Unfortunately, no matter where you live, home invasions and home-related crimes are all too common. “In the next 20 years, a jaw-dropping 75% of all homes in the country will be broken into by a burglar, regardless of neighborhood,” Forbes reports. While this figure may be alarming, there are plenty of things you can do to make your house more secure. In fact, according to WOKQ 97.5 and SafeHome.org, nearly half of all houses — or 48% — targeted by burglars take extra steps to protect their homes after a break-in.
Learn the critical steps you can take to make your home safer for you and your family.
Install a Fence
The right type of fence will deter burglars from straying onto your property. What is the right type of fence?
Law enforcement officers warn homeowners not to find too much comfort in solid, privacy fences and large, leafy bushes. These can give you a false sense of security. Burglars may even prefer houses with this dense cover because it gives them a place to hide while fleeing.
For the best results, purchase a solid wooden fence with a decorative trellis on top. The trellis will be less substantial and less sturdy than the rest of the fence, making it difficult to climb it or jump it. If you plant bushes near the fence or outer edges of your backyard, choose bushes with thorns, like blackberry or rose bushes.
Best of all, installing a fence around your home may be tax-deductible. While average property taxes amount to $2,375, adding a fence constitutes a home improvement and may save you money when it comes time to file your taxes.
Secure All Forms of Entry to Your Home
Another wise step is to make certain the entrances to your home are reasonably secure. First, always lock doors and windows before going to bed. Some burglars will take an unlocked door as an invitation. They prefer to target homes that are the easiest to break into — and that includes houses with homeowners who regularly or semi-regularly forget to lock the door.
Secure front doors with a deadbolt, sliding glass doors with special locks and/or a security bar, and windows with reliable window locks.
Consider Security System Installation
A visible home security system, including camera surveillance, will likely deter criminals. Put cameras out in the open, and post signage in your windows or on the lawn letting visitors know that your home is protected.
Often, seeing these telltale signs that your home has an alarm system will be enough to keep burglars away.
Keep Your Property Well-Lit
Another deterrent is to keep your property well-lit — and even to install motion-detecting lights. Criminals will generally avoid a well-lit home. If they are on or near your property when their presence triggers a bright, motion-activated light, they are very likely to abandon their pursuit and leave you and your family be.
Have a Conversation With Your Children About Stranger Danger
Finally, one of the most practical steps you can take to protect your family is to sit kids down and talk to them. Let kids know not to answer the door to strangers, never to invite strangers inside, or to point out where they live to people they do not know.
Always supervise young children and encourage teenagers to hang out in pairs. Ask children of all ages to tell you if they see anything or anyone that seems suspicious or off.
Protect your home from intruders, especially after a break-in. Report the initial crime. If you know the burglar — and many people do — most white-collar criminals will face prison time and legal consequences for their actions, even if it is their first offense.
Moving forward, secure all entrances to your home, install a home security system and extra lighting, and put up the right type of fencing to keep criminals off your property.