You’ve just found out your neighbor’s house was burglarized. Chances are you’re feeling a bit unnerved—after all, it could have been your home. With your family’s safety in mind, you’re probably wondering what you can do to make your house more secure.

You’ve come to the right place. Step by step, here’s what to do after there’s been a burglary in your neighborhood, along with security tips for beefing up your home’s defense.

1. Learn More about the Burglary

If your neighbor’s house is burglarized, you’ll want to find out as much as you can about the crime—starting with how the intruder broke in. This information can help you better secure your home, especially as it isn’t uncommon for a burglar to return to a neighborhood.

Tip: Remember that burglars often find entry through an unlocked door or window, so it’s important to keep your doors shut and locked at all times.

2. Conduct a Security Inventory

Use the SafeWise Home Security Checklist to discover your home’s possible security weaknesses and get tips for fixing them. It’s particularly important to assess the vulnerability of your home’s exterior doors, as damaging, removing, or destroying a door is the most common burglar break-in tactic. If your doors are weak or damaged, replace them with high-security doors.

Tip: For added security, mount a security camera above your front entry. Consider buying one with motion detection and notification capabilities so you’ll be alerted the moment someone walks up to your door and able to monitor their activity right from your phone.

3. Get a Security System

If you don’t already have a home security system, get one. In addition to making your home less attractive to burglars, a security system can boost your family’s safety by alerting you to dangers like smoke, fire, and carbon monoxide. Learn more about the many benefits of a home security system and find out which ones SafeWise recommends.

Tip: Installing a monitored home security system may lower your homeowners insurance premium by as much as 20%. Once your system is in place, contact your insurance provider to ask if it offers a discount.

4. Install Motion Activated Lights

No burglar wants to be seen. That’s why we strongly recommend installing motion activated lights around your property. These lights turn on when they detect movement—startling potential intruders while allowing you to see who’s near your home. Reference our buyers guide to learn more about outdoor motion sensor lights and find the best one for your needs. We also recommend you learn how to burglar proof your backyard.

Tip: Just as it’s important to illuminate the outside of your home, it’s also important to light up your home’s interior—especially when you’re on vacation or away at night. Use a smart outlet and corresponding app to remotely control your home’s lights or put them on a schedule to create the illusion your home is occupied.

5. Join Your Neighborhood Watch

If your community has a Neighborhood Watch program, become a member. This is a great way to get to know the other families in your neighborhood while giving you an increased sense of control over your safety and security. If your neighborhood doesn’t have a Neighborhood Watch program, learn how to start one.

Tip: Use CrimeReports or another crime reporting website to stay informed about crime in or around your neighborhood.

6. Develop Security Habits that Deter Burglars

Making home security an everyday priority is one of the best ways to keep burglars at bay. With that in mind, here are five security habits we recommend you adopt right away.

  • Always set your alarm system, even when you’re at home.
  • Store valuables in a SafeWise-approved safe. A safe can protect expensive items like jewelry and guns from theft, while also keeping important paperwork out of a criminal’s hands. 
  • Keep curtains closed so you don’t advertise your home’s TVs, game consoles, computers, and other burglar-beloved items.
  • Shut the garage door to prevent burglars from seeing the lawn equipment, bikes, and other goodies stored inside. If you keep these things in a shed, secure the door with a strong padlock.
  • Routinely trim shrubs to knee height so burglars can’t hide behind them while trying to break into your home.

With summer being the peak burglary season, we don’t want you to wait until your neighbor’s house is burglarized—take these measures to secure your home today. Then, feel free to search our blog for more informative safety articles and use our buyers guides to find top-rated security products. Share this article on social media to help your neighborhood stay safe.

Written by Alexia Chianis

Wanderlust junky and mom of two, Alexia is a former police officer and U.S. Army Captain who draws on her experiences to write about a myriad of safety topics. Learn more

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