Laurie Marinelli Personal Insurance Manager, CPCU, CIC, AAI, AIS
US residences were burglarized nearly 1.6 million times in 2012, according to the latest Federal Bureau of Investigation studies. Approximately 66 percent of the thefts occur during the day because people are often not at home during the weekday. Proper home theft prevention ideas and techniques, however, can reduce the odds of a home burglary. Consider the following loss control techniques to reduce your chances of suffering a home burglary.
- Lots of light at night can keep the burglars away after the sun goes down. Exterior lights with a motion-sensing switch should be installed; timers on lights are also recommended.
- Ask your neighbors to keep a watch on your home if you are away during the day. If you are on vacation, ask them to keep your front steps or driveway clear of newspapers and flyers.
- Invest in a burglar alarm with a central monitoring station. Research indicates that homes without security systems are about three times more likely to be broken into than homes with security systems. If a burglar is aware that a home has an alarm, he or she is more likely to avoid that home.
- Property identification programs are another deterrent to burglary. Many of these programs involve the use of stickers on which your driver's license number is imprinted. These are then placed (and become permanently imprinted) on all valuable personal property, such as stereos, televisions, and computers. This makes it more difficult for burglars to fence or pawn the property.
- Safeguarding dwelling components such as doors and windows makes it tougher for burglars to enter the home. Many home security experts recommend all exterior doors be 1¾-inch-thick solid wood, metal, or composite material. Strike plates on door jams are typically installed with half-inch screws; however, these should be replaced with 3-inch-long screws so that locked doors cannot be kicked in easily. Doors should also have deadbolt locks, with at least a 1-inch throw and a reinforced strike plate with 3-inch screws.
- Keep your garage door secure and locked even while you are home.
International Risk Management Institute, Inc.