Did you know that in the U.S., there’s a home burglary every 20 seconds? While that’s a scary statistic, there is plenty that Long Island homeowners can do to protect themselves.
Home burglars seek out easy targets, so you have to know how not to be one. There are ways to make sure you’re protected from burglary. How? We’ve compiled information about break-in trends and deterrents, some straight from the mouths of career burglars, which can help you to protect your home and prevent robberies.
They Strike When You’re Not Home
Criminals are just like you and me – they’re both online and connected, and they’re following your posts to find out when you’re away from home. Criminals monitor public social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, to find when potential victims are traveling or away from the house. A survey of convicted burglars found that more than 10% say they used social media to determine who was out of town. Even casual mentions of your schedule, upcoming dinner date or concert, or event you’re planning to attend can give a thief essential clues about your routine.
Unfortunately, locating someone’s home address using basic information from their social media profile is surprisingly easy. The thief can find it using Google Street View, online image searches, and Internet directories.
So, while it’s exciting to post your check-in at the airport or tempting to post about your vacation to your social media feed, keep your home safe and wait to share your trip photos and location check-ins until you are back home.
Most Burglaries Don’t Take Place at Night
According to Statistica, break-ins happen more in the summer in the U.S., becoming more common when the evenings get brighter. They spike ten percent in June, July, and August. The last thing criminals want to do is to encounter someone at home, which means nighttime is the least ideal time for crime. Weekdays are the best (since weekend schedules are too unpredictable).
FBI statistics reveal that 60% of burglaries happen between 6 am and 6 pm. Even during the day, always lock your doors and windows. Keep shrubs trimmed so burglars can’t hide behind them. Did you know that burglars will often ring the doorbell to see if anyone answers? New technology offers doorbells with wifi and a camera at a relatively low cost that enables you to answer your doorbell from your mobile device, whether you are home or not.
Valuables in the Open Ask for Trouble
This may seem obvious but hide your valuables or keep them in a safe if you don’t want them to get stolen. Don’t leave your new iPad on top of the kitchen table in front of a window on the first floor, jewelry on your living room coffee table in front of the bay window, or car keys on the side table by the front door window.
Mike Fraser, former professional burglar, and host of the BBC show Beat the Burglar advises not to leave any mail, I.D. documents, or other personal information in plain sight as well, as such documents are gold to a criminal who specializes in identity theft.
Security Practices DO Work
As previously mentioned, burglars don’t want to run into anyone at home – which means anything that makes it appear like you are home will heed them off. According to professional burglars, anything that makes it look like people are present – floodlights, motion sensor lights, timed lights or radios or T.V.s left on, are enough to keep criminals away.
A simple security system, whether it’s from one of the best home security companies or not, will also keep your home safer than you think. According to Alarm.org, homes with no security system are almost 300% more likely to be targeted for a break-in.
If you choose to install an alarm system, don’t use personal information like your house number or birthday as the alarm code. Clean your alarm keypad to remove any dirt or grease so a thief won’t be able to guess your code based on the numbers you’ve hit the most.
Light and Bright at Night
Keep the exterior of your home lit at night with porch lights and landscaping lights. Install motion sensor lights so that if someone comes onto your property, the light turns on. Motion sensors can also help to prevent car break-ins in your driveway.
These tips may seem simple, but they can go a long way in protecting your home from break-ins. Simple, inexpensive changes will keep your Long Island home safer than you think, so stay diligent, and you’ll keep burglars at bay.