Do you live in an area where crime is on the rise? If you live in Lakeland, the answer is yes. According to the FBI, property crimes in 2017 were 48% higher in Lakeland than the rest of Florida and 58% higher than the national average. You’ve worked hard to purchase and furnish your home; you need to protect your investments. With that idea in mind, here are some tips on protecting your home from would-be burglars.
A recent study at the University of North Carolina’s criminology department found that burglars avoid homes with security systems or that they believe have security systems. If the robber sees multiple cameras from various angles, they know there is a greater chance the authorities will apprehend them. A home security system can give you peace of mind and sometimes bring discounts on your homeowner’s insurance.
If you don’t want to spend the money on a home security system, signs and decals placed around the home can act as a deterrent, but experienced crooks may not fall for the ruse. Remember, most burglaries occur between two and three in the afternoon when most homes are empty. Be sure that if you decide to install a security system, it not only alerts the police but you as well.
Many new “doorbell” type security systems have speakers that allow you via your smartphone to warn encroaching burglars that you know the situation and that the police are on the way. Motion-activated lighting on the exterior of your home is another simple way to deter burglars. Experienced burglars may spot motion-activated lights and know how to get around them. Still, given the choice of a home with motion-activated lights, or a neighbor’s house without them, criminals will usually avoid a home with sunlight.
Ensure that your home has secure locks that cannot be easily picked; this in and of itself can act as a deterrent to burglars. A big loud dog is also an excellent deterrent to burglars; they do not want the hassle of placating your dog and will move on. Ensure things that could tempt a burglar are not in plain sight. Having expensive tools left out on the driveway will entice crooks to investigate further. If you have an expensive piece of art or collectible, don’t place it where it can easily be seen from the street. Likewise, easily visible TVs, computers, gaming consoles, and computers should be placed in areas that conceal them.
If you have valuable jewelry or carry large amounts of cash, you should use a safe to protect them. The type could be a wall safe, drop safe, or a safe bolted to the floor. It is also an excellent place to store financial documents, data storage devices, and family heirlooms.
If you are going on vacation, a simple way to deter burglars is to make them think your home when you are not there. In the digital age, we find ourselves. It has never been easier to fool criminals. Smart devices can be activated remotely through your home’s Wi-Fi, even when you are not there. Smart plugs can let you turn lights, TVs, stereos, appliances, and other things on and off while you are away, making your home appear occupied.
Be sure not to post vacation or travel photos on social media until you return home; this is especially true if you have a lot of friends or followers on your social media accounts.
Ensure you document all your home’s valuables if your home is broken into and items are stolen. Many apps let you create a home inventory right from your smartphone, making the task easier.
Keeping burglars away from your home is simpler than ever. If you have any questions about homeowners insurance coverage for burglaries, contact us via email or at (863) 646-LOCK.
Don Westerfeld has been active in the field of Insurance and Financial Planning since 1997. Don grew up in Indiana later moving to Lakeland Florida where he continues to reside with his wife and children. When he’s not in the office you can find him enjoying the great outdoors. He has served on several charitable business and non-profit organizations and continues to provide guidance, advice and support to local charities.
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