All of our homes contain their fair share of valuables, many of which could cause an untold detriment to our lives and wallets if they were stolen. Since burglary is a crime of opportunity, most burglars won’t want to spend a lot of time looking through our homes for something to steal. To optimally hide and protect your valuables from thieves, use the following tips.
Purchase Home and Contents Insurance
Although Home and Contents insurance can’t ensure your valuables won’t be stolen, it can provide their replacement. When all else fails, home and contents insurance will offer up the peace of mind if burglars do manage to steal your belongings, despite your added protection.
Keep Less than $1000 in Your Home
Avoid stashing large amounts of money inside your home. It’s better to keep your money inside a savings account at the bank unless you have a very heavy safe. Light safes can be removed from your home. Even if they’re uncrackable, that money may never be returned to you.
Invest in a Multi-Protection Safe
The best safes have multi-factor locks that make them virtually tamper-proof. Safes that allow the user to input a code before needing to unlock it with a key will deter thieves from cracking it. Ensure your code is at least 9 numbers long and uses all 9 digits for added difficulty.
Engrave or Mark Your Belongings
When your items are stolen or found, they are often sold at a pawn shop or at an auction when they can’t find the owner. If you mark your belongings with a UV pen or engraving instrument while also keeping photographic proof of your items, you can increase the chances of return.
Purchase a Guard Dog (and Pet)
It’s frowned upon to purchase a pet merely for protection. However, if you are interested in adopting a pet anyway, think about large breeds and can be trained to bark aggressively at intruders. Burglars are less likely to break into homes with large, noisy dogs.
Don’t Leave Items Lying Around
Never leave parcels, ladders, or workshop tools outside unintended. All three items will provide an opportunity for a burglar to steal your things. While a thief may just steal your tools or ladder, they’re more likely to use them to break in. Don’t give thieves an opportunity to break in.
Keep Doors and Windows Locked
Some neighborhoods may feel safe keeping their doors and windows unlocked either briefly or overnight, but no one should ever do this regardless of how secure you feel. Burglars are more than likely to target known “safe” neighborhoods, as they typically contain wealthier homeowners.
Install an Alarm System
A security system is worth the investment if you buy a lot of expensive items. Place a sticker on every window, so burglars know the police will be notified if they tamper with your doors or windows. Be sure to purchase a system from a company with a 24/7 support line.
Always Look Like You’re at Home
Even when you aren’t home, it’s essential that you look like you’re either awake or occupying your dwelling. Little things like visible night lights or lamps can indicate that there will be resistance upon break-in. Leaving a car parked and the lawn mowed also affirms you’re home.
Never Announce Holiday Plans
Through a simple keyword search on your public social media account, burglars can figure out right away if you’re on vacation and how long you’ll be away. Reserve posting your holiday pictures until you get home, so no one will ever know you’re not occupying your home.
Hide Your Belongings the Smart Way
Sometimes a safe isn’t the best place for your belongings. However, a false bottom in a trash can, a false container in a cupboard, and a hollowed-out book will provide a lot of protection. Important documents can even be wrapped in aluminum foil and placed inside the fridge.
Avoid Common Hiding Spots
What may look like a smart hiding spot may actually be a red flag to a burglar. Never hide your belongings in a desk drawer, CD case, DVD case, a wall safe (unless it’s properly installed), inside picture frames, a cookie jar, in a heated area, or inside a locked box or filing cabinet.