You’ve moved into the ideal home, with just the right look and feel. You’ve found it in one of your favorite neighborhoods, and you really like your neighbors. Your home is near a park, which is great for your kids. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, someone broke into your home and stole all of your valuables.
Being robbed is a devastating experience. It feels like a personal violation, that some stranger was in your home, rifling through your personal effects and valuables, making a huge mess and leaving you disheartened. Some people will tell you that what was taken are “just things,” you still are safe and there was minimal damage done to your home.
The problem is that the damage isn’t only physical, it’s emotional – and it takes its toll on anyone who has ever experienced a home burglary. This is one of those instances where an “ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” By being prepared in advance, you’ll minimize your losses while maintaining some semblance of safety for you and your family. Here are some tips you can use to protect your home from burglary.
Tip #1: Never Post Vacation Plans on social Media
Many people forget that it’s not only their friends who are reading their social media posts, it’s criminals as well. You may be heading to Hawaii, and in your excitement, you post all of your vacation’s details – when you’re leaving, returning and where you’ll be staying. Big mistake! It becomes an open invitation to thieves to visit your home while you’re gone – long before you return. If someone emails you to wish you a good trip, and you don’t recognize the name, run the name or email address through Nuwber for an accurate identification. And when it comes to your trip plans, stay off of social media.
Tip #2: Know your Neighbors
Before you ask one of your neighbors to watch your home or water your plants, make sure you know who you’re talking to. This is another good instance to use Nuwber to find out their true name and identity, and whether or not they have a criminal background. Simply enter their name, address or phone number and you’ll get back a verified identity check on each person you enter. This is a great way to know who is living in your neighborhood, and who you may need to watch out for.
Tip #3: Get a Video Doorbell
You’ve probably seen commercials for Ring and other video doorbell products that capture who is coming to your door on video. Some of the top ones include Nest, SkyBell HD, August and Arlo. You can also watch the video in real time to see exactly who is coming to your home. Some devices even have audio capability, giving you the ability to talk to these people, questioning why they are there. Another valuable plus is that if a thief does break into your home, you have footage to give to the police that might help you get your stolen valuables back.
Tip #4: Get Interior Video Cameras
The Ring and similar video doorbells will show you who is at your door, but to really secure your home you need an interior video camera. Nest Cam IQ is a home surveillance camera with facial recognition, motion and sound trigger alerts, zoom tracking and more. Other top cameras include Arion Pro 3, Wyze Pan Cam and Ring Indoor Cam. These devices range from $39 to $399, and some feature remote pan and tilt capabilities. Just be aware that some companies charge a monthly fee for the capability of watching your video feed from a distant location.
Tip #5: Secure your Home with a Smart Security System
You may have seen the commercial for SimpliSafe, a do-it-yourself security system you install with no wires and no drilling. There are sensors for windows and doors, and for under $15 a month you can connect to 24/7 home monitoring. The system will notify you if there’s an intrusion and will remain on the line until the situation is resolved. It’s part of a new breed of smart security systems that work with your smartphone to help prevent intruders. Other top systems include Ring Alarm Security Kit, Honeywell Smart Home Security and Vivint Smart Home.
Using good judgment will help to reduce the chances of getting burglarized when you’re away. Use timers to turn interior and exterior lights on and off to give the impression someone’s living there, and use a trusted neighbor to take out and put back garbage cans on collection days.