Wouldn’t you love to leave your house knowing that your place will look the same way you left it when you return home? Whether you travel for business or pleasure, here’s a few tips on how to prevent home invasion. With the days getting shorter and darker, one would think that people are spending more time indoors. And generally, that’s the case. For the traveler, home security is always a concern.
But, make no mistake. With the shorter days, it gives criminals more time to “get to work” on your house under the cover of earlier darkness. Even if you are spending more time at home than in the summer, you still need to take precautions while you are in your house as well as when you leave your house. While you are gone, there is always the chance of a home invasion.
I live in Ireland and as we get closer to Christmas, the home invasion statistics start going up. Especially, right before Christmas. There are many ways that criminals try to separate you from your valuables but with a few tips, you can limit your exposure and avoid home invasion.
Home Invasion Facts
- In the U.S. alone, a burglary happens roughly every 18 seconds. That’s around 4,800 a day.
- A burglar only needs 10 minutes in your house to get the job done.
- Most break-ins are committed by people who live nearby. So this means that they probably know your schedule.
- Around 35% of burglars go through your front door.
- Just over 30% of burglars enter through unlocked and/or open windows.
- Burglars go to the master bedroom first.
- Now, here’s the saddest statistic of them all. Approximately, only 15% of burglaries result in arrests. Chances are that your valuables are long gone by the time a burglar is caught.
Home Invasion Safety Tips
- Locks: Make sure that all locks are in good functioning condition. Especially, if you are going away on a trip.
- Check that windows are secure and that the locks are functioning properly.
- Spare keys: DO NOT put a spare key outside in a plastic turtle or some other garden decoration. If you know a neighbor for a very long time or a relative in the area, think about giving them a spare key just in case your house alarm goes off while you are gone.
- House alarm: If you don’t have one, consider getting one. And if you have one, make sure it’s working properly when you leave on your trip.
- Smart Doorbell: This works great whether you are home or not. The smart doorbell can notify you via a downloadable app to your phone where you can see who’s at the door and speak directly to them through the doorbell.
- Don’t advertise: This should be a no-brainer but, if you are going away on vacation or traveling for business don’t announce it on any social media sites. This shouldn’t need to be repeated but there have been many times I’ve seen Facebook posts from friends telling everyone where they are going on vacation and when! Crazy! Hey, if you want to post pictures when you get back, go for it, but don’t invite trouble by giving thieves a heads up that you won’t be home.
- Put timers on your lamps: This is a very inexpensive thing to do. These outlet timers plug right into your electrical socket. Simply set the time you want the light to come and off. We have several of these we use around the house when we are away.
- Get motion sensor outside lights so that if someone approaches your house, the lights automatically come on. This is great to have whether you are home or not. If you are home, you can see what’s going on. If you’re not, criminals are not fond of light so this is definitely a deterrent.
- Consider installing home security motion detectors outside your home or an outside security camera.
- Make sure you don’t have any heavy equipment laying around your yard that can be used to break windows.
How to Prevent a Home Invasion
If you’ve just moved to a new area, get to know your neighbors, members of your homeowners’ association as well as parents in the area. Ask questions about the safety of the area especially during holiday season.
Make sure your doors are locked if you are home. You won’t believe how easy it is to rob someone when they leave a back door unlocked while they are home. Criminals can work in two’s: one rings the doorbell and asks a stupid question keeping the owner occupied while the other criminal gets in the back door. The potential danger for this situation is terrifying.
If you get a lot of people canvassing your area, it’s a good idea to make a note of their description and even their plate number on their car. I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve done this.
If you have any items delivered to your home, i.e., a refrigerator, furniture, etc., don’t leave the delivery person unattended and take note of any suspicious glances or someone who is overly friendly. It also wouldn’t hurt to take down their license plate number just in case.
Computer Home Security Systems
With all the advances in technology, it’s comforting to know that you can keep an eye on your home right from your phone. There are incredible computer home security systems that allow you to set up a camera and connect it right to your phone via an downloaded app. And they are not expensive at all. One such product I found was Nest Cam.
What is Nest Cam?
Nest Cam is the latest in computer home security systems technology. The cameras set up easily and quickly inside your house providing live video 24/7. It has a 130 degree wide angle view and records day or night. It can also send you alerts and snapshots by phone or email of what’s going on in the room when it detects any type of motion. It also has a talk and listen feature so you can see, hear and speak through the Nest Cam.