If you were locked out of your house, would you still be able to get in?  Maybe you keep an unlocked window in the back, or a hidden key in your mailbox or on top of a window ledge?  You may think this is a good idea, but guess what?  If you can get in, so can the burglar!

One out of ten homes will be burglarized this year.  Most burglarized homes have annual incomes of between $17,000 to $28,000.  Nearly 22% of burglaries occur through unlocked doors or windows.  For a small amount of time and money you can make your home more secure and reduce your chances of being a victim, perhaps even significantly.

Most burglars will spend no longer than 1-4 minutes trying to break into a home.  If you can delay a burglar long enough, he’ll go elsewhere.  Good locks, and good neighbors who watch out for one another, can be big deterrents to burglars.  Burglars tend not to work very hard.  If a home is hard to enter, the burglar will often move on to an easier target.  Are you the inviting target?

Tips on how to secure your home:

Check the locks:  use a deadbolt on external doors; never keep your name/address attached to your keys; properly secure sliding glass doors; lock double-hung windows with key locks; when you move into a new home, re-key the locks; don’t leave your house keys in your car when your car is being serviced.

Check the doors:  outside doors should be metal or solid wood; use your peephole; never leave notes on your front door; pay special attention to back doors and windows.

Check the outside:  install outside lights; trim back shrubbery to eliminate hiding places; lock up ladders and garden tools; never leave garage or garden sheds unlocked; when you travel, create the illusion that you are home, make a list of valuables, including serial numbers and photos; get a “Beware of Dog” sign.

Consider an alarm:  determine the level of security that fits your needs; learn to use your system properly; display warning stickers around your house.