Burglary is a huge problem in many parts of the country, and the biggest mistake you can make is to think it will never happen to you. The truth is, burglary and home invasion can happen to anyone, anywhere. There is no need to be afraid. The smartest thing you can do is to be prepared.
So what are some simple steps you can take today to safeguard your home and family against burglary and home invasion? Here are some places to start.
Install a Peephole or Window
The first mistake people often make in home invasion is to open the door to someone they do not know or are not expecting. The old sayings we learned about stranger danger as kids still holds true. Teach your children not to let anyone in. If your front door does not have a peephole or window, install one if possible or find the perfect front door replacement that allows for the best locks, is the sturdiest, and is setup with a way to see out.
If someone does come to your door unexpectedly and claims to be from a utility or other company, ask for identification and have them hold it up to the peephole or window. Call the company and confirm the person’s identity. The first thing of importance is to be able to see who is at the door, and not to open it until you are sure they are who they claim to be.
Install Security Cameras
It used to be that security cameras were only for the ultra-rich, but not anymore. A good security camera setup can be had for a couple of hundred dollars on Amazon or other sites and comes with four to six cameras and a controller box and DVR. Most have at least enough memory for 24 hours of recording, and more storage can be added easily.
The easiest way to prevent burglary and home invasion is the ability to see someone coming, and for them to see your cameras. They will be much less likely to attack, and may go looking for easier targets. Even if they do attack, you then have a record and authorities will have an easier time catching them.
The good thing about these modern cameras and other modern security is that they can be tied into your WIFI or even a cellular network, and you can view them from anywhere. You can also have a system that detects if your garage door is opened, that has window and door sensors throughout your home, and also can lock your entry doors so that even someone with the code cannot get in.
This is a great option in case any codes may have been compromised or the intruder somehow got a key. These tools can also be programmed to automatically call police and even sound home alarms at the touch of a button.
Have Your Cell Phone Handy (Just in Case)
A common trick of burglars and home invaders is to cut phone lines. While few people have landlines anymore, if you have a DSL style internet connection, this can disable your internet connection. While Wi-Fi devices can still connect to each other, they may not be able to dial out or perform other vital functions like sending alerts to your cell phone.
When you are home, keep your cell handy, and even have your home devices programmed to switch to your hotspot or another dedicated network in case the internet does fail. This also gives you a way to contact authorities even if your landline has been cut. Some phones even offer an emergency services shortcut, something you can do on the sly even if you are being confronted by someone.
Educate yourself on your phone’s features, and know how to get a message out even in the most extreme of circumstances.
Get a Dog
Seriously. Often a big dog, and even a small dog with a large bark will deter a burglar or home invader. Dogs can be trained to be intimidating and are naturally protective of their territory and their pack, your family. It is rare that a home invader will attempt to take one on.
Often just the barking can be an alert to you if you are home, and to your neighbors and others if you are not. While a dog is an investment of time, money, and love the companionship you get and the peace of mind about your home both make them worthwhile security features.
Have an Action Plan
If you are the victim of a burglary or home invasion while you are present, don’t just call the police and wait for them to arrive. They may not be able to get to you in a timely manner, and you need to have a plan of your own. If you have a safe room, use it. If you don’t, improvise with the garage, a bathroom, or even a closet.
Whatever plan you develop, go over it as a family first. While it is not always comfortable to talk about these what if type situations, it is better to have been uncomfortable having the conversation before anything happens than during or after, when your lives may be at stake.
Value Life First
This brings us to the final key to safeguarding your home and your family against a burglary and home invasion. Value life first. Property can be replaced, and if someone wants to steal from you and you can’t reasonably stop them, let them take it. That item can be replaced where you or a member of your family cannot.
Nothing you have in your home is worth that. Have your plan to get away or hide in place, but forget heroics unless there are actual threats against your life or person or that of your family. The potential outcome is just too risky.
Your home and your family are important, and prevention is worth investing in. From cameras to smart accessories, from the right front door to getting a dog, you can protect your family if you follow these tips.