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How to Theft-Proof Your Home

By Connor Bayliss
This summer, urban homeowners across Atlanta are more vulnerable than ever to potential home invasion and burglary. With lawn mowers and bicycles being left out in yards and families leaving their homes for vacation, criminals are targeting lots of homes and looking to exploit weaknesses in their security. The good news is that you have the ability to avoid break-ins, with a few precautionary measures. The National Crime Prevention Council has outlined several tips to consider before leaving your home unprotected and vulnerable. We have highlighted some of these that seem to apply particularly to the Porch Press area.
First and foremost, secure your home with lock and key. This may seem obvious, but many homeowners often leave their back doors and windows unlocked. You should consider purchasing a bolted anti-lift window locking system, as well as updating any outdated door locks. Also, there are several means on the market to make sure that your doors and door jambs are resistant to door kick-ins. Owning and using an advanced alarm system is another important tool. Most homes that are broken into either don’t have a functional alarm system, or are left without turning on the alarm. Better to be safe than sorry, so set your alarm any time you leave the house, even to just take a walk up the street. Also, place your alarm company’s signs around the house; these can act as a deterrent to burglars. While an alarm won’t directly prevent a break-in, a crook won’t want to stick around very long when it goes off. Another deceptively simple deterrent is strategic lighting inside and outside your home. Motion-sensing lights provide visibility of your house, and will discourage thieves from targeting your house. When you leave for an extended period of time, purchase and set timers on your interior lights to turn on and off through the course of the day and night. This can help to trick anyone watching your house into thinking that someone is home.
One of the most cost-effective alarm systems is not one installed in your home, but living next door or across the street. Form a good relationship with neighbors so that you can work together to watch out for criminals in your area. Start or join a neighborhood watch program to join in on the benefits of many watchful eyes. Your neighborhood association’s public safety committee can help set you up. The Porch Press neighborhoods also have professional security patrols available which provide an extra set of eyes to regularly patrol your property. Contact your public safety committee to find out more. Many people are installing cameras outside and inside to catch thieves in the act. Camera systems have become cheaper recently, and can be linked to your smartphone or work computer. Because of this thieves have been apprehended, and stolen goods recovered. Finally, instruct your children on setting the alarm, and make sure they are aware of the risks of leaving the doors and windows unlocked. The attitude of “it’ll never happen to me” is one that many of Atlanta people yearly come to regret, and the fact is that it can happen to you, so lock up, and join with your neighbors to keep your family and your valuables as safe as you can.

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