It’s well known that one of the biggest benefits of a landscape lighting system is the crime deterrent effect.
That’s certainly important these days. According to the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), a burglary occurs about every 15 seconds in the United States. And even though burglaries do occur during daylight hours, a significant percentage occurs during hours of darkness.
That’s why the NCPC recommends outdoor lighting as a primary deterrent to burglary. From the NCPC website: “Lighting is one of the best deterrents to nighttime burglary–indoor and outdoor lighting are important. Install lights by all exterior doors and make lights hard to reach.”
But there are many additional crime-deterrent actions you can take to help keep your home safe. Here’s a checklist of items as recommended by the NCPC. Any of the following items that you can’t check off as completed should probably go on your to-do list – maybe at the very top!
- Install quality locks on doors and windows: Seems a no-brainer, but many homes have sub-standard locks. NCPC recommends that you NOT rely upon the popular thumb-turn locks for windows.
- Install deadbolt locks and peepholes: EVERY exterior door should be equipped with a deadbolt lock and a peephole. And if you have an interior door between your garage and the living area of your home – that door should also be equipped with a deadbolt lock and a peephole.
- Set your alarm: Many homeowners with alarm systems do not regularly set their alarm. That’s a mistake. A home alarm system can be a great deterrent – but only if it’s used.
- Shun strangers: Don’t let strangers into your home. That includes solicitors. It also includes service people who cannot provide proper identification. And don’t give door keys to crews or individuals working on your home.
- Don’t hide house keys: Hiding house keys somewhere on the property is a common practice among homeowners. It’s convenient in the event of a lost key. But it’s not smart; burglars are quite adept at sleuthing out potential hiding places. Instead, ask a neighbor to hold a spare key for you.
- Trim away hiding places: Trim bushes, trees, and hedges so that they don’t offer areas of concealment around doorways or windows.
- Lock away ladders: It’s happened many times: a burglar uses a homeowner’s ladder to access an upper floor window. Don’t make it that easy for a burglar. Keep your ladders locked away.
The Most Important Tip…
The National Crime Prevention Council’s number one tip for preventing home burglaries? Use common sense, and stay alert to what’s going on around you. If you spot any suspicious activity, or something just looks ‘out of place,’ call police (don’t use 911 unless it’s an emergency).
Because that wise old saying: better safe than sorry? It’s just as true now as it’s ever been.