One of the realities of living anywhere in the world is the potential for your home to be vandalized. In Memphis, however, homeowners and renters also must contend with the reality that high crime rates mean burglaries are more common, and the chances of your home being burglarized in Memphis are much higher than in other areas of the country.
Regardless of crime rates and whether you live in a house or an apartment, your home could potentially be the victim of a burglary.
While there’s no guarantee your home will never be burglarized, there are things you can do to decrease your chances of being the next target. Because thieves tend to look for the easiest and least protected homes and entries, making an effort to make your home less appealing to burglars can protect you and your family from a break-in. Here’s what you can do to lower your chances of having your home broken into.
This will likely come as no surprise, but burglars aren’t in the business of being caught if they can help it. Security lighting, architectural lighting, and flood lights make it difficult for intruders to enter or exit a home without being detected, making them far less likely to attempt to burglarize your home.
READ MORE: Learn More About Security Lighting →
Outdoor lighting is more than a burglar deterrent. It also offers an opportunity to showcase the most aesthetically pleasing features of your home and landscaping, and it provides value, comfort, and warmth regardless of location and square footage. Whether you’re planning to sell your home or you hope to remain there for years to come, investing in outdoor lighting can increase your potential to receive a large return on investment if you do sell or it can make your home and outdoor spaces more enjoyable and more attractive for you and your family.
READ MORE: Planning the Ultimate Outdoor Entertainment Space →
While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with installing outdoor lighting systems without the help of an expert, there’s no denying a quality outdoor lighting system looks more appealing and more sophisticated. Outdoor lighting system designers can utilize a variety of styles to showcase various architectural and landscaping features of your home, adding warmth and elegance. As an added benefit, outdoor lighting deters burglars and thieves.
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Utilizing alarm systems and alarm systems signs can deter burglars as well as outdoor security lighting. While alarm systems can be disarmed, the experienced burglar is far more interested in choosing an easy target with the least amount of effort required to enter and exit easily.
If your home has an alarm system and a significant number of your neighbors do not, there’s no guarantee your home won’t be chosen as a target, but it most definitely lowers your chances of being the first one.
There are dozens of alarm systems available on the market, and each have pros and cons to consider when it comes to convenience, security, ease of installation, and price. Here are the most popular alarm systems utilized by homeowners for burglary prevention and protection.
SimpliSafe has quickly become one of the most popular alarm systems available on the market. Mobility is a large contributing factor to SimpliSafe’s success, because unlike traditional alarm systems, SImpliSafe does not need to be connected to a landline or fixed to a wall in order to be operated. Instead, SimpliSafe systems connect wirelessly to your internet provider and offer 24/7 round-the-clock protection from intruders. In addition to entry sensors, SimpliSafe also offers glass breaking sensors, motion sensors, cameras, and more which allow you to create a custom security system that protects your home regardless of size.
Ring home security systems include a Ring camera system/doorbell, security lighting, video cameras, and wireless alarm systems. Like SimpliSafe, Ring utilizes wireless internet to function, making it ideal for renters and those who prefer wireless systems to traditional alarm systems that must be affixed to various parts of your home. Ring’s doorbell cameras are quickly becoming one of the most popular options for homeowners and renters alike for deterring thieves. Because most burglars approach a home as a solicitor, telemarketer, or in another role that allows them to survey your home before attempting to enter it, a Ring doorbell camera will likely deter vandals from breaking and entering your home.
Like the Ring doorbell camera, security cameras deter burglars who are looking for easy targets. Whether you choose real security cameras which allow you to record footage and view in real time or mock security cameras which are affordable and easy to install, burglars are going to be on the lookout for homes without cameras, so consider installation as an investment in protection for your home and your family.
In addition to installing security cameras and utilizing alarm systems and security lighting, there are a few other options you can choose to prevent your home from being the next target of a burglary.
This sounds like a no-brainer, but locking your doors is both easy and free, with no installation of fancy equipment or special hardware needed. You’d be surprised how often burglars will move on to the next target if a house is not easy to get into and out of. If doors are locked and secured, your chances of being robbed are significantly lower.
Using safes to conceal valuables are another way to protect your valuables from vandals and thieves. Safes which are bolted to the floor are the most secure. Fireproof safes are also a great option for storing birth certificates, passports, cash, and other paper necessities.
What do burglars look for in a home? Here are the most common things burglars say they keep an eye out for when choosing their next target.
One of the most valuable items a burglar can leave your home with are gaming systems and electronics which can easily be sold. If your driveway consistently has bicycles, toys, and other items left behind, burglars will take note of this, since the chances your home will have more electronics is significantly higher if you have children. Keep driveways, garages, and porches and remove any signs of children.
No security cameras, alarm systems signs, or decals on windows is great news for a burglar. While a home without any indication of an alarm system is an easy target, a home with even one security system sign or “Beware of Dog” sign may easily be passed over in favor of another potential target. Take steps to ensure your home is protected with a security system, security cameras, and more, and make sure solicitors and vandals are aware of this with yard signs and window decals.
If everyone in your home works during the day and no vehicles are present, your home will appear to be uninhabited, which is great news for burglars. Most burglaries occur during the day between the hours of 10:00am and 3:00pm. If you have unused vehicles which can be left in your driveway, or if you are able to rotate vehicles consistently, this can throw off any burglars seeking targets with consistent routines.
Speaking of consistent routines, this is one thing to keep in mind if you’re trying to prevent your home from being the victim of a burglary. Many burglars do not choose a target sight unseen without a significant amount of research. Often, vandals will approach a home on foot as a solicitor to survey surroundings, check for security systems and cameras, and try to pin down resident routines. This is why in many cases, victims of burglaries may be known to the burglar, or at the very least, their routine is.
If a burglar spots a home with shrubs, trees, and greenery which conceal doors and windows that are easy to access, chances are the home just found a place on the potential target list. Again, burglars are looking for well-concealed, easy-to-access locations. Take care to trim hedges and trees so that intruders cannot find places to hide.
While having pets does not automatically guarantee your home won’t be the target of intruders, research indicates homes with dogs do tend to see significantly less break-ins. This is likely because an intruder is only concerned about finding easy targets with valuable items. If your dog is going to make entry and exit into your home more difficult, he or she will think twice before entering. Even if you don’t have a dog, posting “Beware of Dog” signs and indicating a dog lives on the premises with outdoor water bowls, dog toys, and other items can decrease your home’s chances of being a target.
Like landscaping and greenery that conceals entry and exit points, privacy fences and shrubs are every burglar’s dream, because they offer an opportunity to work unseen without fear of nosy neighbors or neighborhood watch members from spotting them at work. While the lack of a privacy fence may not be an option some homeowners want to consider, it’s important to note. If you have a privacy fence or row of large hedges or shrubs for privacy, consider investing in security cameras, security lighting, and alarm system decals and stickers which can deter burglars.
Unfortunately, the fear of unwanted entry and burglary is a reality many women living alone must contend with. Because burglars tend to be less likely to choose a home with more signs of a male presence if a nearby location makes it clear a female lives alone, this is important to consider for women seeking to protect themselves and their valuables. If you live in an apartment, avoid displaying distinctly female door decor or doormats which can signal to an intruder the residents are more than likely female.
One thing an intruder definitely doesn’t want to encounter: a homeowner who is armed and dangerous. Signs a resident is efficient or experienced with weapons can be a red flag for intruders who tend to be more concerned with their safety and ability to enter a home quickly than with a particular target. On the other hand, it’s also important to note that some intruders may be more inclined to break into a home if they believe weapons are on the premises. Securing weapons in a secure gun safe can protect your valuables, but no trespassing signs can also deter intruders.
Once again, burglars are seeking easy targets first and foremost. Increase your chances of keeping your home safe from intruders by taking steps to deter criminals. Don’t leave valuables unsecured within plain sight, and utilize common sense when it comes to protecting yourself and your property. Be sure to lock car doors as well, as burglars often check door handles of vehicles while they’re on the prowl.
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