According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations, burglary is the number one threat to residential properties. In fact, across America, a home burglary takes place once every 13 seconds. Because of the astounding rate at which home intrusions happen, it is simply wise for homeowners to educate themselves and their families on simple steps to deter a would-be burglar from entering (or attempting to enter) their homes.
One of the main suggestions offered repeatedly from both law enforcement officials and from home security experts is the clever use of lighting. Here, we will discuss practical tips for using the lighting–both inside and outside of the home–to deter would-be burglars.
Using Interior Lighting To Give The Home An “Occupied” Look
Most thieves will spend a little time scouting neighborhoods in search of homes that appear to be unoccupied. Thus, one of the best strategies any homeowner can use, both quickly and inexpensively, is the use of lights or other devices to offer the appearance that the home is, indeed, occupied.
Think about it: A home that’s pitch dark at dusk (or beyond) practically screams out to passersby, “Nobody’s here!” And that, for would-be thieves, is the equivalent of hitting pay dirt.
In addition to simply turning on the lights, leaving the television or sound system on is also a good idea, as noise tends to lead burglars to believe someone’s at home.
It’s not important that every light within the home is left on; however, you’ll want to be sure to leave the lights on in rooms visible to those passing by the front (and back) of the home. If energy conservation is a concern, consider upgrading to LED light bulbs, which offer the same light output, but uses about 75 percent less energy than their traditional counterparts.
Another inexpensive and practical gadget every homeowner should consider is the light timer. For those unfamiliar with light timers, these devices simply plug into a lamp or electrical outlet and regulate the lighting according to the schedule you’ve programmed into the device. Light timers range from the simple to the sophisticated, and they cost as little as $7 at your local home improvement retailer. They can also work with both LED and CFL light bulbs to provide a simple, convenient way to keep the lighting turned on and off at predetermined intervals.
Also, for anyone casing the neighborhood, the light timers are far more convincing that leaving one or two lights on–unchanged–for several hours. Some light timers can be programmed for up to a week, and some are capable of also regulating the television and sound system as well).
Use Exterior Lighting To Your Advantage
While leaving the lights on inside the home is extremely important, homeowners should never overlook exterior lighting, which is also a huge deterrent for many burglars. If possible, make every effort to mount exterior lights out of reach–that way, burglars cannot easily unscrew the exterior lights around the home.
Just as light timers are highly effective for the home’s interior, timers are also a quick, easy and inexpensive deterrent for the home’s exterior. Of course, motion sensor lights (which turn on automatically when someone comes within range) are a huge deterrent, mainly because thieves want to get into the home, and then back out, undetected.
Law enforcement officials and home security experts recommend installing motion sensor lights near the doors, windows and other entry points around the home–especially those entry points located at the rear of the home. Most modern home security systems have motion sensor lighting available.
In conclusion, it’s important for homeowners to remember that burglaries are largely viewed as crimes of opportunity. Therefore, homeowners can help protect their homes and families by securing all entry points (at all times) and by using interior and exterior lighting to minimize the chances of having their homes targeted by criminals.