The days of leaving doors unlocked are over. To add insult to injury, the average thief nets nearly PHP 70,000 in valuables per robbery.
With burglaries on the rise, intruders aren't getting more elaborate -- we're getting sloppy with protecting our homes. Ninety percent of break-ins are preventable since intruders often prey on our mistakes instead of using forced entry.
Here's how to protect your home to minimize your burglary odds and stay safe.
Lock up your valuables Protecting your valuables starts with prioritizing them. Make a list of your most prized possessions and keep all receipts in a safe place. Mark your territory by photographing your valuables and engraving your name on any computer equipment you may have. Pictures and receipts prove ownership, while engraved equipment is difficult to sell. Also flatten and separate boxes for TV, computer and video equipment. Thieves scope out the garbage, so your new electronics boxes shouldn't be obvious to spot.
Home insurance is a must no matter where you live. No one wants to get robbed, but if it does happen, at least you will get something for your troubles. For the items you can't live without, you may want to consider a safety deposit box. If you want to keep your valuables close by, a home safe is effective as long as it's bolted to the ground.
Stay unpredictable To effectively protect your home, remember that breaks in patterns let burglars know when you're out. Protect your home by being smart and staying unpredictable. Always park your car out of sight in the garage or further down the block -- anywhere but in front of the house. One of the biggest ways to protect your home is to keep your place unpredictable so as to never make it obvious when you’re home. Light timers from your local hardware store are a good start. These devices operate your indoor and outdoor lights, turning them on and off in random intervals. They leave burglars discouraged and off to a new target. Also note that while automatic timers can control lights, they can also turn radios on, adjust volume and open or close window drapes.
Phones are also important, since burglars call to see if you'll answer. Keep your phone's ringer volume down when you're away from home, and use call forwarding to avoid the voice mail trap.
Keep the outside neat To avoid clutter from building up on your doorstep -- a surefire indicator to any burglar that you're out of town -- suspend all deliveries to your home. Have regular mail delivered to your neighbors’. Your neighbors can also help protect your home by taking out trash, parking in your driveway and leaving non-valuable items in your yard to make your place seems occupied. Some police are willing to check your home too. While you're gone, have your grass and garden maintained. Any trees within range of the house should be pruned to prevent burglars from gaining second-floor access. A neglected yard can mean no one's home. Install alarms Burglar alarms are commonly used to prevent burglaries. The best alarms are also visual, since they let your intruders and neighbors see an obvious signal of a break-in to go along with the sirens. Test it regularly, but be sure to warn your neighbors first so they know what's going on. Alarm decals are important visual warnings to burglars, so make them visible on your windows and doors. If you don't want an alarm, you can get fake alarm stickers which, when visibly placed in a window, can act as a solid deterrent. Canines are also good for preventing burglaries since thieves don't want to deal with barks and bites. Large dogs are best, but even a small one can be adequate protection if its bark has the volume necessary to wake you or the neighbors up. If you don't want a dog, you can also opt for a “Beware of Dog” sign or a barking-dog alarm that growls and yelps on its own. Get effective locks When it comes to protecting your home, you can never have too many locks. Start by changing your locks and having a locksmith regularly check them for possible improvements. Deadbolt locks are effective for doors, which also need specialized hinges for enhanced security. Intruders like to break glass and open doors from the inside, so use a double-key lock to prevent this. For the patio, use a pin or key lock with a steel rod, and install bolt locks on your garage door.
Keep all dark areas of your home visible by giving them light. Thieves like darkness in entryways, so lights should be used for entryways and parking areas whenever possible. Motion-sensor lights are a good choice for the front and back yards, but keep them at least 10-feet high to stop burglars from disabling them. Make sure they shine close to your doors and windows to give full visibility to the area. Lastly, if you have a basement entrance, don't forget to put bars on the windows.
You live in a nice subdivision , but you never know who's lurking around the corner craving a quick score. Sure, there are millions of burglaries a year, but there’s no reason to become a statistic. Start with basic precautions and encourage those living around you to do the same through a neighborhood watch. If you're all looking out for each other, the odds of staying safe are in your favor. Don't rely on our security guards.