Home broken into?

How to reduce the risk of repeat robberies

Date Published: Apr 23 2014

When a burglar breaks into a house, whether anyone is present or not, victims are left feeling unnerved and exposed. After the crime, you may look to bolster your personal protection plan and gain back your peace of mind.Your home won’t ever be as secure as Fort Knox, but you can reduce the risk of repeat robberies by making sound security selections.

Garrett LeTourneau, owner of highly rated Imperial Surveillance in Arlington Heights, Ill., says many of his new customers are people moving into new homes, or those who have experienced a home intrusion. “It goes both ways,” he says. “But a lot of times people will call after an incident to avoid another one in the future.”

LeTourneau says for installation and equipment you could expect to pay $99 for the most basic system, and monitoring rates start at about $30 per month. Prices increase the more features you add.

Some of the advanced features include touch-screen alarm systems, the ability to control settings from a smartphone and high-definition security cameras. “You can watch your cameras from anywhere in the world,” LeTourneau says. “The cameras are like Blu-ray quality HD.”

Related: Locksmiths say Deadbolt Key to Home Security

Ken Puthoff, owner of highly rated Larry’s Lock, Safe and Security in Cincinnati, recommends rekeying your locks after a break-in. “You lay them [your keys] somewhere convenient for you and it’s convenient for them [burglars],” he says.

Puthoff suggests locking systems that use keys that are impossible to duplicate. His company works with a lock manufacturer that produces drill-resistant locks and patented keys that require a signature match to recreate.

Another safeguard to consider is security lighting. According to Patrick Thomas, owner of highly rated Bolt Electric in Hillsborough, Fla., security lighting consists of static floodlights, or those equipped with motion sensors or timers. The best place to mount them is on the corners of the home so they fully illuminate the property.

For more: 4 tips to prevent future break-ins

The price to install these lights ranges from about $100 to $400 a piece. Thomas says many factors can influence the cost of installation, such as whether or not you have power in the area, the difficulty of the installation and adding light switches or sensors.

Thomas says technology has also brought security lighting indoors. He says smartphone apps that allow you to control the lights from anywhere are perfect for Florida’s part-time residents. “You can set up schedules [for when lights come on] or you can make it random,” he says. “It looks like someone is home turning the lights on.”

If your residence was robbed and you don’t want it to happen again, construct a plan to fix what didn’t work and fortify your home.

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