You might think that most burglaries occur under the guise of darkness. But daytimes, when many homes are empty, actually see more home burglaries. Is your home safe when everyone is away at work or school?
The victim was at work, watching his home via an app on his phone, when, he told local news, “I saw at least one guy go through the window that they had broken to access the house and that’s when I thought this is a real thing.”
Within minutes, one of the burglars was seen carrying a safe filled with valuables out of the home. Thankfully, the victim saw the incident unfolding and was able to call the police, who caught the burglars just a couple of blocks from the house. But this, unfortunately, wasn’t an isolated event.
All over the country, “knock-knock” burglaries – the name given to break-ins that happen during the day when criminals think nobody’s home – are common, and becoming more sophisticated than ever.
How to Protect Your Home
Contrary to popular belief, the majority of home break-ins occur during the daylight hours – specifically between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. They know that most people will be at work or school, making it the best chance for a quick strike.
As a homeowner, you need to do everything you can to protect your home while you’re away. That means making smart choices and investing in the right security solutions. Here are a few specific suggestions from experts in the security field:
1. Don’t Advertise Your Absence
In our current age of social media, a lot of people forecast their movements to burglars by posting pictures and statuses when they’re on vacation, at work, or away from the house. All this does is tell a burglar that the home is empty for a few hours or days.
Put yourself in the mind of a burglar. You spot a house that you want to rob. You look up the county property records and find the name of the person who owns the house. You then search for this person on social media and watch their profile. Five days later, you notice that they’re leaving for a weeklong vacation overseas. Bam! You’ve found an opportunity.
Make sure your social media accounts are private and be careful with what you post. Even something as innocent as a selfie at work can signal that you’re out of the house for a few hours.
2. Secure the Front Door
“One of the most surprising FBI crime statistics is that…burglars [are most likely to] enter through the front door,” writes Andrew Thomas of SkyBell, a leading smart home security company. “While a back door and first-floor window were used 22% and 23% of the time, respectively, the front door was used in 34% of burglaries.”
In addition to locking the front door, you can invest in a doorbell camera that records footage and pushes a message to your mobile device when someone rings it. Not only does this give you a video of the burglar, it offers you the chance to tell them to go away.
3. Don’t Flaunt Your Possessions
Burglars are more observant than you may think, and you’ll get yourself in trouble if you flaunt your possessions. For example, placing the empty box for your new 60-inch 4K TV next to your trashcan on the curb is like putting a target on your house. The same could be said for putting valuables in a location where they’re visible from the street.
If you have nice things in your home, it’s best to place them away from where they can be seen through the windows.
4. Remove Cover Spots
Burglars might be bold, but they prefer to fly under the radar, if possible. They’ll often look for hiding spots that conceal their movements from neighbors or cars passing on the street. These include tall bushes and shrubs in the front yard and privacy fences in the back. Even a van parked close to the house can provide a good hiding spot.
For best results, remove as many cover spots as you can. This might take away a little privacy, but it will increase security.
Take a Proactive Stance
If there’s one thing you can’t afford as a homeowner, it’s being reactive. Burglars know how to spot unprotected homes. If you lack a security system, leave doors unlocked, or leave valuables out in the open, you’re essentially a sitting duck. Take action and be proactive.