How To Burglar-Proof Your Apartment
• 4 minutes read
There are fewer things in life greater than coming home to your own space which you’ve spent months decorating, painstakingly deciding over which accent color goes here or which piece of furniture to place there. You’ve ordered the most high tech television on the market and have integrated your whole apartment to be controlled from the palm of your hand, but in the time it took you to read this first paragraph a burglary has already taken place.
With a burglary happening every 18 seconds in the United States and approximately 4,800 burglaries happening every day, it highlights the fact that burglaries are a real crime that you need to be aware of.
Think Like A Burglar
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.” This old proverb quoted and made famous by Sun Tzu in The Art of War not only applies to winning a World War but is also the first step in winning the fight against keeping the things you cherish safe in your home. Understanding the mind of a criminal can be a major advantage. A study on what motivates and deters burglars, done by UNC Charlotte’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, reveals some shocking details:
- Most burglars entered through unlocked front doors and windows
- 41% suggested it was a “spur of the moment” event
- Approximately 83% said they would try to determine if an alarm was present and 60% said they would seek an alternative target if there was an alarm on site
- The most common time a burglar strikes is between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
- Only 17% of homes in the U.S. have a security system
These findings can be shocking at first but should provide some wonderful insight into the habits of a burglar. They want to get in and out quickly without being noticed. So begin burglar-proofing your apartment by casing your own joint. Look at your home as if you were a criminal trying to break in, while keeping in mind the time it takes you to potentially break in, the amount of noise that would be created, and how visible you are while doing it.
Do you have any unlocked windows or doors? How many points of entry does your apartment have? Can you easily see valuables in your home from the street? Is your apartment well lit at night? Be ruthless with yourself as you begin this first step in burglar-proofing your home.
Log Your Valuables
After conducting your reconnaissance, it’s time to take action. Catalog and photograph your most expensive items and engrave an ID number if possible in case an item is stolen and pawned for quick cash. This would be the only way to track your belongings and get them returned if they are ever stolen. Jewelry, collectibles, cash, TVs, and gaming consoles are among the most stolen property, so be sure to add these to a spreadsheet of personal items.
Get to know your neighbors as they can be a valuable asset in protecting your home from theft. Your neighbors are able to pick up personal items from the front of your building if you don’t have a doorman or watch your apartment while you are away. Community is the best defense against an unwanted intruder and simply introducing yourself to the people next door can provide double the amount of protection.
Install A Security System
Research shows that homes without security systems are 3x more likely to be broken into than homes with one, so invest in a home security system. There are so many home security companies to choose from but be sure to pick one that fits the size of your apartment and your particular needs. Cost, no contract or hidden fees, easy installation, complete control over what you need protected, and the type of monitoring are all important factors to consider when choosing a home security system.
Property crime rates have seen a significant decline in the last few years but you still don’t want to become a statistic. Once you’ve discovered your apartments weak spots, catalogued your most expensive items, broke bread with your neighbors, and installed your home security system, you can be rest assured that your home is more burglar-proof than ever. You can now binge watch your favorite Netflix shows in peace knowing you’ve done all that you can to protect that which is within just be sure to turn on your system - even while you sleep.
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