I came across an article that addressed how to prevent burglary in our homes while surfing the the internet last weekend, and I thought to add my quota and share a slightly different view on how to prevent burglary in our homes. This should help everyone reading to raise the security level on our homes a notch higher.
A home cannot constantly suffer from burglary and still maintain its real estate value. In fact, the value of the property could possibly decline. Not forgetting the fact that the level of security of lives and properties in a particular location is one of the factors that contribute to the worth of a property.
Burglary or Break-in appears to be the commonest type of theft in Nigeria asides picking pockets. This deduction prompted my decision to write a piece on “How to prevent Burglary in our homes.
I remember the days of yesteryears when I was an undergraduate in the University of Benin, burglary or break-in was an all-comers affair. More than half the population of students had being victims of one form of burglary or another. In fact, if you were a student then and never encountered a burglary or break-in then that student must be one of the burglars. My first phone, a Nokia 1100 was actually stolen by burglars in the wee hours of an uneventful day. The thieves only had to cut through my window net which was facing the entire dreaded Ekosodin community in Benin to steal my then-precious phone, and to make matters worse the phone was seated on a plastic table which was some few centimeters away from the window when the burglars struck. It was what you would call; quite easily done.
The cuttings on my net reminded me of my intro-tech classes in festac grammar school.
A lot of homes in Nigeria have experienced one form of burglary or another. It’s almost quite easy to carry out burglary in most homes. What makes it bad is that it can be carried out in the shortest possible time, while the thieves leave no clue to the occupants of the house or the neighbours in the compound as to what just transpired. In just five minutes a thief can come in and out of your home… Mission Accomplished!
Here are some useful tips to help prevent a break-in from ever happening in your home, all of which can help provide you not only with emotional security, but also decrease the likelihood that you will have to replace items that could burn a major hole in your wallet:
1. Leave a your lights on or a radio/television playing if you are traveling or will be absent from your home for long periods of time.
The only reason why this could be a risky alternative is due to the frequent incident of power surge. Albeit, its only to keep them guessing if the occupants never really traveled. Another option is to let a trusted friend or neighbour know you would be away for a long while.
Read also: How to find a home
2. Lock all your doors, windows, garages, and sheds
Doors, windows, garages if any and shed should be locked when you leave your home. Doing this will make it difficult for burglars to enter your homes without attracting the attention of others. It is also essential you test your locks for their durability by trying to open your doors and windows from the outside. You may also want to Install sturdy deadbolt locks on your doors to prevent thieves from breaking in easily. Experts say 34% of all thieves come in right through the front door. So any investment you make securing your front door will probably pay off. The downside to sturdy deadbolts lock is they can be dangerous in the event of an emergency, such as a fire. Consider this carefully before installing one. If you do put one in, keep the key very close to the door in a hiding place that’s easy to remember
3. Get an Indoor Dog
Dogs are often the most effective alarm system you can get. Though, dogs are unpredictable – they may bite, they may not. More often than not, thieves will pick a house that’s dog-free rather than take the risk. However, the sad truth is that most Nigerian homes or should I say an average Nigerian home cannot afford a dog while homes that can afford to get a dog may not be able to keep up with the responsibility of owning one.
4. Hide Valuables
Can people see your 50-inch flat screen TV from the sidewalk? What about your super-expensive stereo system?
Make sure your valuables are hidden from passer-bys. Use privacy curtains (sheer curtains that let in light but block the view) so people can’t see in while you’re away at work.
5. Make your doors and windows visible to the neighborhood and to the street.
Cut away tree branches or high shrubbery that can hide burglars when they are breaking and entering your home.
6. Leave spare house keys with trusted friends, family, or neighbors instead of placing them outside on your property
Burglars may be familiar with common hiding places for spare keys. The burglar could possibly be a neighbour’s son or a friend that comes around. So, beware!
7. Hide or destroy any outside trash that may advertise your personal belongings to the rest of your neighborhood
For example, you may want to break down or destroy boxes that contained valuable, expensive electronic devices you may have just purchased, such as a large television or stereo system.
8. Be Prepared
This piece of advice may sound unnecessary but its vital. Make sure you religiously back up your computers and laptops in the event those items are stolen. Don’t lose files that would cause you more heartbreak than the original theft.
Also, make sure your portable hard drive is kept hidden in an innocuous place where it won’t get hurt.
Lastly, keep money out of site; if you have cash, keep it hidden.
Bottom line: Don’t go into the house that has already being broken into. If you’ve already walked in, leave immediately. The thieves may still be inside, and it’s not worth your life to find out. Don’t go by the way its done in movies. This is not Hollywood.
Also, call the police from your mobile phone while you are outside or at a neighbours house.
Have you had any experiences with break-ins? Do you have any additional tips to help avoid the potential for one?