Fortunately, burglary is probably the most preventable of crimes. By taking a few simple precautions, you can dramatically reduce the risks.

  1.  Don’t advertise when you go on vacation. Make sure to have a neighbor take in your mail and newspapers, and consider installing a system that rotates lights on and off, creating the illusion that someone is in the house.
  2. Do you like gardening? Roses are one of the most effective burglary deterrents, thanks to their thorny stems. Guard vulnerable, low-lying windows with attractive, prickly rose bushes.
  3. Teach your kids how to use your alarm system. Generally, children can operate your home security alarm from the age of eight.
  4. Park your car in the garage, especially if it’s a late model. There’s no need to let everyone know that you have disposable income; that means there are objects inside the house that are worth stealing.
  5. Change your locks once a year. Throughout the course of 12 months, different people constantly have access to your keys. Eliminate the chance of an easy entry by switching up the locks.
  6. If you live in an apartment or condo, let your neighbors know you expect them to take building security seriously. Don’t let anyone into the building unless you personally know them.
  7. Your security system is worthless if it’s not activated. Get into the habit of setting it each time you leave the house. You may even want to consider posting a note in your car to remind you.
  8. Consider getting a dog. You don’t need an attack dog, by any means-as long as the bark is audible, it’s likely to send a burglar scurrying to the next house on the block.
  9. Think about joining a neighborhood watch association. Though not as popular as they once were, these groups are still an effective way of battling crime at the local level.
  10. Leaving a key under a doormat is like inviting a burglar into your home for tea. This is the first place an intruder will look. Even lock-boxes aren’t foolproof. You may want to look into installing a digital keypad. This relatively low-tech answer can really simplify your life.