The right security system can help keep you safe and may give you a break on your home insurance premiums. But what's best for you? Old-fashioned tricks or the latest technology?
One of the biggest reasons burglars say they moved onto another house is because the first house they were casing had a dog. This isn't just because they're afraid the dog will attack them. Many homeowners who have been burglarized report that their home surveillance video showed their dog making friends with the burglar.
The real danger to a burglar from a dog is barking. Any kind of unusual noise brings unwanted attention from neighbors and other people passing by that could lead to the burglar being discovered before they can getaway.
How you maintain your home and plan your landscape can also deter burglars. Burglars look for places to hide while they work on your doors or windows and to duck into if somebody is walking by and might see them.
If you have large bushes or trees near your windows or doors, that's a perfect hiding place for them to work uninterrupted. Even if you have a fenced-in backyard, the extra concealment can still make a burglar feel more comfortable. An open area could leave them feeling like someone might be watching them and they should move on.
Hardening Your Home
When it comes to more direct security measures, your first line of defense is installing additional obstacles. Deadbolts and reinforced doors can prevent burglars from making an entry or make their attempt long enough and loud enough that they give up out of fear they're going to be caught. Window locks, burglar bars and shatter-proof glass can keep burglars from coming in through your windows. Outdoor motion lighting and visible video cameras can provide an additional deterrent.
Most home insurance companies offer a discount for some or all these measures.
Burglar alarms have mixed reviews from homeowners. That's because false alarms can lead to fines from the police, and the cost of ongoing monitoring can be expensive. However, even unmonitored alarms bring noise and attention that burglars want to avoid at all costs. If you choose to install an alarm system, there's a good chance you can get a home insurance discount for it.
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