It is not fun to come up with missing lawn equipment or tools, nor the feeling of having been invaded. There are some steps you can take yourself to deter them, and further steps you can take to catch them in the act.
- Don’t leave your garage remote in the car (easy double break-in for small item criminals, car then garage)
- Fortify the service door (deadbolt on pedestrian door, remove or black out window)
- Scare away thieves with motion detector lights
- Cover windows to stop prying eyes
- Bar the windows to prevent break-ins (even light weight bars send a message that deters)
- When away on vacation disable your garage door opener. Simply disconnect the power and engage the slide bolt or place a screwdriver through the rails of the door between wheels
- Keep the garage door closed whenever you are not actively using the garage, this avoids advertising to a casual criminal the “good stuff” that you have.
- Your mower, chainsaw, edger, circular saw, drills, etc. are all very easy to grab and pawn or sell for quick cash. This is a more difficult process when you name is engraved on them.
- If you have a disorganized garage full of “good stuff” take occasional photos on your phone so you know when something is missing. Often thieves snatch things and due to our busy lives it takes a homeowner several weeks to discover there has been a loss.
- If you are like me and family and friends frequently borrow your tools, put a white board in the garage where people can “check out” items so you know when something is missing or returned.
- Do not use your address as your garage keypad code, I say this all the time but still encounter it daily.
- Do not post to social media when you are leaving town, criminals can use Facebook & Google too, it is not hard to search a county site for your address using your name on Facebook.
- Chat with your neighbors, more and more homes have camera systems and while not intended to monitor your home your neighbors camera might have caught something.
Next we can step in to Home Security options like:
A Security System that will notify you when the garage door is left open and/or alarm (and text your phone) if it is opened while you are away or asleep. This becomes very helpful in a busy home as it is often a teenager that leaves the garage door open or unlocked.
A Skybell HD video doorbell that allows you to view the exterior of the garage in 720P resolution 24/7 and records on motion detection. This does require decent Wi-Fi Speed but can be a great asset. The Skybell is also more affordable than adding a full camera system and provides the ability to talk to and view people out front whether you are home or not. Viewable on phones, tablets, and pc’s.
If you have a driveway that is well hidden or long, add a driveway annunciator that “chimes” when people or vehicles approach the garage through the driveway. Great for being ready for guests and allows you to know when to look out the window.
A Camera system with an NVR(network video recorder) and a Wi-Fi connection to allow for 24/7 recording or recording on motion…there are many available but do the research first. The lifespan and utility of some of the “bargain” system can be very detrimental to your investment. Especially consider one that allows for “live viewing” and alerts to your cell phone from anywhere. (these systems provided a significant portion of our criminal apprehensions this year due to clarity and 2+ months of video storage, police like high quality video)
An entry level Wireless and Cell Based Security System (no landline needed) starts at $199.00 and provides you a discount on your homeowner’s insurance….making it a very affordable way to have peace of mind. What matters here is less the cost variances and more the quality and dependability of the company installing and monitoring your system. This is a major trust investment, do your research. I encounter too many people who have bargain shopped to save 10-20% only to find out the peace of mind they purchased is a false sense of security rather than actual security.
This post was written by a Shiver Security Consultant who lives in an area that has experienced a great deal of theft. He wanted to educate his neighbors to some simple steps to secure their home… and show his pride in the products and services he represents through Shiver Security. IT was more about education than it was about sales. But wouldn’t you want him on your site?