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12 Get Smart Home Security Tips

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How many people who won’t wade more than 12 feet from shore due to fear of sharks actually don’t think their home will ever be burglarized? While about 50 people a year, worldwide, are killed by sharks, about one in every 36 homes in the U.S. will be burglarized in a single year. Average loss per break-in is over $2,200, says FBI data.

Just like you’re always looking for bargains at the store or online, burglars are always looking for bargains—in the form of an easy house to break into and one that looks empty.

Even if you’re home all the time, a burglar will think you’ve been out on travel if your lawn is unkempt. A burglar will see your house as an easy job if shrubbery obscures entry points.

Just like you wouldn’t go swimming in the ocean with a cut finger because a shark could pick up one part blood in a billion parts water, you should not make your home a sweet-tasting opportunity for criminals.

  1. When a burglar views your home, he should think, “Nope, not that one; someone’s definitely inside.” Make your house always look like someone’s inside and kicking.
  2. And you can do that with timed lighting devices prompted by home automation technology—not just when you’re gone, but even overnight, so a burglar thinks, “Hmm, looks like someone’s up having a middle of the night snack—better not try that one.”
  3. Overnight you can also use a timed device to make the TV go on and off.
  4. Get a home security system that you can manipulate with your smartphone so that when you’re away even on short trips (like waiting for your meal at a restaurant), you can check your property.
  5. Put the security company’s sign in your yard and decals on your windows.
  6. Never post any travel plans, even brief, online, like “Have a big shopping trip at the mall tomorrow.” Really, who cares? Except burglars.
  7. Don’t answer your doorbell unless you’re expecting someone. Yes, it might be a neighbor, but your neighbor’s heart won’t stop beating if you don’t answer. Many crooks ring doorbells and feign some survey just to see what the home occupant looks like (90 pound weakling vs. 230 pound hairy Neanderthal).
  8. Put your mail and paper deliveries on vacation hold while you travel.
  9. Tell the police you’ll be away on travel so they can cruise by when they get a chance.
  10. It’s better to have a dog-sitter than to kennel your dog so that its barking could deter intruders.
  11. Arrange to be home when a package delivery might be coming. An unattended package on your stoop is a sign you’re probably not home.
  12. If you have a fenced-in yard, put a sign on the fence entrance that has an image of a dog that says: “I can make it to the fence in 3 seconds; can you?” Different versions of these signs are sold online.

All in all, this stuff is pretty much common sense. But, people get lazy, they don’t think it can happen to them, or they get careless. Don’t become a statistic.

This guest post is by Robert Siciliano, personal and home security specialist to discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures.