3 If a burglar trying to break into your home has to work in the light, take a longer time than desired, or just can't seem to gain access without making a racket, he'll probably mumble to himself, " That wasn't an easy mark!," just before slipping away.

Research from the Insurance Information Institute shows that if it takes more than four or five minutes to break into a home, most burglars will go elsewhere. One warning: When improving the security of your home, don't endanger your personal safety by making your home a fortress from which you and your family would be unable to escape in the case of fire or other emergency.

Here are a few tips on how help to protect your home from burglars:

  • Take the time to "case" your house or apartment, just as a burglar would. Where is the easiest entry? How can you make it more burglar resistant?

  • Trim trees and shrubs near doors and windows, and think carefully before installing a high, wooden fence around your back yard. Although high fences and shrubbery can add to your privacy, they can also shield burglars from curious eyes. Consider trading a little extra privacy for some added security.

  • Force any would-be burglar to confront a real enemy: light. Exterior lights and motion detectors mounted out of easy reach can reduce the darkness a burglar finds comforting.

  • Install basic security devices (nails, screws, padlocks, door and window locks, grates, bars and bolts) to increase the amount of time it takes to break into your home.

  • Invest in a burglar alarm. The most effective ones also ring at an outside service.

  • If any of your valuables - paintings, a silver collection or a computer - are easy to see from outside, rearrange your furnishings to make your home less inviting to criminals.
As an added incentive, most insurance companies provide Homeowners premium discounts of 2% to 15% for installing home protection devices. To see how much you can save, just get in touch with us.
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