Forget breaking and entering—many criminals are able to simply come right in. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, “in 40% of unlawful entries to unoccupied residences, offenders gained access through an unlocked door or window.” Furthermore, 28% of criminals gain access through an unlocked door or window in homes that are occupied at the time of burglary, according to the report. This is especially true during warmer months, when homeowners are more likely to leave windows and doors unlocked or open. As spring approaches, follow the five steps below to keep your windows secure.
5 Steps to Put Your Windows on Lock-Down
- Start with Locks. Ensure window locks function properly throughout the home. Test if locks stay securely in place when you try to shimmy the window open. If you are able to get a window to budge, a criminal will too. Don’t forget to check basement and decorative windows, or any others that may be overlooked. Most importantly, always keep your windows locked when not in use.
- Follow Outdoor Safety Best Practices. Windows that are secluded or poorly lit are more likely to be targeted by burglars. Install adequate exterior lighting—such as motion-sensitive lights or floodlights. Also, trim trees and shrubs around first-floor windows to ensure they cannot be used as hiding places.
- outdoor security cameras in proximity to your most accessible windows, while allowing for a wide coverage angle. In the event of a break-in, this will notify you of suspicious activity and allow you to see who accessed your home.
- Conceal Windows. Window coverings provide comfort and privacy, conceal homes from prying eyes, and hide valuables from view. Equip windows with quality blinds and curtains. Avoid opaque or see-through fabrics.
- Be Smart with Valuables. Keep expensive electronics, artwork and other valuable items away from windows and, preferably, out of sight. This is especially important during the holidays; don’t place wrapped gifts within outside view.
- Install Window Sensors. Motion-triggered sensors will send alerts to your mobile device whenever a window is accessed or opened. Place glass-break detectors on all first-floor windows; these will trigger an alarm if activated.
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