Although home burglaries appear to be on the decline, there are still plenty of unwanted intruders interested in breaking into private residences. Many people as us how to prevent house break-ins, so we wanted to provide those tips to help you avoid burglaries altogether.
Most burglaries happen during the day while people are at work, so it’s important to be especially careful to make sure your home is protected while you are not in it.
Check outside your home regularly
Start by walking around the exterior of your home and looking for weak spots through the eyes of a burglar. Are there windows that can be pried open easily? If you can spot them, so can a burglar. Is there a spare key in an obvious place by the front door?
The better idea is to leave a spare with a neighbor or trusted friend. Are there valuable electronics that are easily spotted outside the window? Consider rearranging the floor plan so that they’re not as obvious.
An alternative is to keep blinds closed or use privacy curtains.
Shrubs near the front door should be kept well-trimmed so that you are not providing an easy hiding place for someone who is trying to break in. A motion sensor floodlight can help draw attention to someone hovering near the door as well.
In figuring out how to prevent house break-ins, avoid leaving clues that you have expensive items in your home, such as leaving out a box from a large flat-screen TV, or leaving expensive grills outside.
Also remember to lock your garage doors, sheds, and keep your bicycles safe!
How to prevent break-ins through the windows
First and foremost: lock your windows. It sounds painfully obvious, but we tend think more about locking our doors than our windows—even the ones on the first floor. This will go a long way toward keeping out unwanted visitors.
It’s even possible to buy decorative window security bars that complement the window instead of making it look like part of a prison complex. Just remember to keep one of the windows clear of security bars in case of a fire emergency! It’s important not to forget your own safety while figuring out how to prevent house break-ins.
Reinforcing window glass is one of the more subtle ways to prevent break-ins through windows using a steel security mesh or a protective film. These can make your windows resistant to impact, and some can even tint them from the outside so that burglars have a harder time looking into your house. That’s particularly useful, as thieves won’t risk breaking into a home if they can’t verify anything worth stealing.
There are also inexpensive wireless alarm kits that will sound if a door or window is opened.
How to prevent break-ins in apartments
Many apartments have the advantage of resting above the ground floor, reducing possible entry points to the front door alone. That’s a win right off the bat!
Still, that doesn’t make it impossible to gain access to an apartment, and it doesn’t help you if your apartment is on the ground floor. Here’s what you can do to prevent break-ins in apartments once you move in:
- Leave your windows locked by default.
- Add a chain lock to your door to use when you’re at home.
- Talk to your landlord about changing the door locks with fresh ones, not recycled locks from other properties.
- Leave the radio on while you’re away to trick burglars into thinking someone’s at home listening to it.
- Add physical wooden stoppers to the inside of sliding doors (especially on ground-floor apartments!).
- Add automated lights set to turn on or off at certain times of the day to keep thieves guessing.
- Put security system stickers on your windows, even if you don’t actually have anything installed.
Do cameras prevent break-ins?
Home security systems can deter thieves with alarms or automatic calls to law enforcement, which is always a good thing. Keep doors and windows locked after you are in the home, and remember to secure patio doors. Home security systems can certainly earn a discount from many insurance companies in Ontario, although it differs between every home and every insurer.
Store valuables in a home safe or lock box, and consider having that lock box bolted to the floor.
Other tips for preventing break-ins
Many people asking how to prevent house break-ins end up buying a dog because they’re one of the best alarm systems you can get. Whether the dog is large or small, the bark is a warning that an animal is inside that will definitely alert others to an intruder’s presence.
If you’re going to be away for several days or weeks, don’t advertise that fact on your answering machine or social media, and don’t talk about it in public places. Have your mail temporarily stopped, or have a neighbor pick up mail or packages.
Although there is no way to guarantee avoiding a break-in, your goal is to make your home a less attractive break-in prospect. Try to do whatever you can to keep your home and property safe. For all your home insurance advice, contact Aha Insurance today and speak with our trusted advisers.
You’re always welcome to get an aha insurance quote for your home or vehicle online or call us and we’ll be glad to help you experience our vision of insurance.