Inside: 5 things you can do now to protect your home from intruders and keep your family safe.
I never thought I’d have to write this. I wasn’t even sure if I should, but after how our neighbors reacted when I shared what happened to my family I realized I had to tell everyone.
On Sunday morning at 4 a.m., my family was violated in the worst way. We were robbed.
My husband and I had enjoyed a nice dinner out for Valentine’s Day and we got home late. We had a great time and went to bed feeling like we were on top of the world.
My mother-in-law was babysitting and she was spending the night. We don’t have an actual guest bedroom right now, so she was sleeping in the kids’ bed and they were sleeping on the couch downstairs. They love to “camp out” downstairs, so we usually let them on the weekends anyway.
The kids were literally a foot from where the intruder came in.
My husband and I woke up to our 5-year-old screaming that the burglar alarm was going off. We didn’t even hear it!
Luckily our alarm company responded right away. My husband ran downstairs and found the door to our back deck wide open. He shouted, “The police need to come!”
I’ll never forget hearing those words come out of his mouth. The alarm company dispatched the authorities and stayed on the phone with me while we waited for them to come.
My husband checked the garage and realized the garage door was open, so they must have left that way once the alarm went off.
When the police came, they asked for our IDs. We realized we couldn’t find our wallets anywhere and then we knew that they had been stolen.
We’re so lucky that’s all they took. We’re lucky they didn’t see our kids sleeping on the couch and freak out. They entered and exited our home so quickly, the kids didn’t even see them. We’re lucky for that too.
I’m angry more than anything.
It doesn’t even make sense why someone would go through all the trouble of breaking into someone’s home to steal a wallet. They used one of our credit cards to spend $87 at a gas station. What did they even buy for $87 at a gas station?
Luckily our bank recognized the transaction as potential fraud and alerted us right away. We canceled all of our credit cards before they could spend any more money. I hope that whatever they bought with that $87 was worth it!
I hope it was worth a family losing sleep because they don’t feel safe in their own home anymore.
Hopefully it was worth putting an anxious mom on edge so that she is constantly looking out the window at every car passing by.
I hope it was worth causing a dad to feel like he has to sleep downstairs with a crow bar to protect his family.
Clearly they have no heart for how it feels to have this happen to you.
I’d heard it before. That you feel violated. I’m not naive. I know that break-ins happen every day. According to Safeatlast.com, there are 10,000 burglaries in the U.S. every day.
Here are a few other facts about break-ins that might surprise you:
10 Statistics About Burglaries
- There are 2.5 Million burglaries per year, 66% of which are home break-ins
- A burglary occurs every 13 seconds
- According to the FBI, 65% of burglaries happen between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.
- Homes without a security system have a 300% more chance of getting broken into
- 65% of burglars know their victims!
- 85% of burglaries are committed by non-professionals
- 65% of burglaries occur during the day to reduce the chance of someone being home
- An average break-in lasts between 8 and 10 minutes
- According to the FBI, the average loss per burglary is $2,416
- Only 17% of US homes have a security system
Something good has to come out of all of this though. I’m not the only one that felt like it would never happen to me. That’s why I’m sharing our story.
So many of our neighbors have gotten security cameras and alarm systems over the past 4 days. If they haven’t, they are seriously considering it.
We had let our guard down. Having our home broken into, made us realize all the things we needed to do to put it back up. Learn from our mistakes and do everything you can to make sure your home isn’t an easy target for intruders.
I’m not saying that by doing these things, your house will never be broken in to. But there was less than 1 minute and from the time our door was broken, to the time these people peeled out of our driveway. Once the burglar alarm went off, they were gone in less than 40 seconds.
5 WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR HOME FROM INTRUDERS NOW
1. GET AN ALARM.
You can get a security system for as little as $9.99 a month. That’s the price of 2 coffees from Starbucks. Your home is 300% more likely to get broken into without it!
2. SET YOUR ALARM TO GO OFF IMMEDIATELY IF THERE IS AN INTRUSION
We had ours set to delay for 30 seconds once the door was open when we were home, because we were always forgetting it was on and opening the garage door.
Chances are if it had gone off immediately, the burglar would have never come in our home. 30 seconds might not seem like long, but count for 30 seconds now. Think of all the things you could grab in your home with 30 seconds.
3. DON’T LEAVE VALUABLES, ESPECIALLY YOUR PURSE OR WALLET, VISIBLE TO INTRUDERS
You might think that your things are safe in your home. But we had left our wallets laying on the table with the blinds open right where the burglar broke into our home.
It only took 5 seconds for them to grab our wallets, probably even less than that. Who knows, but we think they probably shined a flashlight into the window and saw the wallets, making our home an easy target.
4. INSTALL CAMERAS NEAR EVERY DOOR
This may seem like overkill, but we HAD a camera by our front door. From what we can tell, the burglar never went in the front yard. They likely didn’t even know that we had a security system, because they went straight to the back door.
We now have a camera by every door, so at least if someone tries to break in we will get an alert.
5. INSTALL MOTION LIGHTS
We actually had a motion light near the door that was broken into, but we aren’t 100% sure that it was on. Another lesson learned the hard way.
I hope that this never happens to you, but according to statistics, 87% of break-ins are preventable. So please at the very least, don’t be naive. Know that it can happen to you and do something to protect your home from intruders now.
Share in the comments if you have any other tips to prevent break-ins.