Friday, July 1, 2011

How To Protect Your Home From a Break-In

We've read a lot of news stories lately about home break-ins.  Since a lot of people like to go away for the 4th of July weekend, here are some low cost tips you can use to protect your home.

Lock all doors and windows.  Yup, we know this sounds obvious...but we know people who never lock their doors.  I think that people who live in small towns believe a break in will never happen to them...until it happens.

Reinforce your doors.  Handy Man always makes sure that we have sturdy exterior doors with deadbolts.  In our current home, he also replaced the screws that secure the strike plates with longer screws.

Consider your landscaping.  Make sure to keep bushes and plants near your home trimmedWe planted slow-growing bushes in our front yard.  The bushes shown in the above photo have grown since we installed them, but we'll always make sure they don't cover our windows.

Use a timer for lights.  Timers are fairly inexpensive and simple to use.  Set these up to turn on lights in various parts of your home.  

Don't hide a spare key nearby.  Thieves know where to look for these. 

Get ready for vacationsHire someone to mow the lawn if you'll be gone for an extended period of time.  Ask a neighbor to pick up your mail for you.

Don't announce to the world that you'll be on vacation.  Maybe I'm paranoid, but I cringe every time I see someone mention on Facebook that they're going away for a week.  

PS: Don't try breaking into our house this weekend, we aren't going anywhere.  We are like hermits, constantly working on home improvement projects, with occasional short jaunts to Lowe's at various times to throw off would-be thieves.  ;-)

We hope everyone has a great 4th of July weekend.  Stay safe! 


Tina said...

Great tips! I agree with you about folks announcing on facebook that they are going out of town. That's too dangerous.
One suggestion though...instead of having a neighbor pick up your mail for you, stop your mail and pick it up at the post office when you return. A friend of mine had her housed robbed by her mailman after he noticed the neighbor picking up her mail! You just can't trust anyone these days!
Have a happy 4th!

Beth said...

Good stuff! Thanks for sharing. My friend had a creepy guy, hiding in her garage in the middle of the day, while she was at home. If she had not had a contractor working at her home, who knows what would have happened! We have been discovering people getting more and more bold as they attempt to poke around in our garage during the day, too. We have had to get in the habit of shutting it all the time, even when we're working around the house.

Handy Man, Crafty Woman said...

Beth, that is just creepy, a guy hiding in her garage!

Tina, I know people say to have the mail held at the post office...but I read a news story about a mail person who worked in a post office targeting people and robbing them when he found out they were out of town!! Creepy people are everywhere!

Carrie @ Hazardous Design said...

Thanks for the reminder. Sometimes it is so easy to get into the "it will never happen to me" mentality.

the cape on the corner said...

those are great tips. sigh, such a cute lil house!

Pink Overalls @DIY Home Staging said...

The mail situation is one reason we're converting what we can to paperless billing. It cuts down on mail volume.

Our local mail service is so inept that having a neighbor pick up mail when we go away for more than a couple days, is the only way to go.

I love those timers. They cost about $8, and are very convincing. Some can be programmed and some come with a pre-set random setting. We have both kinds.

When we're away, I also set a clock radio to come on at midnight, and it automatically goes off 2 hours later. The trick is to remember that first night when you come home exhausted from vacation!

Cindy said...

I agree! It makes me crazy when I see posts/status updates saying ppl are going away for a period of time. It's like an open invitation to break in!!

Scrappy Gal said...

We actually installed an alarm system after people were breaking in during the day, just busting down the front doors and filling up the city trash cans and then wheeling the goods away!! Awful!

I hate when I see people posting on FB about that stuff...their constant whereabouts, or lack there of!!

Megan said...

Break-ins have really been on my mind lately. THanks for the info.

Katherines Corner said...

great tips, well done. Have a fun and safe 4th. Hugs

Jackie said...

These are wonderful tips. I love the timer idea for the lights. I also agree it is probably a bad idea to announce your vacations on facebook. You never know who may be looking at those status messages.

Anonymous said...

Great advice considering someone recently broke into our neighbors home, in broad daylight. Thanks

Our Back Porch said...

GREAT POST!!! Yes, that is one thing I am careful NOT to on Facebook when we are gone! I always post after the fact!!! Thanks for sharing these great tips!

Waving from Our Back Porch,

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