10 Ways To Secure Your Home Against Home Invasion

Protecting your home keeps your mind at ease when you’re home and on vacation. When you’re thinking proactively about home security, the hope is that your methods will never be put to the test. That said, while others’ actions are beyond your control, you can do your part to secure your home against invasions.

According to the latest FBI Crime Data Report, there were 492,911 burglary incidents in the United States in 2019. Of that total, 379,434 burglary incidents were committed at residential homes with an average loss of nearly $3,000 in personal property. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, a burglary is considered a home invasion when a resident is present, which is the case 28% of the time, per 2010 statistics.

While that’s not exactly reassuring news, knowledge is power when it comes to protecting your home. Although burglaries can and do happen at any time, they are most common during daytime hours and burglary numbers spike during the summer months. By learning how to properly secure and protect your home against invasions or burglaries at any time of the day or night, you can reduce your chances of a crime occurring.

You can start protecting yourself by evaluating your home, changing your habits when you leave and putting other measures in place that could improve your home’s security.

1. Keep Curtains and Blinds Pulled
Windows offer you a view of the world, but unfortunately, it goes both ways. Criminals may look through windows to scout potential burglary targets or to evaluate whether residents are home. To protect yourself, keep curtains or blinds pulled down in any room where you aren’t currently enjoying the natural light. This also goes for when you leave the house for work, errands or trips. Additionally, try not to leave valuables in plain sight near windows. Motorized smart shades, which can be raised or lowered through an app, can help.

2. Install a Smart Lock
Even with the best of intentions and good habits, anyone can forget to lock entry doors to their home on occasion. Many smart lock systems will allow you to check the status of your doors’ locks remotely, and lock anything that wasn’t secured. With smart locks available at a variety of price points, this is a good option for homes in which residents frequently come and go.

3. Invest in a Home Security System
The gold standard when it comes to home security measures is installing a reliable home security system. From ones that can be professionally installed and monitored, to DIY options that still offer great protection against home invasions, there are numerous top security systems and home security companies available that will allow you to find one which suits both your security needs and budget. The average cost to install a home security system is $475, but costs can vary widely depending on the specific equipment and services you choose for your home.

4. Get Motion-Sensing Lights
With options available for less than $20, motion-sensing floodlights will shine an unwelcome light on anyone who trespasses outside your home, which is a good deterrent against unwelcomed trespassers. Inside the home, you can set motion-sensing smart lights to activate when you are out of the house and an uninvited guest enters. If you’re on vacation, this can also signal to any helpful neighbors who are keeping watch that something isn’t right.

5. Don’t Broadcast Upcoming Departures
With so much uninterrupted time and a delay before the resident can report the crime, residents’ vacations are best-case scenarios for burglars, so don’t make their jobs any easier. As tempting as it may be to share upcoming travel plans on social media, it’s not worth the risk. Even telling a friend about your itinerary when you are in a public place can be ill-advised as you don’t know who else may be eavesdropping on the conversation.

6. Develop a Vacation Strategy
Before going on a trip, create a game plan to help your house continue to look occupied while you’re gone. This includes putting your mail and deliveries on a hold. Additionally, consider asking a trusted neighbor to handle your trash day duties and check in on the house. If snow is in the forecast, you may want to line up a snow removal service to clear your driveway. Similarly, if you will be away from home for an extended period of time during the summer, consider scheduling routine lawn maintenance.

7. Don’t be Obvious With Routines
There’s a reason the majority of break-ins occur during the day. That’s when residents are most likely to be away from the home. Although your work schedule may be consistent, try to keep your comings and goings unknown as much as possible. Also, try not to widely share your whereabouts, even with people you know. According to the FBI, among 2019 burglaries with identified offenders, at least one-in-three of the burglars were known to the victim—such as the victim’s friend, neighbor or family member. (An additional 47% of the incident reports did not share the relationship between the offender and victim.)

8. Keep the Doors Locked and Garage Shut
It’s not just during times of extended departures that you should be on guard. If doors are left unlocked or the garage is open, fast-moving burglars can strike when you go out on a walk, or even are just in the yard. According to home security company ADT, 34% of burglars enter through the front door, 22% come in through the back door and 9% walk through the garage. With 23% of burglars coming in through a first-floor window, it’s also worth keeping your windows locked, and don’t forget any windows to the basement.

9. Look Out for Neighbors (and Vice Versa)
What’s good for your neighborhood is good for your home. By making it clear to burglars that you live in a place where neighbors look out for each other, they may be deterred from trying their chances. Many local police departments offer resources for Neighborhood Watch programs. Even with an informal program, you can look out for neighbors and ask them to look out for you. If you decide to make a house key available to a neighbor, give it to them directly rather than leaving it in an outdoor hiding place.

10. Consider Your Curb Appeal to Burglars
We all like our homes to look good on the outside—but burglars have a different set of criteria. They may be attracted by shrubs that conceal entrances, personal items left around the yard and expensive landscaping features that may indicate there are pricey possessions on the inside of the home.



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