Summer time means vacations and we here at JNS of Bergen County NJ thought it would be helpful to know about home security. Home security is not only having a professionally installed alarm system but also being mindful of what burglars are looking for. A burglary is when a criminal enters a house and unlawfully removes property. It is a crime against property. In contrast, a robbery is crime against a person. Robbery occurs when a criminal removes property from a person with the use or threatened use of force. Robbery is a much more serious crime and carries a much heavier jail sentence from the courts if prosecuted.
Criminals don't pick houses to burglarize randomly. They case (watch) a neighborhood and look for easy targets. It only takes seconds for a criminal to assess every house in an entire town. They know the law, They only want to commit a crime against property. They don't want a house to be occupied and then the crime could possibly change to Robbery. When you hear of a home invasion on the news, there is a reason why the criminals decided to commit this crime. In almost all cases, the homeowner is a jeweler or owner of a check cashing place or some other type of cash intensive business. It might be worth risking the heavy jail time for the potential large amount of proceeds they can get from this type of crime. Never is a normal homeowner ever targeted for a home invasion.
Burglars drive around a neighborhood between noon and 3:00 in the afternoon "casing" the area. They don't drive around at night when they can't see anything. They drive around after the morning newspapers and garbage receptacles should have been taken in. This eliminates a "false positive." Below is what the burglars look for to decide a potential target and the steps you can take to reduce your chances of being burglarized:
The Big Three:
1. Do not leave outside lights on during daylight hours. Burglars drive through neighborhoods during the early afternoon. They don't drive around at night. If they see outside lights on during the day, they know the homeowner is away. This is the BIGGEST ONE !!!!!! Don't forget, JNS offers automated lighting which can be programmed with "away" scenes. These lighting scenes automatically turn lights on and off while you are away. Yo can learn more about automated smart lighting here.
2. Do not leave periodicals in your driveway. This includes (daily newspapers, weekly papers (Hometown News), special publications (Penny saver), etc... Have a neighbor pick this up while you're gone.
3. Have your trash and recycling receptacles taken in. Do not leave them out. If they are out in the pick up day past lunch, it shows occupants work all day. If they are out the day after pick up, the occupants are away on vacation.
4. Lighting. This is very important. Light all your house entrances, cars, boats, etc... Bad guys don't want to be seen. They will pass you by for an easier target.
5. Get some timers for your regular lights or turn on a few inside energy efficient lights inside your house. These lights don't get hot. If the burglars saw something during the day that indicated you are away and come back at night, they'll see the inside lights on and they may hesitate to break in. The energy efficient lights can be left on 24 x 7. Inside lights on during the day don't send the same message as the outside lights on during the day.
6. Don't tell the newspapers or post office to stop delivery if you have a neighbor who doesn't mind taking in the mail or papers everyday. Many cases involve a postal clerk notifying someone who knows a burglar when there is a hold on the mail. Look at the person who delivers some of your periodicals, do you really trust that they know when you're away.
7. Adjust landscaping so that bushes are not right up against your windows. Do not provide hiding places for the bad guys looking into your house. They can hide from your neighbors or a police patrol passing by.
8. Don't leave shed doors open or boat accessories about the property. Its almost an invitation for a bad guy to commit a burglary, even if he wasn't predisposed to doing so. This is considered a crime of opportunity. Take away the opportunity and the crime will not occur.
9. Post some kind of observable security sign on your property if you can gain access to one. You can make one or copy one from the Internet. All of our home security systems come with a JNS security placard placed in front of your home.
10. Let the police know when your going away for an extended period of time. They can make additional patrols.
11. Never post on social media platforms that you are going on vacation and wait to get home before posting photos of your trip. Criminals can easily search related terms in any area so at the very least keep your profile private.
If you don't want to experience the sense of personal violation, then the first three steps are mandatory. The remaining steps can be adjusted for your neighborhood. It all depends on the local conditions and how much effort you want to make to prevent the burglaries. Contact us for a professionally installed home security system and surveillance cameras to make sure your home is protected.