Every year at this time you’ll read stories about the increase in home burglaries while homeowners are away. Studies show that increase is not always fact. Instead, many factors affect burglaries in different communities and when they occur.
Still, it’s smart to play it safe with home security around the holidays. After all, you may have extra valuables inside after buying all of your gifts, and you may be absent more often as you attend holiday parties or head to grandmother’s house.
According to FBI data, in 2010, there were an estimated 2.1 million burglaries in the U.S. Victims of burglary offenses suffered an estimated $4.6 billion in lost property, an average dollar loss of $2,119 each. In the Raleigh-Cary area, including Franklin, Johnston, and Wake counties, there were 628 burglaries per 100,000 residents in 2010.
Keep your holiday gifts and your home safe this season with a few simple measures:
- Light your home. The strings of Christmas lights may bring good cheer, but they don’t keep burglars out. Mount exterior lights on your home, out of reach. These can be put on a timer or used as motion detectors. Put indoor lights on timers.
- Burglars don’t want to spend all day trying to break in. Keep your doors and windows locked and install deadbolts on exterior doors, making it tougher to gain entry.
- Check your doors. Your lock might be amazing, but if your door is weak, a strong kick will give a burglar easy access. Make sure your door is solid wood or has a solid wood core. You can also consider a fiberglass or metal door.
- Trim the shrubbery. Don’t make it easy for burglars to hide behind bushes as they work to open a window. Keep the landscaping trimmed so it’s easier for a neighbor to spot the suspicious person standing outside your home.
- Install a home alarm system. More than 90 percent of burglars say they would avoid a home with an alarm, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Effective alarms don’t just make noise, but alert emergency services. Many insurance companies offer a discount on homeowners insurance if you have an alarm.
- Hide and lock your valuables. Once inside, a burglar doesn’t want to take too long. He or she knows to check the desk and the bedroom for important documents and jewelry. Put your important papers and expensive items in other locations and hide them well.
- Heading out of town? Be sure to:
- Have your mail held, or have a neighbor pick it up.
- Schedule deliveries. Packages are at risk this time of year sitting on your front porch. Try to time deliveries so that they don’t arrive when you are out of town.
- Leave blinds in their usual positions so it appears you are home.
- Ask trustworthy neighbors to keep an eye on your home. Letting a few people know you are gone will help keep them on alert for something amiss.
Questions about home security? Give us a call: (919) 387-1800.