A brief search of news headlines indicates that home invasions are on the rise. In fact it is not high priced, luxury homes that are the main targets, but generally the home invasions are targeting almost every level of income and any kind of neighborhood. While this is disconcerting and frightening, there are many ways for homeowners to protect themselves against such issues.
There are many common sense answers to preventing home invasion crimes, and then there are additional methods and tools that can help homeowners. The common sense issues include:
o Never opening a door to a stranger – convicted home invasion criminals talk frequently about how unexpected a home invasion crime is to the victims. Many open their doors without hesitation, giving the burglars immediate entrance. Installing peepholes and motion sensor lights can eliminate the need to open a door to a stranger.
o Installing and using adequate window coverings – drapes, blinds and shades maintain privacy and they prevent would-be criminals from seeing the interior of a home. Most home invasions result in a catastrophic amount of theft as the burglars take everything of possible value. Blinds and curtains can prevent anyone from seeing the contents of the home.
o Reinforcing and using locks on all doors and windows – be sure that all locking mechanisms on doors and windows are operational, and keep everything locked up as much as possible. Home invasion burglars are incredibly bold and do not hesitate to test a home’s doors and windows to see if they are locked.
o Exterior lighting wherever possible – install flood lights, motion sensor lights, and lights on timers wherever possible around the exterior of the home. All burglars do not want to be seen and lighting takes away their comfort. Home invasion criminals are no different, and though they may boldly approach a door, they may hesitate if a motion activated flood light illuminates every step or move they make.
Additionally, home invasion crimes can be reduced or eliminated by the installation of even the most basic home security system. Electronic home security systems have come a long way, technologically, in only a short period of time. Today’s systems incorporate many features that can be easily used to deter invasion crimes. These include:
o Security fobs or “panic” buttons that trigger the system – Most modern home security systems come with both a keychain fob and a wall mounted control panel. Both of these items will usually allow a homeowner to set off the alarm instantly which is incredibly helpful if someone tries to force their way into the home from a front door or other entrance.
o Integrated video – some modern security systems allow for video integration along with the other monitoring features. Even “dummy” or fake cameras can serve as a deterrent to a home invasion
o Pet and child immunity – most modern security systems are able to detect between the body heat and movements of a pet or a small child, and most are able to be activated when the homeowners are at home. With both features a homeowner and their family can be effectively protected against forced entry and the potential for violent crime.