How to Reduce Your Risk of Becoming a Victim of Residential Crime
One of the easiest ways to reduce your risk of being targeted is to survey your property as if you were a burglar. With the information you learned about how burglars target homes in “Knowing the Mind of a Burglar,” you should now take the time to evaluate your home inside and out, both during the day and at night. Ask yourself: How would I break into my home? Walk around and assess your windows and doors. Push and pull on them to check for loose locks, frames, knobs, hinges, etc. In addition, pay attention to the lighting around your home. Too much light can potentially help a burglar see areas of your home that may allow easy access. Not enough light can perhaps create areas in which he can take cover while breaking in. Motion detection lighting can also be a great deterrent.
After determining which areas of the ground floor of your home need to be better fortified, walk around again and look for ladders, stacks of boxes or wood, trellises, trees, tall shrubs, walls, or anything else along the perimeter of your home that a burglar may use to gain access through an open window or door on the second floor of your home.
It’s also important to take into consideration that the majority of residential crimes occur through forcible entry. This means that although criminals look for unlocked doors and windows, they have no problem breaking down doors or shattering windowpanes to enter residences. This is why it’s important to reinforce the main entry points that burglars target and make it as difficult as possible for them to gain entry. Remember, most burglars will spend only a minute or two trying to break in. If they aren’t successful within that time frame, they will likely give up, as the extra time and effort increases the likelihood of apprehension. Here are some things to consider:
- Install a home security system, advertise it, and use it!
- Replace all hollow-core entry doors with doors made of solid wood or metal.
- Ensure your entry doors are equipped with high quality deadbolt locks
- Insert solid-wood dowels or metal rods into the tracks of all windows and patio doors that slide horizontally.
- Reinforce ground-level windows and any other high-risk windows with a quality glass protection film. This will make the glass much more difficult to break, slowing down an intruder.
- Install motion detection lighting in areas an intruder is likely to approach your home.