By Jarrod Heil

Budget-Friendly Tips to Prevent Home Break-Ins While You’re Away

Even though your homeowners, renters or condo insurance policy may provide protection for stolen items, nobody wants to file a home insurance claim because their belongings were stolen from their house.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there were 841,283 residential burglaries in the United States in 2017. Of those, 50% occurred during the daytime and another 19% occurred at an unknown time of day, likely because residents were away on vacation or working long hours.

The best way to prevent a burglary from happening is to install a security system. Security systems get even better when you combine an interior security alarm with exterior security cameras. Doubling down allows you to take an active stance against burglary, letting would-be robbers know that your house is not to be messed with.

Exterior cameras create a daunting presence for thieves, who likely won’t want to be on the back end of a recording somewhere. If they bypass the silent warning of security cameras and enter your home, a monitored interior security alarm sounds and notifies police of the break-in. The loud sound acts as a trigger warning, often startling robbers enough that they leave with nothing.

You’ll also receive a call from the security company to notify you that the alarm is sounding and authorities on are the way. If your home is protected through a smart home security system, you may even get notifications on your phone about the developing situation and be able to access live-feed cameras.

Always point security cameras toward each window and door. If you don’t turn on your alarm system every time you leave the house, make sure you don’t put a mirror across from it. A mirror, that’s visible through a window, will allow would-be thieves to peek in and see whether the alarm is armed or disarmed.

Budget-friendly security systems begin at $200 — additional maintenance fees may apply each month. Some of that cost can be offset when you factor in that discounts on your homeowners insurance policy are available for eligible home security systems. Even still, security systems can get expensive. There are several free and low-cost solutions available that can be very effective in helping deter a would-be intruder.

The following nine budget-friendly tips can help prevent home break-ins while you’re away:

1. Purchase Security Signs & Fake Cameras

2. Get Reliable Locks for Exterior Doors

3. Hide Spare Keys in Discrete Locations

4. Secure Windows and Sliding Doors

5. Shut Blinds, Drapes and Curtains

6. Remove Deliveries from View

7. Keep Landscape Trimmed

8. Utilize Timers for Lights

9. Install Exterior Motion Lights