Here at ATTYWON our most critical service is home security for your Long Island Home. There is nothing we take more serious than the safety of you and your loved ones. Besides having us design a complete security system, there are some additional actions you can take that will greatly reduce the risk of your home being burglarized. To start off lets define the difference between a robbery and a burglary.
Burglary: This is a crime against the property itself, when a criminal enters your home and unlawfully removes any of it's contents.
Robbery: This is a crime against a person, when a criminal unlawfully removes property from you, or a person. Usually with the use (or threatened use) of force. A robbery is a much more serious crime and carries a much heavier jail sentence from the courts if prosecuted. This is why most criminals do not pick homes at random to burglarize, they actually observe neighborhoods and look for soft targets. They only want to risk committing a crime against property. They know if the house is occupied their chances of being charged for a robbery increase exponentially. Of course there are the rare occasions when you see or hear about a "home invasion". These criminal acts are done with a reason, in most cases, the homeowner is a jeweler, owner of a check cashing business or some other type of highly valued physical items. The criminal believes it may be worth risking the heavy jail time for a potentially large "jackpot". Your average homeowner is never the target for a home invasion.
How do burglars choose their targets? They usually drive around a neighborhood between noon and 3:00 in the afternoon "casing" the area. This eliminates a "false positive." They don't drive around at night when they can't see anything. Below is what the burglars look for to decide on a potential target and the simple steps you can take to reduce your chances of being burglarized:
The Big Three:
1. Make sure your exterior lights are turned off during the daytime. When criminals drive through neighborhoods and see a home with outdoor lights on in the middle of the day it is a big indicator the homeowner is away. This is the biggest tip of all of them, robbers consider it a welcome card. Having your outdoor lighting on a timer will eliminate this, ATTYWON can schedule any of your lights to go on and off automatically, and our system knows what time the sun rises and sets so there is never a need for constant adjustments. You can learn more about our smart lighting systems here.
2. Do not leave newspapers, magazines or any other publications in your driveway or stoop. Have a neighbor take in these articles. If you are away for an extended amount of time your mail box may become full, and that is another sign of homeowners on vacation. We also recommend your neighbor collect these periodicals in the evening or night so they are not noticed during the daytime.
3. Do not leave your trash cans or recyclable receptacles at the end of your driveway. Have a neighbor bring them in as well. Criminals will know the neighborhood well enough to see which homes have their garbage cans out two or three days after the scheduled pick-up day. Schedules are easy enough to find Long Island "town websites" or "neighborhood" pages on social media.
4. Have sufficient outdoor lighting, this is very important. Your property should be well lit, especially all entrances, garage doors and first floor windows, bad guys don't want to be seen. It is also a good idea to light your driveway to reduce the risk of a vehicle being broken into and anywhere you may store your boat or other off road vehicles. They will pass you by for an easier target.
5. As we mentioned earlier invest in a lighting system or a few lights that are automated inside your home. If the burglars saw something during the day that indicated you are away and come back at night, they will see the inside lights on and they may hesitate to break in. Our smart light systems also have the ability to turn lights on and off randomly throughout your home during the evening and night hours, as well as automated shades. A home with shades down during the day for several days can be an indicator of a family on vacation.
6. Do not stop any mail or newspaper deliveries, many burglaries involve a postal clerk or newspaper delivery person notifying someone who knows a burglary, this can also happen innocently in a passing conversation. Look at the people who deliver some of your periodicals, do you really know them or trust that they know when you away?
7. Make sure your landscaping does not provide a cover for would-be robbers. Trim down bushes that are up against your windows or tall enough to hide in. Unmanaged landscapes enable the bad guys to hide from your neighbors or a police patrol passing by.
8. Don't leave shed doors open or unlocked and keep valuables (expensive boating and sporting equipment) out of view. Its almost an invitation for a criminals to commit a burglary, even if they were not predisposed to doing so. This is considered a crime of opportunity. Take away the opportunity and the crime will not occur.
9. Make sure you have a home security lawn placard ("this home protected by") that is easily viewable from the street. ATTYWON Will provide you with one if we have installed your security system.
10. Don't be afraid or shy to Let the police know when your going away for an extended period of time. They can make additional patrols.
11. Do not post on social media that you are going away and wait to get home before posting your vacation photos. 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 this 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. You can learn more about our professionally installed home security and surveillance camera systems here.