Do you feel safe in your home? Most people do. In fact, to most people, their home is the place they feel the safest. Perhaps then, you would be surprised to learn that over 2 million homes are burlarized each year.  That’s one burglary every 15 seconds.

So what can you do to make sure your home is the safe haven you believe it to be? Follow these few simple steps:

#1  Turn on your burglar alarm even if you are only running out for a few moments. It only takes a burglar a blink of an eye to get in and get out with what they want.

#2  Lock the door leading from your attached garage into your home.  Many homeowners leave it unlocked assuming that since the garage door is closed there is no problem.  I discovered quite by accident that my garage door opener actually opened some of my neighbor’s garage doors as well. Yikes!  Also, sometimes you click your control to close the door and drive away without actually waiting to see if the door closed. With the electronic eyes now on these devices to insure that the door does not close on a child or pet, the door may have opened back up without you even realizing it, leaving your home completely vulnerable.  Make sure and lock all the rest of your exterior doors as well. It would be nice to think that we are still living in a Leave it to Beaver world, but sadly it’s not true. The one time you don’t lock your doors and windows could be exactly the time you wish you had

#3  If you have a security alarm system, display a generic sign that a system exists instead of telling the burglars exactly what system you have (which then gives them all the information he needs to disable the alarm). Believe it or not, the burglar can actually buy a diagram of how that particular system is wired.

#4  The bedroom is the first place burglars will look for easy to grab valuables.  Keep cash or jewelry you only wear on special occasions in a safe-deposit box at your bank.  Hide other items in places where burglars are less likely to look such as above ceiling tiles, in your garage, in your freezer or pantry. You can actually buy fake soup cans that are designed exactly for this purpose.  Also, hide your valuables in various places so that even if they get something, they won’t get everything.

#5  A small yappy dog is a much stronger deterrent than big dogs that tend to stop barking much quicker and easier than smaller breeds such as chihuahuas or yorkies. They may not look menacing but most burglars will move past a home that has a loud, constant, usually high pitched and attention grabbing yapping dog.

#6  Make sure that your windows are not hidden by your landscaping trees and bushes.  It just gives the burglar a chance to open your windows without being seen.  Keep all your shrubs trimmed to below your window level.  And make sure your ground level windows are closed and locked when you leave.

#7  Put your inside and outdoor lights on timers. Vary the times in different areas of your interior so that there appears to be activity.  Though burglars of course know about timers, they will most likely move on to a home that is totally dark or totally lit.  Motion detector lights are fairly inexpensive and can surprise the intruder and cause him to move on.

#8  If you are going out of town for a while do not stop your mail or newspaper delivery.  Have a neighbor or close friend pick them up while you’re gone and if at all possible have them do so at various times throughout the day so that cars are coming and going again causing a burglar who may be watching homes in your neighborhood to skip yours.

#9  Wait until you return from your out of town trip to post the information on your Facebook or Twitter account.  You never know who you might be telling that you are very excited about your upcoming 7 day cruise that you will be leaving for on Friday.  You might as well just put a sign out front that says, “Rob me”.

#10  Along the same lines, if you put a wedding announcement in the paper, do not put in your city.  While you are off enjoying your special day, someone else may be enjoying it as well by stealing all of your wedding gifts nicely displayed in your home all in one place.

The fact is you do not have to be a victim.  Use simple common sense, follow these guidelines and minimize your chances of burglars choosing your home as their next target.