Over 78 million Americans share a few things in common. First, they are all homeowners and that home represents the biggest single investment they have. Second is that home is a target for burglars who salivate at getting into your house to steal items of value, so they can feed their drug habit.

Burglars victimize one of every six homes on an annual basis. It is one of the easiest crimes to commit and there is little fear of getting caught with only 15% or less of these crimes ever being solved.

Here are five home security tips that are at no or at very low-cost. They will greatly enhance the security of your home, if you follow them.

  1. In over 60% of all home burglaries, the bad guys do not even need to break in. Why? Because American homeowners are so accommodating, most leave their doors and windows unlocked. So tip number one is to lock all doors and windows even when you’re at home. It is a good habit to get into.
  2. Start or join a neighborhood watch program. They are free and if your neighborhood doesn’t have one already, it’s easy to get one started. All you have to do is contact your local police department and one of their officers will help you get one going. They are one of the premier ways that neighbors can band together to fight crime.
  3. If you haven’t done so already, install home security alarms on all your doors and windows. If a burglar does get in, a 120 dB alarm will more than likely scare him away. A loud alarm will also alert neighbors to trouble inside your house.
  4. Depending on manpower and time availability, your local police department will do a free home security evaluation. This is an opportunity for a professional to look at your house and see weaknesses that a burglar would see, to give you an opportunity to enhance security in that area.
  5. Burglars spend less than 10 minutes, on average, inside every home. They just don’t want to get caught and the more time they spend there the greater the opportunity to get caught. That’s where diversion safes come in. Most are food or drink containers with removable tops or bottoms that are hollowed out to reveal a hiding place for smaller valuables such as credit cards, cash or jewelry and some are even big enough to hold handguns.

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