Property crime rates in Florence, SC, might actually surprise you. “For property crime, Florence, SC is 122% higher than the South Carolina average and 200% higher than the national average.” (https://www.areavibes.com/florence-sc/crime/)
These numbers may seem scary, but there are ways to help protect yourself and your property. Being aware of what a burglar is looking for and what you can do to deter them is one of the easiest, most cost-effective ways to protect yourself.
A burglar’s favorite target is the easiest one. They are usually on foot and want to quickly grab valuables they can sell. They are working very hard to avoid being seen, heard, and of course, caught. Take a moment to look at your property through the eyes of a burglar and see what you can do to help protect your property.
An empty house. Many times burglars will case a neighborhood to find just the right house. They’re looking for a house that is either empty for an extended period or consistently empty during the day. If you find your house is often left empty, keep reading for more things to consider.
Valuables. Burglars want a house with some promise. They are looking to see what you might have that they can sell. How available are you making this information to them? Do you leave your garage door open during the day with easy views on that expensive mountain bike? At night do your windows offer up a bigger view of your items than you thought? With the interior lights on at night, take a walk around your house and see what’s visible to the street. An expensive laptop on a desk near a window? A jewelry box on a dresser in a downstairs bedroom? The less they see, the less they know to want.
Invisibility. Burglars don’t want to be seen. An excellent deterrent for the nighttime burglar is motion sensor lights. These make it harder for a burglar to go unseen. Lights going on and off not only alarm the burglar but also may alert the neighbors. Landscape lighting makes it harder for burglars to hide on your property, as does well-kept shrubbery. Overgrown shrubbery creates more coverage for a burglar sneaking around your yard waiting for the right moment to enter your home.
Privacy. A burglar loves an access point with a little view from others. Back door entrances are a common entry point as they are not visible from the street. A privacy fence creates a double edge sword in this instance. A fence that is harder for a criminal to get over is a deterrent, meaning locked gates are necessary. However, if they make it into your backyard then they have privacy while accessing your back entrance(s).
Easy Access. Burglars love the path of least resistance. Unlocked doors, flimsy doors, and hide-a-keys are things they hope to find. Heavy doors with deadbolts create a roadblock. A storm door with shatterproof glass provides another layer of protection. Maybe instead of leaving a key on your property to your house, leave it on a neighbor’s property or with a neighbor. A decoy fake hide-a-key may also be a good way to keep a burglar busy on the outside of your home, increasing the chances of them getting caught.
Silence. Just as a burglar doesn’t want to be seen, they don’t want to be heard. Two things that make a lot of noise are alarm systems and loud dogs. Window signage letting people know you have an alarm system is an easy way to keep burglars at bay. They don’t want to get caught by a camera or police. A loud dog can deter would-be crimes from happening. A burglar doesn’t know if your dog is friendly or not, and they usually don’t want to find out.
Take a look around your property and make sure you’re not making your house a prime target. Talk to your neighbors about these tips as well. The less appealing your neighborhood is to criminals, the less they’ll be there. And the easiest crime to deal with is the one that never happens.