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 your home and furnish it; you need to protect your investments. With that idea in mind, here are some tips on how to protect your home from would-be burglars.
A recent study at the University of North Carolina ‘s criminology department found that burglars avoid homes that have security systems or that they believe have security systems. If the robber sees multiple cameras situated in various angles, they know there is a greater chance the authorities will apprehend them. Having a home security system can give you both peace of mind, and in some cases bring discounts on your homeowner’s insurance.
If you don’t want to spend the money on a home security system, then signs and decals placed around the home can act as a deterrent, but experienced crooks may not fall for the ruse. Remember, most burglaries take place 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 of the new “doorbell” type security systems have speakers that allow you via your smartphone to warn encroaching burglars that you are aware of 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, but given the choice of a home with motion activated lights, or a neighbor’s house without them, most of the time criminals will avoid a home with lights.
Make sure that your home has secure locks that cannot be easily picked; this in 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. Make sure that 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 keep large amounts of cash on hand, you should be using 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 which we find ourselves, it has never been easier to fool criminals. Smart devices in your home 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 giving your home the appearance that it is 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.
Make sure you document all your home’s valuables in the event your home is broken into, and items were stolen. There are many apps that let you create a home inventory right from your smartphone and make the task easier.
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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