Have you ever had someone break into your home? Now, before you answer, I know what you’re thinking. ‘That would never happen to me.’ Or maybe it is something you’ve considered before, but you haven’t quite gotten around to doing anything about it yet. It’s just one of those things you’ve added to a long list of home projects you hope to one day get through when you’re not busy with all the other aspects of life. I get it, I really do.
But I’m here to tell you that it could happen to you and you should be prepared for it. How do I know? Because it happened to me! Well, technically the person didn’t break into my home, but he did break into our workshop that resided just a few feet from my back door. And he stole a LOT of my husband’s hard earned tools and equipment that we never got back. Needless to say, it was devastating for us, both financially and emotionally.
For my husband, he was furious that someone dared to steal some of his favorite items that he had worked so hard to purchase for himself. Not to mention, it was inconvenient because we had to find receipts and product numbers to everything that was missing for the police report all the while arguing with our insurance company to try to get reimbursed for everything we had lost. Spoiler alert – they did not reimburse us for a single thing!
For me, it was different. I had been home alone with our daughter while my hubby was away at work. It completely rattled me that someone with ill intention was that close to us while we slept. It left me completely spooked and, within one night, I had lost all sense of security that I previously felt in our home. This used to be my favorite place of comfort, my first place to seek solace, and now it suddenly didn’t feel like my own home anymore.
Unfortunately, my husband couldn’t just quit his job or stop working out of town to be home with me every night, but I couldn’t physically take being alone in my own house anymore. Being by myself was now scary and the nights were beyond eerie. I would check every room and closet as soon as I got home from work, I kept all the lights on at all times, and I even started putting my daughter in bed with me at night. Eventually, I realized this was just not working and asked my friend to move in with us – and then my brother-in-law, too, as extra precaution.
While I am grateful the intruder did not actually come into our home and nobody in my family was hurt, it was still a pretty traumatizing experience. We lost valuable items, we lost time spent fighting our insurance company, and we lost our sense of security. I don’t want anyone else to have to go through that same experience, so I’ve come up with a list of things you can do to prepare your home in case of a burglary!
1. Lock Up Your Home
One of the first things you should make sure you’re doing every day is locking your home. It seems like common sense, but I know multiple people who don’t bother to lock their home each time they leave their house. Or they do lock the door, but leave a spare key right under the mat! Many burglars break into homes that they are able to walk right into because it’s less of a hassle, so locking your doors, windows, garage, storage building, and workshop would be a great first deterrent that takes just a few minutes to double check and costs nothing at all! As far as your spare key, I would recommend finding a better hiding spot than the mat in front of the door or leaving it with a trusted neighbor or friend.
2. Look Like You Live There
Another great way to deter burglars is to look like someone is living there and the property hasn’t been abandoned for a period of time. If there are no cars in the driveway, things outside look old and broken, or the yard is overgrown, this may make possible intruders believe that nobody has been home for a while and it will be safe for them to enter. I know you’re busy with all that you’ve got going on at work or with the kids, but it could truly be worth it to spend some time taking care of your property so that people can tell you’ve been home. You’ll want to do things such as trimming your hedges and cutting your grass, to fixing the broken gate and replacing the bulb in your porch light. Plus, your HOA will be thrilled at seeing these improvements!
3. Look Like You’re Home
I read somewhere shortly after our burglary that many intruders won’t bother to enter the home or property if they think someone is there. The majority of burglaries happen in the middle of the day when someone is at work or out of town because the intruder can tell you’re not home. This makes them feel comfortable enough to enter without the fear of getting caught. If possible, leave a car in the driveway, have someone collect your mail and packages, or consider leaving a light or tv on while you’re away so potential burglars think someone is coming and going consistently.
4. Give Them Some Light
If someone does try to come into your yard, there is still an opportunity to scare them away by shining a light on them! Many burglars aren’t going to stick around if they know they can be seen because then they can be more easily identified. You can purchase and install very inexpensive motion sensored lights to hang over your garage, workshop, and the back porch. The second these lights sense movement, they’ll turn on, which will most likely scare off whoever is in your yard before they even reach the door. I found a great option on Amazon here.
5. Record Them
Have security cameras installed! Putting them around each entryway to your home and garage is very likely to deter a burglar from breaking into your home. No intruder wants to be caught on camera where the evidence can be sent right to the police! Many people opt for small cameras by the front door so that it doesn’t mess up your curb appeal and place larger cameras in other spots. You can even take it a step further by having protective domes installed over your cameras to ensure a burglar doesn’t try to break those, either! A great company located in Thomaston, Georgia that offers this type of product is Criterion Technology, Inc. They use a specialized injection molding technology to ensure all of their products are optical grade. Not to mention, they have a customer service team that will go above and beyond to ensure you have exactly what you need for your home or business.
What steps do you plan to take to protect your home against a burglary? Do you have any more great tips to add? Let me know!