Practical ways to reduce home break-in risk

Home burglaries are common and unfortunately, nobody is immune. By increasing focus on break-in prevention, you can lower your chances of being targeted. Are you prepared?

Whether you like it or not, burglaries are a part of the world we live in. And no type of burglary is more personal and intimate than a home break-in. Not only does it compromise your belongings and damage your property, but it leaves you feeling violated.

The good news is that there are proven ways to reduce the risk of home burglary. While no method is foolproof, doing the following will keep your family safer:

1. Install a security system

Step 1 would be to install some sort of security system. For one, the presence of a security system reduces the chances that a criminal will target your house. (They know how to scope a house and can typically tell when a system is installed and activated.) Secondly, a security system notifies the police when there’s a break-in and increases the chances of catching the perpetrator.

With a security system, there are multiple options. A third-party company may be called to professionally install the security equipment. They’ll then charge you a monthly fee for monitoring. Alternatively, there is also the option of installing your own equipment and hiring a service to do the monitoring for you.

2. Practice smart social media behaviour

Believe it or not, one of the best ways to prevent a home burglary in the 21st century is to practice smart social media behavior – particularly when you’re on out of the house.

“One of the biggest mistakes you can make is posting anything about your vacation while you are still on it,” cyber security expert Andy O’Donnell writes. “A thief trolling social media, or perhaps a friend of a friend with a delinquent brother who happens to see your vacation post, might decide that while you're away on your expensive vacation, your home is prime for plundering.”

The less information you share with the outside world, the better off you’ll be. Criminals have evolved, and social media is one of their preferred ways of choosing victims.

3. Remove low hanging fruit

Burglars aren’t exactly the most ambitious and motivated bunch. While they’ll occasionally try to pull off a complex heist, they tend to search for the easy targets that offer them the best chance of being successful. If you want to prevent your home from becoming a target, remove the low hanging fruit, such as:

  • Trim back tall bushes and trees near your house, as they may provide hiding spots for burglars as they attempt to break in through a window or door.
  • Lock all windows and doors when you’re home or away.
  • Never leave valuable items out in plain sight. While it’s hard to hide things like TVs and appliances, money, jewelry, and small electronics should be put away.
  • If you’ll be away for an extended period of time, have a close friend or neighbor pick up your mail and newspapers.
  • Use light timers to make it appear like you’re home, even when you aren’t.

Preventing a home break-in is all about thinking like a criminal and playing one step ahead. It won’t always work, but at least you can rest easy knowing you’re being proactive.

4. Purchase the right insurance policies

Sometimes you can do everything right and still have your home burglarised. In an unfortunate situation like this, it’s nice to have a safety net in place. The right insurance policy is crucial.

“The cost of fixing and replacing things after a break-in can often be higher than what the average homeowner can afford,” King Price Insurance explains. “This is what home contents insurance is for. Having this policy means that you can claim for items that are stolen from, or damaged at your home.”

5. Be a smart homeowner

There will always be some risk of home burglary, but you can do your part to make your property less of a target. In doing so, you’ll gain valuable peace of mind that you’re doing everything you can to protect your family. Don’t delay – start making necessary changes today.

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