More than 240 homes were burglarized in the United States every hour just a few years ago, according to crime statistics from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report. While you may think your home is safe because you live in a secure neighborhood and know all of your neighbors, be careful to not get too comfortable. Jon Douglas Rainey, co-host of the Discovery Channel home-security-centric television show “It Takes a Thief” and an ex-burglar himself, noted that the most common mistake homeowners make is when they feel too safe. When you start to feel too comfortable, then it’s time to re-evaluate the protection of your home.
Arm Your Home with an Alarm
While the baby monitor is a godsend for you to keep an eye on your little ones, it can also be a security breach if your leave it on all the time. Many criminals exploit this vulnerability by hacking into the monitor frequency and listening in to find out when you’re home and when you’re not to time a break-in.
Consider installing an alarm for extra protection. Homes protected by security alarms are three times less likely to be burglarized than those without security systems, according to a recent article in the Washington Post. However, remember your alarm is useless if you don’t set it regularly. Co-host of Discovery Channel’s “It Takes a Thief” Matt Johnston, explains that one of the most common security mistakes homeowners make is simply not setting the alarm.
As a mom of young kids, it can be tough enough to get out the door with everything you need, let alone having to remember to set the alarm, so luckily there are a high-tech alternatives to help. For instance, home alarm systems from LifeShield come with a free smartphone app that you can use to remotely arm your alarm system from anywhere if you forget to switch it on.
Check the Front Door
According to a Washington Post infographic, the majority of burglars, more than 34 percent, enter homes through the front door. Criminals gain entrance because the door isn’t locked or there’s a spare key left under the doormat or hidden in a fake rock. Avoid the obvious. Even the sturdiest doors can be easily kicked-in if your lock strike plate is weak. Consumer Reports security professionals recently investigated the stability of various exterior door materials and found that nearly any door will eventually fail without a stable metal box strike for the deadbolt.
Dial Down the Flash
Is your house the nicest one on the block? Do you have a habit of leaving your garage open, letting any passersby see your brand-new car and all of your husband’s tools and sports equipment? Your house could be a prime target for burglars if it’s obvious that you have a lot of nice things. Adopt a few modest habits and be sure to close the garage door and window blinds when you’re at home to prevent prying eyes from looking in on you, your children and home luxuries during the day.