This is the time of the year when many of us are on vacation, especially with the great weather we have been experiencing. This is when the pros are out there trying to figure out who is home and who is not.
Burglaries occur every 20 seconds in the United States (shown in 2017, they take place most often during the summer months as per the Department of Justice, which did a study from 1993-2010; read the entire report here: https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/spcvt.pdf.The National Council for home safety and security whose website and information can be found by going to: https://www.alarms.org/burglary-statistics/provides very specific information to keep your home safer and more secure from burglars.)
Most robberies occur between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., while most families are working and out of their home. Burglars prefer not to confront people when they are home and there is more avoidance during evening hours. Also, all your deliveries should cease (don’t order anything online, when you know that you will be away). Have your neighbors take all packages into their home in the event of delivery when you are not there.
This is most important when and if you are selling on your own or even if you have hired an agent to handled the sale. Some burglars try to figure out when you are not home by either calling you if you are selling on your own to determine the best time to view your place by asking pertinent questions as to when you are home. Never disclose when you are not home, but just say you have appointments to show and are all booked up on those days that you aren’t home. Sellers who have alarms, which is always recommended, have a bit less to worry about or concern themselves with unless a real professional burglar knows how to shut your system off without having it notify your central dispatch service, which is not the norm. Also, there are those fantastic doorbells that have cameras and speakers within the mechanism. When someone rings your bell, it can be programmed to go to your cell, which can scare off potential burglars, who may see that you’re home, when you may not be. All the devices that control your lights, heat (you can set your heat externally when you are in another location), water (can send a signal to you if there is a leak) and alarms are technological wonders that will keep you safe and sound and also minimize losses.
When going on a short or extended vacation, never post any photos online to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, etc. until you are back home, since many devious individuals will scroll through social media sites to determine who might not be around so they can rob your home. We all are so conditioned to show everyone what a great time we are having, but it’s a negative for your home allowing burglars to know where you live (they are very good about finding your address) and enabling them to get in with the least amount of deterrence, again unless you have a fully alarmed home.
There are some amazing, cost-effective and simple systems today that will provide you with the security that you may be looking for. You and your family are less likely to be burglarized when a security system is installed. They look for the path of least resistance and alarms are surely not welcomed by burglars. If you do not have a system, then make sure you have dead bolt locks on all doors, lock all windows when away and have timers on lights and TVs. These will be an excellent deterrent as long as they can’t see into your home. Also, make sure your blinds and curtains are closed so no one can see in.
One of my friends ordered a strobe light online and placed it by his living room window behind the curtains, which made it appear to look as if a TV was on because the colors changed, similar to watching a program. Motion sensor lights around your home is another way to gain greater protection. A car parked in the driveway is another method to make your property safer, by making others believe someone is home. Most important, if you are a gun owner, never advertise this anywhere, especially bumper stickers, letting everyone know you probably own a gun or are a NRA member, since every few minutes a gun is stolen in the United States, according to the DOJ.
Keep your shrubbery below the window level, so burglars will not consider hiding there. Keep all things very viewable from the street so burglars will not have anywhere to hide to plot and plan their break-in at your home. Don’t leave any valuable computer equipment or valuables, etc near any windows that anyone could see by looking in your window, which again should be covered by curtains or blinds. Even labeled keys hung up somewhere in your kitchen should be hidden somewhere safe and not visible by any window. Make sure when going away your mail is held at your local post office, instead of accumulating in your home, so no one will know that you are away. Some of you may have a neighbor that you have known for years that you absolutely trust, providing them a contact number when you are away to keep in touch in the event of any issues. No one wants their home vandalized or have precious items and keepsakes stolen, but as they say, an “ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Philip A. Raices is the owner/Broker of Turn Key Real Estate at 3 Grace Ave Suite 180 in Great Neck. He has earned designations as a Graduate of the Realtor Institute (G.R.I.) and also as a Certified International Property Specialist (C.I.P.S.). He will provide you with “free” regular updates of sold and new homes in your town via the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island (MLSLI)or go to WWW.Li-REalEstate.Com as well as a “free” value analysis of what your home might sell for in today’s market without any “strings” attached. He can also provide a copy of “Unlocking the Secrets of Real Estate’s New Market Reality or Our Seller’s or Buyer’s Guides for “Things to Consider when Selling or Purchasing your Home. Just email or snail mail(regular mail) him with your request with your name, email and cell number and he will send it out ASAP. For a consultation, he can be reached by Cell: (516) 647-4289 or by email: Phil@TurnKeyRealEstate.Com to answer any of your questions or concerns.