The Internet is full of advice on how to keep your home safe while you’re on vacation. But how many days of the year are you gone on vacation? Probably a couple of weeks, three maybe. Yet you’re gone at work or school every single weekday.
Given that there are about 260 weekdays in a year, compared to the 14 to 21 days you might be gone on vacation, and given that 59% of home burglaries occur during the day while people are at work or school, shouldn’t we be talking about every day home security too?
A burglary happens every 15 seconds in the U.S. and I would bet a good portion of those burglaries happen while we at the office, not Oahu. The advice for keeping your home safe while gone, whether to work or on a trip, is the same, so you shouldn’t see any surprises below. The difference is following the advice every day that you’re gone, not just before you head out for an extended period of time. However, there are three things that jump out as being especially important for everyday home security:
Make it harder for them
According to the FBI, over 60% of burglaries involve forcible entry, so locking your doors and windows isn’t much of a deterrent. However, clearing away bushes or trees that provide cover for the bad guys while they are breaking in can be a good deterrent, because their forced entry would have to happen in plain view of the neighbors. You should have good locks on your windows and doors—and use them—but until you clear away the hiding places, don’t bank on the locks keeping anyone determined to get in from doing so.
Look like you’re home
Although being home isn’t a huge deterrent as you’ll read below, it will still help to make it look like you are. To do so, put lights on timers so your house doesn’t get dark before you get back. Also consider leaving on a TV or a radio. If you’re expecting a package, ask a neighbor to pick it up for you. And if you have an extra car, keep it parked in the driveway and not on the street.
Invest in a home security system
Really, the best way to keep your home safe all day is a home security system. Surprisingly, only 17% of homes in the U.S. have a home security system, yet 90% of convicted burglars say they would avoid a home with an obvious alarm system. Over 90%? I’d say a home security system is a good deterrent to any break-ins happening while you’re gone for the day!
And since a Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report states that a household member is home about 28% of the time when a burglary occurs, it seems that the house doesn’t necessarily have to be empty to be at risk. If you have children or an elderly parent at home alone during the day, a home security system might give you some peace of mind that they will be safe from such a tragedy happening while you’re gone.
If you’re like most of us, and going to work or school is a daily occurrence for you, take the steps to protect your home during those 260 or so days each year. And protecting your home when you go on vacation will be even easier to do as a result!