If you were anywhere near a television in June of 2013, you likely saw this graphic video of a horrifying New Jersey home invasion broadcast repeatedly on national news programs. It’s the stuff of nightmares, and unfortunately, according to the FBI, these violent break-ins—and less violent burglaries—are not as uncommon as you may think. Nearly 50,000 “robberies within residences” occurred in 2011. That’s a rate of nearly 137 per day.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to defend your home against these types of attacks. In most cases, both violent home invaders and simple burglars target properties where they’re less likely to face resistance. The more difficult you make it to access your home uninvited, the less likely you are to become a victim. Consider the following home-defense suggestions.
- Install motion-detecting lights around the perimeter of your home.
- Install motion-detecting infrared security cameras that record to a DVR. Enclose the recording system in a lockbox so invaders cannot remove the visual evidence of their crime.
- If you’re often away from your home and want to monitor it remotely, choose security cameras you can also connect to the Internet.
- Always lock your windows, even on upper floors.
- Install secondary locking devices on ground floor windows to prevent them from opening more than a narrow gap or width.
- Apply anti-break window film as well. If you have glass doors, make sure they are double paned and laminated.
- Keep a dowel rod in the track of your sliding glass door. This will keep it from sliding open even if a burglar bypasses the lock.
- Keep bushes and trees trimmed to reduce potential hiding places and eliminate easy upper story or roof access.
- Install deadbolts on all your exterior doors, including the one leading into your home from the garage. Use them at all times.
- Ensure your exterior doors are solid core models; replace them if not.
- Invest in an anti-kick door device, like the Door Devil or Door Stopper, to make brute force entry more difficult.
- Upgrade your locks to high security models and install 3-inch screws in your doorjambs and hinges.
- Invest in a security alarm with motion detectors, and keep it set even when you are at home—day and night.
- Install a secondary alarm keypad in your bedroom.
- Keep your cell phone handy at all times so you can call 911 from any room of your home.
- Put your keys on your nightstand when you go to bed. You can use your car alarm as a deterrent if you hear someone outside your home.
- If you have a garage door opener, make sure you’re not using the factory-set entry code.
- Never answer your door if you don’t know the person on the other side.
Sometimes the unexpected happens, but I hope these tips help you protect your home and your family. If you’d like to learn how homeowner’s insurance, life insurance and other insurance products can also offer protection in the event of a burglary, invasion, natural disaster or other emergency, contact me today.