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Your home should be a sanctuary for you and your family. Unfortunately, more than 1.5 million burglaries take place each year in the U.S., according to FBI statistics, and about 70 percent of them are residential burglaries. The majority involve forcible entry. This means that it pays to be vigilant even when you’re in your house.
Developing a home safety plan with your family — outlining what to do in the event of various types of emergencies — can mean the difference between surviving a home invasion or burglary and becoming another unfortunate statistic. Here are some tips to help you develop a home security plan that can keep you and your family safe.
Develop a Plan of Action
If someone is home when an intruder strikes, he or she likely won’t have time to think of a plan on the spot. That’s why it’s important to have a preemptive plan of action. Create an escape route and know where the closest exits are at all times. If you can’t escape the house, designate a “safe room” that has a strong, secure door. Determine how you’ll notify police in the event of an intruder.
Make Your Home Less of a Target
Criminals often look for the easiest target — and there are a number of ways you can make your home less of one: Use motion-sensing lights on the exterior of your home. Put interior lights on a timer if you won’t be home. Never leave your doors or windows unlocked and avoid hiding a spare key in an obvious place such as under your doormat. Use shades and blinds on windows to prevent people from seeing inside and finding out whether or not anyone’s home.
Use a Security System
Whether you use a monitored system or a series of wireless door and window alarms, having any kind of home security system in place can help deter thieves and keep your property safe. A loud alarm can discourage most criminals from going any further, and many alarm products on the market today are affordable and easy to install yourself.
Preventing a home invasion or burglary can be as simple as using discresion around the amount of personal information you share with others. If you’re on social media, don’t share your vacation plans or daily schedule. Because, this can give criminals an opportunity to learn when your home will be empty. Don’t discuss your home security measures with anyone outside of your family or anyone else who lives with you. Don’t give details about your home or family to people claiming to be phone solicitors. If a stranger comes to your home looking for help, call the police and let him or her wait outside for assistance.