Updated: Sep 6
The Secure Dad realizes the profound impact and cost of a home burglary. The company I founded works to help parents understand the everyday needs to live a safer, happier life. If families don’t feel safe at home, then they can’t really be happy. Together we’ll look at the financial and emotional toll associated with burglaries, plus tips to help mitigate this risk for your family.
The Financial Loss of a Burglary
According to the FBI, the average burglary cost people an average of $2,661.
Some favorite items stolen from homes are jewelry, firearms, computers, and medication. Many burglars take their ill-gotten gains to less than reputable dealers, where they sell the goods quickly for cash. Of course, the value of stolen goods is important, but what you may not think about is the damage that is done to your home.
In those same FBI stats we find that 55.7 of burglaries involve forceable entry. That means when someone kicks in your door, smashes your window, or hacks your garage door, you lose the money of the valuables stolen and must pay for the damage. Even if insurance covers the damage, you may still have to pay upfront for urgent repairs.
A quick word about insurance, a burglary may be covered by your homeowner’s policy, but you need to know. Coverage like dwelling and personal property coverage may help you. Still, it’s never good to assume that your insurance company will cover a problem. Call your agent today and ask if your current policies will help you with the costs of a burglary and the damage it may cause to your home.
How Burglars Get In
The most common way burglars enter your home is through the front door. You may think the back door or a side window would be stealthier, but the front door remains the first target for most bad guys. After all, most doors can be breached with 3-4 kicks in about 6 seconds.
With a typical kick-in style attack on the average front door, you’re replacing the door frame, door, lockset, and deadbolt. Not to mention the massive inconvenience of being unable to close your door safely until it’s replaced. While you might think a home alarm system or upgrading your home’s security may cost too much, I would suggest that it’s money well spent for more than just financial reasons.
The Emotional Cost of a Burglary
After experiencing a break-in, many families feel their home, their haven, has been violated. Seeing their home in disorder, prized possessions gone, and broken glass on the floor is hard to grasp. The thought that someone with bad intentions entered and desecrated their home is hard to stomach. This can bring a tremendous toll on anyone, especially kids.
There are many sleepless nights after a burglary. Victims may wonder why their home was targeted, what they could have done to avoid this, and whether the bad guys may return. When families don't feel safe at home, they can't sleep well, affecting their work performance and family life.
Not to mention the loss of trust. After such a stressful event, people may lose faith in their community and law enforcement. And closer to home, children may lose faith in their parents for being unable to protect them. That loss will take a lot of time to rebuild.
Suppose you've worried about home security costing too much. In that case, you'll quickly realize that a burglary's emotional and financial costs far outweigh monthly monitoring and a few new habits to implement.
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Ways to Improve Your Home Security
As the owner of The Secure Dad, I tell people the first thing they need to know before they secure their home is that they can be the victim of a crime. Don’t get lost in the incorrect thought that, “It will never happen to me.” When you embrace the vulnerability of your family, then and only then can you really protect it.
Home Security Tip: Use an Alarm
For years I’ve been explaining that “home security” systems don’t exist. What you really have is an alarm system with good marketing. That system isn’t going to do anything to secure your home. It will only alert you and a monitoring company that something has gone wrong. So, while I encourage people to have alarm systems, just know they don’t make your home secure – that’s your job.
I get asked frequently which alarm system is the best. Honestly, all the major brands are solid. Also, if you can add a device to your Wi-Fi and use double-sided tape, you can install your own alarm system. What it really breaks down to is the features and pricing you want.
Home Security Tip: Add Lighting
Next, we want to play mind games with potential predators. By adding light to your property, you take away a burglar’s best asset: stealth. When looking to rob a home at night, the home with the most exterior lighting will get passed over. Criminals want an easy target, and if they can be seen approaching a home, they won’t get close enough to kick in your door, and you win the fight before it even starts.
Adding light can be as simple as flipping on your porch light. Keeping this light on all night will deter anyone from approaching your door. To upgrade your porch light, consider a dusk-to-dawn light bulb. These special bulbs have a daylight sensor that knows to turn the light on at night and off during the day. This way, you can turn on the porch light and walk away knowing your entryway will be well-lighted.
Other exterior lighting options are floodlights. Now it’s easier than ever to get motion-activated lighting for the dark areas of your home. And for a classy look, consider adding lighting behind any landscaping that shines upward on your home. If anyone passes over the lights while lurking in the bushes, they’ll cast a 12-foot shadow that can be seen from half a mile away.
For more simple, effective ways to secure your home right now, snag The Secure Dad Home Security Quick Reference Guide.
This free download will provide more ways to protect your home including how to keep your home from being targeted for a burglary.
If you really want to get serious about protecting your home and family try my Amazon best-selling book, Home Security: The Secure Dad’s Guide.
Andy Murphy is the founder of The Secure Dad LLC and the host of The Secure Dad Podcast. Andy is a best-selling author, award-winning podcaster, but most importantly he’s a husband and father.
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