5 Ways to Keep the Bogeyman at Bay
It's that time of year when little ghosts and goblins will soon be flooding the streets — and your doorstep — in search of something sweet. While the kiddos are enjoying a little mischief, some tricksters might be wanting to treat themselves to more than candy — and not just at Halloween. In the U.S., a burglary occurs every 22 seconds, so it's important to take measures to keep your home secure ... no matter the time of year.
Most break-ins happen during the day, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
The majority of burglars gain access through an unlocked door or window
Homes without a security system are 3x more likely to be burglarized
A burglary generally lasts 10 minutes
Burglars generally strike within a two-mile radius of their own homes (and may even be someone you know)
Security Tips to Keep Intruders OUT
While no home is burglar-proof, there are some fairly easy — and common sense — measures you can take to make your home a less appealing target for intruders.
If you tend to forget to lock the house when you leave, invest in a smart lock that automatically locks your door after a designated period of time, or lets you manually lock it from an app. For windows, install window stops, which allow the window to open only a few inches — not enough space for a crook to squeeze through if you forget to latch them.
DON'T hide a spare key under the rug. Criminals know to look there. Give it to a trusted neighbor for safekeeping.
Even though most break-ins occur during the day, you shouldn't rule out nighttime as a possibility. Install motion-sensor lighting around the front, back, and sides of your home to leave no opportunity for bad guys to hide in the shadows.
Thieves are less likely to break in if there's a security system in place. The options for home security systems are growing and becoming increasingly affordable, and many can be monitored right from your smartphone. In addition to the standard alarm, look for add-ons like hall and window sensors, as well as integrated security cameras. If you still want surveillance but not a full-blown alarm system, install a video doorbell and some cameras around your property.
Can’t afford a security system? Put the security company’s decal on your window (or sign in your yard). Simply casting the impression that you have an alarm system will help thwart burglars.
By the way … if you have an alarm system, don’t forget to arm it!
Homes with overgrown bushes and hedges provide an easy hiding spot, making them a more desirable target. Minimize the temptation by keeping shrubs trimmed to no more than 3 feet tall. On the flip side, placing thorny plants (like rose or barberry bushes) underneath windows can be a helpful deterrent. Cover the garden bed with a layer of gravel, which provides a noisy walkway that criminals will want to avoid.
There are numerous reasons you should get to know your neighbors, and home security is one of them. A good neighbor can help keep an eye on things while you’re away, and vice versa. For additional peace of mind, join the neighborhood watch program, which connects you with local residents who are on the lookout for suspicious activity — and can help report anything questionable to the authorities.
Sources:  FBI, 2017 Crime Clock Statistics  SecurAmerica, Home Burglary Awareness and Prevention  U.S. Department of Justice, BJS, National Crime Victimization Survey.  National Council for Home Safety and Security  ADT  Safeatlast.co