How to Prevent a Home Invasion
Neighborhoods of all types are vulnerable to home invasions. This type of crime is traumatic for victims because home is no longer a safe haven. The law classifies a burglary as a crime where the victim finds out later that personal belongings have been taken. A robbery involves the victim as a witness to the events. Too many people believe they have a satisfactory plan to deal with someone who enters the house uninvited. The truth is that few individuals are able to use a physical weapon against another human being.
The better approach includes taking proper steps to prevent a home invasion from occurring.
1. Lock the doors and windows.
Police officers know that a significant number of home invasions occur because the homeowner is careless about basic security. A criminal can walk around the neighborhood and check the doorknobs. An unlocked door is a vulnerability that can be avoided. Open windows might have screens, but a sharp object will cut through the screen in an instant.
Test: Multiple occupants in a home must cooperate with efforts to ensure the doors and windows are always locked. Routine checks will provide peace of mind that the locks are in place.
2. Install strong windows, doors and locks.
Hollow-core external doors must be replaced with steel-clad, hard-core doors. The doorknob should be paired with a strong deadbolt. Thieves can kick in a weak door and have full access to the house without anyone noticing. A sliding-glass door is vulnerable since it is located behind the house and can be pried open. Insurance companies offer substantial discounts to homeowners who install proper security devices.
Test: Never wait to be locked out of the house to find out how secure the doors and windows are against forced entry. Attempt to enter the house from the exterior without using a key. Make appropriate changes.
3. Light the interior and exterior.
A house that appears to be occupied is a strong deterrent to crime. Timers on lights in commonly used areas should be used at all times. A pattern is established that will make the neighbors uncertain of the family’s presence in the house. Appropriate exterior lighting will prevent curiosity seekers from approaching ground floor windows.
4. Remove the interior view from the outside.
First-floor windows provide too much information about the home’s contents. Valuable possessions should be located in interior rooms. Expensive electronics should not be visible from the exterior of the home. Shades and curtain should be closed in the evening to prevent full view of the interior from the street, sidewalk or other vantage point.
Test: Attempt to see through the windows from different angles during the day and in the evening. Make appropriate changes to the placement of furnishings and shade-lowering practices.
5. Consider a new canine family member.
With careful breed choice, a dog can become an important addition to the family. Vicious dogs are not the same as protective dogs. Pets add immeasurable warmth and company to the home, and kids learn about responsibility through their daily care of the dog.
Test: Offer to care for a friend’s dog for a week while they are on vacation. A similar breed will provide valuable information before acquiring a family pet.
6. Install a whole house alarm system.
Wireless technology has revolutionized the design and installation of home security systems. Affordable options exist for homes of any size. Advanced systems can include closed-circuit cameras and recording devices. Other types of systems include sensors on every door and window. Security systems offer peace of mind for homeowners. Audible alarms will sound if the premise is entered without disarming the alarm.
Test: Visit www.homesecurityconcepts.com to learn more about home security systems.
7. Be observant of people who are in the vicinity.
All neighbors must be familiar with the vehicles and individuals who belong in the neighborhood. Any outsiders who do not depart in a timely manner should be observed until they depart. The police should be notified if suspicious behavior is noticed. The non-emergency police phone number is useful for securing additional patrols for the neighborhood.
Test: Telephone neighbors when strangers enter the area. Discuss the individual’s behavior and work together to make the final decision to contact the police.
8. Protect valuable information about the house contents.
Package arrivals will alert burglars to new purchases for the home. Disposing of the packaging on the curb reveals details about new valuables. Christmas and other gift-related holidays provide many opportunities for theft. Be cautious about inviting anyone into the home. Delivery people can have night jobs as home invaders.
Test: Review personal processes followed concerning repairmen, delivery people, trash disposal and outdoor conversations. Too much openness in these areas can open doors for those who have ill intentions.
9. Befriend the closest neighbors.
Formal neighborhood watch groups are helpful in high crime areas. Caring neighbors who watch out for each other protect most other locations. Living patterns become familiar to anyone with an interest in protecting the area from unauthorized entrance. Protection for others begins with careful observation.
Test: Offer information to neighbors and ask for similar feedback when people enter the neighborhood. Frequent conversations with neighbors will build community with the people who live closest.
10. Refuse to open the door.
Americans are trusting and friendly people. Casually answering the door can introduce danger without intending to do so. A knock on the door must be ignored if the person is unknown and not expected. All repairmen must be required to provide sufficient identification. Even a uniformed police officer should be verified with the dispatcher. Burglars have learned to prey on the trusting nature that has been the core of American society for centuries.
Test: Use the peephole whenever the doorbell rings or someone knocks on the door. Refuse to open the door to a stranger.
Lack of information is the primary cause for delay when homeowners are considering a home security system.
Visit www.homesecurityconcepts.com to request a free consultation.