to crime, and there are plenty of simple things you can do to help prevent yourself from becoming a victim.
Statistics show that weekdays between 10am and 3pm are the highest for burglary rates in the U.S., and when burglars are looking for a home to break into, they are looking for those that look unoccupied, and single-family residences during that time of day tend to be empty.
If you're out of the house during these hours, you may consider setting a random timer to turn on the television or radio.
Parking for Rent
Another great deter, if you have a second car, is to keep it out in the driveway while you're at work. You can even rent out your driveway during the day to someone in the neighborhood who's looking for a parking spot.
If you use a gardening or lawn service or have other home maintenance services that don't require you to be home, schedule them during these prime theft hours.
The Lights Are On But No One Is Home
Do whatever you can to make it look like you're at home.
The Big Bad Scary Dog...
"Beware of Dog" "My scary dog can run faster than you"- you've seen these signs, and they're an excellent way to ward off thieves. These effective theft deterrents work in tangent with or without the actual scary dog. If you don't have the big scary dog, you can leave a dog bowl outside your side door.
It goes without saying, but we'll say it anyway. Keep all entry points locked. 6 Percent of burglaries happen this way. The Washington Post suggests deadbolt locks and sash window security pins. Exterior doors should be solid.
It's said that criminals tend to break in when it's easy to do so. While some are brazen enough to simply break a window, statistics suggest that most criminals don't want to be so obvious and will simply move on.
Who Doesn't Like Window Decals?
Again, if you can't afford a home security system, you could try to get a security sign and place them on your front door.
Thieves go through the front door, first floor windows and the back door. Failing with these, thieves will try the garage, other unlocked entrances and the basement.
I Can See You, Can You See Me?
Reinforce all of the aforementioned entry points and if you don't have a security camera, use fake ones.
Better Safe Then Sorry
At night, make sure you use outside lighting. Make sure points of entry are well-lit. Criminals don't want to be seen. Motion detector lights are inexpensive and don't use a lot of energy.
If a thief does manage to make it inside your home, consider that the average burglar isn't going to spend more than 10 to 12 minutes inside. Make it as difficult as possible for them to find your valuables. Forget about using the most common hiding places, like your dresser drawer or bedroom closet.
Live The Modest Life
Don't show off your things. Leaving certain items hanging around your place for anyone to see can be an unwitting way to attract thieves. If you leave valuables outside, someone can easily walk away with them. Put them in your garage instead.
Don't Be A Showoff
"Did you just purchase a brand new plasma television or other pricey toy?" Don't leave the box outside by the trash can or recycling bin.
Around 40 percent of annual household burglaries in the U.S. are not forced entry. That means the criminal was able to simply walk, climb or crawl into the house as easily as if the owner handed them a key.
Stay vigilant. If you aren't paying attention to what you're doing, you could be inviting a burglar right in.
Residential crime spikes during July and August as people are heading out for vacation.
The Buddy System
Let neighbors that you trust know you're leaving town and ask them to keep an eye on your property. More importantly, don't leave indications that you're leaving town. Avoid accumulated mail, overgrown lawns and strewn about newspapers.
If you'd like the latest crime stats, the FBI's Annual Crime in the U.S. Report is the source for this article and a great place to look for more information.