An estimated 3.7 million burglaries occur each year. And the average homeowner faces a loss of $2,000 in stolen goods.
The best outcome of a burglary is for one not to happen at all. So what can you do to keep burglars out of your home?
We've amassed the best tips, tricks, and insights to protecting your home from thieves.
Thieves Don't Always Strike at Night
Why would they? Most people are in their homes. This means a thief is more likely to get caught, or things could turn violent.
Instead, thieves like to break in when no one is home. Most of the time, that's in broad daylight in the middle of the day. The best times are between 9 and 11 am - before you come home for lunch, or between 1 and 3 pm, while kids are still at school.
Some dedicated thieves will stake out a house and learn to recognize patterns. It's terrifying to think that someone has been watching us or plotting a robbery. But most burglaries only take 8-12 minutes, so it helps a thief to know your schedule.
It takes you half an hour to take the kids to school every morning. Once a thief knows this, they know they have a solid half hour to poke about your home undetected.
Look Out for Easy Entrances
Did you score the private end lot in your suburbs? That's actually not so great when it comes to protecting your home from thieves. Burglars look for houses that are harder for neighbors to see.
That means your privacy measures might actually mean you're more likely to get robbed. Privacy fences, tall hedges and obscuring trees all make it easier for a burglar to hide.
Thieves don't want people to see them. They're more likely to go in through a back door or an entrance that has cover.
So what can you do?
Make sure your doors and windows are easily seen. Set up motion detecting lights. Cameras are another great thief deterrent. But some more determined thieves see cameras a sign that there's some good stuff inside.
In this article, we talk about all the weak points in your home, and what you can do to protect them.
There is No Safe Hiding Spot for Your Valuables
When a thief gets into your home, the first spot is always the master bedroom. At the end of the day, we throw our wallets, jewelry, and keys right on the nightstand. Master bedrooms are full of valuables.
But after the master bedroom has been plundered? What's next?
Anywhere. Thieves search drawers, medicine cabinets, bookshelves, even cereal boxes.
The absolute best place to keep your valuables is in a heavy, secure safe that's well hidden and well out of sight. Keep in mind if your safe isn't hard enough to move, it's likely to get stolen as well.
Don't Flaunt Your Wealth
Having the nicest home on the block makes you a good target for thieves. If they can see your 70" flatscreen through the window, it makes you a perfect target.
Do your best to keep your nice stuff a bit more obscured. At the very least don't leave your MacBook on the desk next to the office window.
Don't Ignore the Basics
The most common point of entry for a thief? An unlocked front door.
Even if you're playing in the backyard with your kids, it's smart to keep the front door locked. 27.6% of the time someone is home during a burglary.
If you're going on vacation, have a neighbor pick up your newspapers or shovel your sidewalk. It's a good idea to avoid posting information about your vacation until after you're home.
Don't go over the top though. Set your lights and a radio or tv on a timer. A middle-class house lit up in the middle of the night usually means that no one is home. They just want people to think they are.
Get a Dog
Most burglarers say they won't try to break into a home with a dog - big or small.
The crooks say that big guard dogs are intimidating. After all, people expect big dogs to protect their homes and families.
The small ones can be as obnoxious, due to their constant yapping. If one dog starts to bark, it can trigger every dog in the neighborhood, which is the last thing a burglar wants.
If you're on the fence about adopting a furry friend, take this as the nudge you need.
Get a Home Security System for Protecting Your Home from Thieves
The absolute best way to protect your home from thieves is with a home security system. In fact, homes without a security system are 300 times more likely to get robbed.
Signs in the front lawn are often enough to deter many burglarers. 60% said they would change their mind just by seeing a security system. If a burglar proceeds, a triggered alarm system scares them off.
You can check out our ultimate guide to different types of security systems here.
DIY Security is Good, Home Security Systems are Better
Protecting your home from thieves can be a full-time job if you let it get to you. There's a lot to pay attention to and a lot to worry about.
But a home security system is undeniably the best way to protect your home and your family from a burglar.
Ready to protect your home with a professional security system? Contact us today.