Despite the extraordinary advancements in home security over the years, there were about 2.18 million break-ins in 2011, says the FBI Uniform Crime Reports. But don't let this discourage you from beefing up your home's security.
- Never leave the house. Well, actually, make it appear as though you never do. Most burglaries take place during the day when homes are empty. So when you leave, leave the lights or TV on (or better yet, use a timer). There are products that mimic the flickering lights of TV and also sounds.
- Lock your doors and windows. So many people fail to do this. Forty percent of burglaries involve thieves who waltz right on in or climb right on in. Stop this madness and lock up!
- Never mind air circulation-keep your garage door closed when you're home, and make sure it's closed when you leave. To protect against forgetting to close it, install a device that closes it after a specific time lapse. Make sure the opener is disabled during lengthy periods away from home. Unplug it.
- Do you own the biggest house on the block? Wel. don't do anything-else to the house that makes it stand out from the rest-because it will also stand out to burglars too. Don't show off by leaving expensive items in the yard or easily-seen discarded boxes for your new flat screen TV.
- Keep your home's entry points clear of things that could conceal a burglar. Ideally, any brush that you have near entry ways should have thorns to repel prowlers.
- Get to know your neighbors. If everyone knows each other, a burglar will stand out. Keep a watch out for each other's homes. Start a neighborhood watch program.
- Close the curtains and blinds. Crooks casing the neighborhood can easily see what valuables you have if the curtains or blinds are up. Even if your valuables can't be seen through any windows, burglars might still see YOU. Unless you look like an MMA fighter, realize that burglars often case the residents to see if they look like they'd put up a vicious fight.
- Beware of what you post on social media. A good friend recently posted new pictures of her expensive earrings she got for her birthday. My comment was, "My wife would love those, please let us know when you're leaving for work!"