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Things You Can Do To Prevent Home Break-Ins

Updated on October 6, 2009

Burglary and robberies happen everyday, and families' lives are violated.  Assailants steal without any, seeming, concern or respect about others possessions.  They consciously trash our homes, laugh about making money from our hard earned assets, and never look back.  Sometimes, this country's morals seem to be only figments of our imaginations.

There is no time schedule for burglaries to can happen.  Home invasions happen in broad daylight or in the dark of night.  Most burglaries take place when no one is home, however, thieves don't seem to care if anyone is home or not.  Our vehicle was burglarized during daylight hours while parked in front our our house, in our own driveway!

But, what about car alarms and people that might see thieves as they drive or walk by?  Car alarms are commonplace today, and, most likely, no one will pay any attention when they hear an alarm.  Or, they do nothing because either they don't want to become involved, or are fearful.

There are ways that add a level of protection to your home, however, once your home has been burglarized it's after the face.  It's too late to prevent an intrusion once family heirlooms, jewelry, and other expensive items are taken from us. 

Some things you can do to deter and prevent home invasions before they happen are:

1.  Don't leave valuables laying around where they can be seen from a window.  Thieves are interested in small items that they can grab on the run, such as jewelry, cash, or laptop computers.

2.  Never allow strangers to enter your home, this includes women and children!  Respond with a polite NO, and close the door.

3.  Keep doors and windows locked, even when you are inside your home.

4.  Remove shrubbery from around doors and windows. Don't provide hiding places for thieves.

5.  Install outdoor lighting or motion detectors.

6.  Invest in metal or solid core doors, and ensure your locks and hinges are in good working condition. There are, also, wide-view peep holes available to install in doors.

7.  Make your home appear occupied, whether you are gone or at home.  Some ways to achieve this is to keep newspapers and mail picked up, keep the grass mowed, and use timers to turn on and shut off lights.

8.  Never hide a door key outside!  Thieves know where to look, they've got experience.

9.  Put a Beware of Dog sign in your yard.

10.  Report suspicious people, vehicles, or activity in your neighborhood to the local police.

Take Inventory of Your Household Belongings

Take inventory before the need arises.  Having a household inventory will help authorities recover stolen goods.  You might believe you will never face loses from fire or theft, but it can happen to you.

The inventory should identify items, including brand names,and a brief description of each item (color, size, style, features, and dealer's name/location).  Always include the model and serial number, if possible.  Annotate the date the items were purchased to help determine value.  If the item was inherited or a gift, note the date it was acquired.

Pictures provide good documentation of household items.  Video is another way to capture information about your possessions.  Video recordings can capture close up images for small items, such as jewelry.  Make sure you include clear and specific information about your jewelry, electronics, and furniture.

Engraving your name or identifying information on household items can help to permanently mark your possessions with identifying information .  In addition to pictures and videos, engraving your possessions can assist authorities to return your items, when they are found.

Check with your insurance provider to learn what information they require to reach a settlement, if you have items stolen from your home.

What To Do After Your Home Has Been Burglarized

If you should come home and find your home had been burglarized, the danger has not passed. Possibly, the thief might be inside your home, armed and potentially dangerous.  The best policy is to turn around, leave the premises, and call 911.  Do not go inside your own home to use the phone, use your cell phone or go to a neighbor's house and call from their phone.

Wait for the police to arrive!  Once the police arrive and secure your property, they will ask for a list of missing items. This list of information will, also, be needed to file an insurance claim.

You'll need to repair any damages and upgrade your locks or security system after the robbery. Sometimes, thieves return and strike a house twice, depending on what they were after, or maybe there was something they were unable to take the first time.  Also, thieves know stolen items will be replaced, so it might be worthwhile to return later.

The days of leaving homes and vehicles unlocked is gone.  Robberies happen, no matter where you live.  Locks and security systems are deterrents, but do not prevent someone from breaking into your home and stealing items you've worked hard to acquire.

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