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Help protect your valuables against theft - Engrave your information, and other tips

Updated on August 4, 2014

You're not alone... But you're not helpless

Burglary is one of the most dreaded things that can happen, and it can happen to anyone. It’s virtually impossible to completely prevent it, but there are a number of safeguards that you can implement to try to deter burglars and thieves from breaking in and taking your most beloved possessions.

One thing that can help keep a burglar’s hands off of your valuables, and can help the police recover and return them if they are stolen, is to engrave your information right onto the valuables. Here are some tips for engraving:

  • Engrave information onto your items such as driver’s license number or insurance policy number. Some people use their Social Security number, but I personally wouldn’t use that information.
  • Engraving is more permanent than using pen or other method that can be erased or written over.
  • Your law enforcement agency may have an engraving tool you can use, or you can have the engraving done by a business.
  • You can engrave these numbers on electronics and other valuables, but consider if you are engraving jewelry, antiques, and other similar items that engraving can lower the value if you want to resell later.

In addition to engraving, you should take down as much information about your valuables as you can. Record and document the serial number, make, model, and other information that can help your items be identified and recovered if they are stolen. Take photos of them as well. Store this information somewhere safe such as in a safety deposit box.

Don't leave the garage door open!
Don't leave the garage door open! | Source

Additional security tips

Consider the following tips for preventing crime and burglary:

  • Make it look like there is someone home. You can leave lights on inside and outside, and if you want to save energy, put them on timers. Also, if you are going to be gone for an extended period of time, ask your neighbors to pick up your newspapers, mow your lawn, etc.
  • Keep doors and windows closed when you are gone, including garage doors. You may want to put extra locks on them, such as adding deadbolts to doors, or putting dowels or boards in the tracks of sliding windows and doors.
  • Keep your possessions out of sight of burglars (this goes for your car, too). Don’t leave barbecues, bicycles, yard equipment, or other items out. Also, put up curtains in your windows so people cannot see inside.
  • Turn on lights outside so burglars keep away for fear of being seen, and keep bushes and plants trimmed so they have nowhere to hide.
  • Consider using an alarm system. Even just having a security system sign posted in front of your home can mean you have a 90% lower chance of having your home burglarized.
  • On that note, post a “Beware of Dog” sign because many burglars will not take their chances with a guard dog. I also have a Neighborhood Watch decal in my front window for the Neighborhood Watch program coordinated with my neighbors, who also have the decals.


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    • glassvisage profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Northern California

      Very true! Thanks for commenting!

    • RTalloni profile image


      5 years ago from the short journey

      Having our home victimized by a drug addict stealing to resell, I can tell you how important these tips are.

      On a much lighter note, the engraving tool caught my because it is a good way to put grandchildren's names on toys we make them. :)

    • glassvisage profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Northern California

      Thank you very much!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      5 years ago from The Caribbean

      Very important topic and you gave very good suggestions. Thanks for sharing.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      5 years ago from USA

      Voted up and useful. Especially on high-ticket or sentimental items, it's important to mark what is yours and to document ownership with photos and descriptions. Excellent advice here.


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