a house thief breaking in

Home Crimes Americans Worry About: Preventive Measures

On top of anxieties about the pandemic, Americans worry about home crimes. This is according to The State of Safety in America 2021, a survey conducted by SafeWise from August to September 2020 among 5,026 people across every state of the country. With most people depending on deliveries nowadays, it is not surprising that half of Americans are most worried about package theft. This is followed by 40 percent of respondents worrying about property theft, including break-ins and car theft.

Data from Statista shows that in 2020, 35 percent of Americans worry about having their homes burglarized while they are away, 34 percent worry about having their vehicles stolen, and 20 percent worry about a burglary that will happen while they are at home.

Forbes reports that data from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) shows a 10.9 percent increase in vehicle thefts from 2019 to 2020. This means 880,595 stolen vehicles in a year. Car thieves do not target only high-end vehicles. Popular old used vehicles are also common targets because thieves chop up and easily sell the parts to second-hand auto parts dealers or consumers.

Preventing Package Theft

To ensure the security of your deliveries if they are scheduled to arrive when you are away from home, install a theft-proof package drop box that is approved by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). There are different models and sizes to choose from. The postman will be able to open the vault and lock it after leaving your package.

There are also other locking mailboxes, such as the Landport, that other courier services can use and are roomy enough to accept large packages or several packages at a time. These have security access codes that you give directly to the delivery service.

Another option is to have the packages sent to a nearby holding location where you can pick them up at your convenience. Amazon has Amazon Lockers, and UPS and FedEx have their own holding locations, as well.

Preventing Car Theft

a car theft

According to Forbes, a large number of reported vehicle thefts were due to owners leaving car doors unlocked with the key in the ignition. Others left their key fob in a cup holder while the car was parked unlocked. It is essential to always lock all car doors and keep your keys with you even if you are just dropping something off or paying for your gas. It only takes those few minutes for a thief to drive away with your vehicle. Also, avoid parking in dark and isolated areas when out of the house.

When you are at home, keep your vehicles locked and keep your keys inside the house, especially if your vehicle is not parked in a locked garage. If it is on a driveway, ensure that it is well lighted. Install an anti-theft device in the vehicle, including one that prevents the removal of its catalytic converter. In 2020, there was an average of 1,203 catalytic converter thefts per month because thieves sell these at a high price. It is easier for them to take the converter rather than the entire vehicle.

Preventing Break-Ins and Property Theft

It is most dangerous to have a break-in when residents are at home because these endanger not only possessions but lives, as well. Replace doors with glass panes with solid doors. For maximum security, pair a high-quality Euro cylinder lock with two heavy-duty barrel bolts placed at the top and lowest quadrants of doors leading outside and to the garage. Do the same for bedroom doors and keep them locked every night so that even if an intruder gets into the house, occupants will be safe in bedrooms.

Install decorative metal grills on all glass windows. There are various designs, and you will surely find one that fits your home style. Ensure that these are bolted from the inside so that they can not be pried off from the outside. Do not forget to include bathroom windows and skylights, as well as windows in the attic and basement. In addition to the grills, have secure locks on all the windows.

If you want certain windows to be grill-free, replace the window glass with unbreakable polycarbonate. This is as clear as regular glass but cannot be broken into.

Install a security system that has motion sensors and alarms. Research reliable online reviews beforehand to ensure that you get the best option. Install a front door camera to see who is outside before you open the door. Make sure your security system’s external wiring is hidden so that intruders cannot cut them.

Stay Calm and Be Prepared

It is best to invest in these preventive measures rather than staying worried and risking even higher losses. Taking proactive steps will enable you to protect yourself and your family against package theft, break-ins, and car theft, as well as any related bodily harm.

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