In life, unpleasant things can happen to you, such as someone burglarizing your home. You can take a negative approach and think that it is bound to happen and that you cannot prevent such an unhappy event. On the other hand, you can take a more positive approach and set up preventative measures. You can take many steps to increase theft prevention.
Make safety a habit. This may surprise you but this is the #1 step to prevent theft but is also the one so many people ignore. It takes developing good habits.
- Never leave your home without securing all doors, including sliding doors, every time that you leave, even if it is only for a short period. Always use your deadbolts. If you have locking screen doors, use them as well. It only takes a few moments for a thief to enter and pick up something valuable. Make it a habit.
- Lock windows, keep them locked unless you are home and need the outside air. If you do open windows regularly, lock them when you no longer need to open them. Check all windows before leaving your residence.
- The garage is very important to securing your home. Many times, people think that they only have to lock the house. Thieves can steal many items from your garage - tools, bikes, outside toys, etc. A garage gives thieves more time because you cannot see them at work. Don’t just put the garage door down; lock it.
- Don’t leave a spare key outside your residence unless you have a sure-fire way to hide and secure it. Be aware of how many people know that there is a spare key and be cautious about giving out this information.
- If you are concerned that you have given out too many keys, talk to your property manager about having the home rekeyed and then start over with only giving out keys when absolutely necessary. Remember, as your property management company, we take the issue of key control seriously.
Don’t advertise when you ARE home. This may sound strange but sometimes people help burglars with their enterprising careers even when they are home.
- Put tools, bikes, toys, and other items away when not in use. It is amazing how bold thieves are today. They often have few qualms about walking calmly up to a residence as if they belong there and picking something up.
- Don’t display valuables from windows. Put them out of sight. If they know you have something of value, they will be more interested.
- During the evening hours, keep window coverings closed. Take a walk outside and take a realistic view of what you see - are you inviting crime? Change those habits.
Don’t advertise that you are NOT home. This is another area most often overlooked. Experienced burglars will easily pick up signs that someone is not home. Again, do not help them continue with their career at your expense - think ahead.
- When you are leaving for a short time, leave music playing.
- Leave lights on timers when appropriate. If you will still be away from your residence at dark, program lights to come on at sunset.
- Don’t leave a message on your voice mail that indicates you are away. When your message plays, state that you are “away from your phone but would like to return their call” or just ask them to simply leave a message.
- Don’t advertise on the Internet. So many people are now putting information on Facebook, Twitter, and other media letting people know they are away from their residence, even if it is going to the grocery store or worse, they are taking a two-week vacation. If you want to post something about your trip, do it when you return.
- If leaving on vacation, be sure to cancel newspapers, deliveries, and other items indicating you are not there. If you cannot stop delivery, have someone pick them up immediately.
- Set up a neighbor to help you with picking up items in front of your home and watching out for your residence.
Involve all residents in theft prevention. You may be practicing all the steps in this article, but if there are other residents in your home that are not, it negates the program to prevent theft. Meet with everyone in your household; cover all the steps for prevention and require that they practice them.
No one likes to think about negative or harmful things, such as someone burglarizing your residence. Think about what can happen and take a proactive approach to your home safety. Contact your property management company if you need help - we want you to enjoy a peaceful and safe home.