Monday, July 9, 2012

Protecting What Matters Most

Did you know 75% of all reported crime is theft? Well it's true. There are approximately 2,222,196 burglaries annually in the United States. Here are some facts:

*Every 14.16 seconds a burglary occurs.
*6101 per day.
*Over 70% are residential.
*Only 13% are arrested.
*85% of burglars are male.
*Burglaries typically happen between 10 AM to 3 PM.
*They last about 90 seconds.
*The average person reads 300 words per minute - as you were reading, another home was burglarized.
*Average dollar amount lost is $2,079.
*Most common items are cash, jewelry, silver, firearms, and electronics.

Some tips on protecting your home:

Lights - Leaving lights on or off all day is a sure sign that no one is home. Instead use timers to have lights turn on when you are not home, but since most burglaries happen between 9 am and 3 pm when most people are less likely to be home - you might want to have a timed radio or tv go off periodically during the day to appear as if someone is home.

House Sitter - When you are away, your home looks like you are away. Having a neighbor check up on your home, can help make your home look occupied while you are away. Having them pick up the paper, packages and even parking their car in your driveway will help disguise the fact your home is unoccupied.

Trash - Our trash tells a lot about us. This includes all big ticket purchases we made. Make sure to break down boxes of expensive items such as TVs, computers, and other electronics.

Windows - Never leave windows open. This is the next best thing after a locked door for a thief. Make sure, if you are to leave the windows open, that all windows have a blocking device to prevent them form being opened enough for someone to crawl through into the house.

Clean Up - Leaving unsecured items laying around your yard can be perfect tools for a burglar. Ladders can provide access to second story windows, as well as garden tools can help them pry the windows or doors open. Make sure all items are secure and locked up when you're not using them.

Hideaway Keys - Burglars have seen it all. If you think it's hidden well enough - it's not. The best place for a spare key is with a trusted neighbor.

Names and Numbers - As your house number should be clearly stated on your home, your name should not be. Knowing your name and street address will make it easy for a burglar to find your number. All they have to do is call to see no one is home.

Landscaping - Make sure all plants don't make good hiding places for burglars. Or don't give that extra boost they would need to climb up to the second story. Make sure all plants are trimmed neatly and all tree branches are away from second story windows. Thorny bushes will help discourage as well.

The Lock - Most useful step in preventing a burglar. The most common way for a burglar to enter a home is through an unlocked door. Locking with a deadbolt will help to prevent the door from being kicked in. Use protection while you are home - have a peephole installed so you can check who visitors are while you are home. Bump-resistant locks should be installed. Burglars will use "bump keys" which are keys with slight modifications. Schlage, Primus and Medeco have locks that offer some bump-resistance.

Fences - While fences can give us a lot of privacy, they also give burglars privacy as well. Avoid putting privacy fences around your house. Instead a picket or chain link fence will help discourage burglars.

Doors - Exterior doors should be solid, free of rot and decay, and always possess a deadbolt. If a mail slot is present it should have a box or cage around it. Burglars have successfully used these to break in. Sliders should be equipped with locks on both the top and the bottom or the door. They should never be able to be lifted from their frame and a large stick such as a broom stick handle should be placed in the track as an added security.

Pet Doors - These are never a good idea but if necessary use ones that only allow the animal to go through by an electronic collar and place it as far away from the lock as possible. Burglars have been known to crawl through, or ask a child to crawl through or crawl through themselves as some burglars are children.

Dogs - Dogs are great at keeping burglars away. If you don't own a dog, place a "Beware of Dog" sign up.

As these are great ways to reduce the chance of having your home burglarized. There is always ADT. Having your home monitored while you are home and away is a good way to keep you, your family and your home safe. Schedule a home inspection with J D M Home Inspections and ADT will install a home security system for FREE.

We want to help you protect what matters most.

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