Americans are a moving population. It’s quite likely, if you’re the average person, you’ll move 11.4 times in your lifetime, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. So, if you’re preparing for one of those 11 moves, get ready for plenty of work.
Moving from one home to another is rarely a quick process. Homeowners may have keys to their new home weeks before they finally finish moving all their possessions.
In the process of darting back and forth between residences, it’s easy to forget about security. When friends are helping you move, you might leave doors unlocked, or put your house key under the doormat. And if you haven’t installed window coverings in your new home, outsiders get a clear view of your possessions.
Burglars are opportunists — and they’re patient. They may observe a house for a few days before deciding to break in, and once they’re in, they need only a few minutes to make off with your belongings. And statistics show that 30 percent of burglars simply entered homes through unlocked doors or windows, because the occupants failed to take those precautions.
If you’re in the process of moving, the following tips may help you avoid becoming a target for burglars.
Lock your doors and windows
Let’s say it again. Lock your doors and windows anytime you leave! If friends are helping you move and you want them to be able to get into your home when you’re not there, make some extra keys that they can carry. Never leave a key under your doormat — it’s the first place burglars will look.
Don’t advertise electronics
Flat-screen TVs are lightweight and easy to carry, and that’s why burglars prefer them to bulky older-model TVs. If possible, obscure televisions, stereo equipment and other electronics with a covering so they’re not easy to identify from a distance. Even better, if you have a side door or back door that’s shielded from traffic, use that entrance to move your home electronics inside.
Cover your windows
Burglars prefer to enter a home only if they can find items of value. Don’t give them the opportunity to peek in your windows. You may not have time during your move to pick out new drapes and hang them, but with a few thumbtacks and an old bedsheet, you can make a temporary covering for windows in your new home.
Install a security system
If your new home is not equipped with a security system, including cameras, it’s a good idea to invest in one. A study by the University of North Carolina revealed that most burglars reported avoiding homes with security systems. Place alarm stickers where they’re visible for an extra measure of security.
Hire the right people
In January, Florida police arrested a lawn maintenance supervisor for two burglaries in the neighborhood where he worked. Most laborers, however, are trustworthy. If you plan to hire movers, or independent contractors to perform work on your new home, look for companies that are licensed and insured, and accredited with the Better Business Bureau.