Could your house be an easy target? 7 steps to a safer home that deters crime – WHIO TV 7 and WHIO Radio


Eight minutes is all it takes for a burglar to break into your home and get away.

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Because thieves know the clock is ticking immediately, experts say they are looking for easy targets. But there’s a reason 1.2 million burglaries still happen every year.

“(The criminals) drive down the road, looking at which house they want to try,” Centerville Police Officer John Davis told News Center 7’s Mike Campbell.

Davis is also certified by the State of Ohio as an Advanced Crime Prevention Practitioner, which means he’d rather help you stop a break-in before it happens than hunt down a criminal after it happens. it happened.

“You go to work, you go out into the world, you want to feel safe, you want to say it’s mine,” Davis said.

A break-in isn’t just scary, it’s also expensive, costing the average victim almost $3,000.

Paul Jones was targeted by burglars when they thought no one was home. Jones said the burglars broke through an unlocked back door to his Dayton home while he was working in his garden a few lots away, but was within sight.

“I had someone, a few people come into my house without my permission,” Jones said. “Essentially, to delineate the place, I didn’t know who they were. basically to delimit the place, I didn’t know who they were.”

His home camera system captured the break-in and recorded conversations between those who entered inside.

Not only did people come back and break in, but then they stayed in the house and falsely claimed to Dayton police that they had a verbal agreement as tenants. Jones said it took a lot of time, money and serious damage to her home before she could evict the burglars who turned into squatters.

While the Jones case is extreme, Campbell found in her investigation that there are seven things you can do right now that can prevent you from becoming a victim.

Talk to your neighbours:

“I would say know your neighbors as much as possible, report as much as possible,” Jones said.

Davis agrees that neighbors and communities looking out for each other are what stop most burglaries. Neighbors were credited with arresting a serial burglar who police say committed a dozen burglaries in several towns in southern Montgomery County.

The burglar was eventually caught when alert neighbors called the police after catching the man illegally entering a home.

“They’re looking for low-hanging fruit, they’re looking for an easy catch, a high probability of success, a low chance of being caught, that’s their number one goal,” Davis said.

Install deadbolts on doors:

“If I was trying to get into the house, that’s where I would start,” Davis said.

Security experts ReoLink report that 56% of burglars enter homes through doors. Davis, while inspecting a house, immediately discovered that the house had only one door lock.

“You’re relying on an inch-by-inch piece of wood to keep anyone out of that doorway,” Davis said.

The house observed by Davis was unique and had an exterior staircase leading to the basement of the house. It was only protected by a single lock.

“It gives a level of privacy and concealment, so that door would concern me,” Davis said.

Lock your windows:

It sounds like a simple idea, but 23% of burglars enter homes through unlocked windows.

“They usually don’t want to break a window because it makes a distinctive sound,” Davis said.

Making sure all windows are locked is a simple way to keep burglars out.

Cut out the hiding places:

Bushes and low tree branches can provide easy hiding places for people trying to enter your home.

Davis recommends homeowners cut large bushes near the house to give potential burglars fewer opportunities to hide.

Homogeneous lighting, everywhere in the house at night:

Motion sensor lights are often used, but home security experts claim that even lighting all around your home is more effective than motion sensor lights.

Install a doorbell camera:

Home surveillance cameras and doorbell cameras have grown in popularity over the past few years. Davis said he was more supportive of doorbell cameras as a break-in deterrent because you can respond to a knock on your door from anywhere. Davis added that most burglaries start with a crook knocking on your door or ringing your doorbell.

But Davis is less impressed with home CCTV systems.

“I jokingly tell people, if you want good footage of them stealing your stuff, that gives us a good investigative tool but that doesn’t stop them, we’d rather make sure they don’t. don’t try,” Davis said.

Store your valuables in a non-portable safe:

In the event a burglar breaks into your home, it’s best to have your most valuable possessions locked away in a safe that isn’t portable or easy to remove.

Davis said the ultimate goal is to make sure thieves just decide not to target your home at all, whether it’s an apartment, house or condo. Davis added that complacency and convenience are the biggest enemies and thinking it won’t happen to you means you won’t prepare.

Most area police departments have officers trained to perform free home safety assessments if you call ahead to make arrangements, Davis said. If your local department doesn’t have anyone available, Davis said to call the Miami Valley Crime Prevention Association to provide someone for the assessment.


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