Some 2,000,000 burglaries are reported each year in the US so it pays to remember that your luxury items are a potential target. Also, disasters such as fire and severe weather including floods and hurricanes can put your valuables at risk.
With these alarming statistics it’s perhaps a surprise that US householders are generally lax at maintaining home security, with a worrying 30% of burglaries via unlocked doors and windows.
Larger valuables such as vehicles and boats are also at risk. If you own a classic or exotic car, an expensive RV or a boat then a secure storage structure able to withstand extreme weather and break in attempts might be worth considering, especially given that one million cars are stolen in the US each year.
So how can you protect your valuable luxury items from falling into the wrong hands?
Basic vigilance – ensure you stay safe and secure in your home and don’t make it easy for burglars by leaving doors and windows open or the keys in the ignition of your valuable car.
Be diligent and don’t leave valuables on show through downstairs windows or on the car seat.
Secure locks – while around 85% of burglaries are carried out by ‘non professionals’, if you potentially fall victim to a career thief they will soon be able to spot your home’s security weak spots and take advantage of them.
Therefore, ensure your home has the basic protection of secure door and window locks – ask a reputable local locksmith to come and assess yours if you’re concerned.
Lighting and garden – using a timer to switch interior lights on and off to make it look as though your home is occupied is worthwhile, and keep your garden tidy; overgrown grass gives a clue that there’s no-one home.
Neighbors – ask your neighbors to keep an eye on your home while you’re away and ensure circulars and flyers aren’t poking out of your mailbox.
Offer them space on your driveway to park a car while you’re away.
Upgrade your security
Alarms and CCTV – fitting an intruder alarm or at least some CCTV cameras and security lighting will act as a deterrent. Camera systems, thanks to modern connectivity, can be linked to your smartphone, laptop or tablet so you can view video of activity in and around your home.
If you install an intruder alarm don’t forget to activate it when you leave your house; many people only bother when they’re away on holiday or other extended absence.
If you make it harder for burglars they’re more likely to not try their luck with your home at all.
Safes – a worthwhile step to take if you keep luxury small valuables in your home. If you decide to buy a safe it’s worth having it fixed to a strong surface; thieves are likely to remove a smaller safe that is not fixed down and force it open later.
Check insurance policies
Should the worst happen, it’ll be even worse if you find you’re not adequately insured against the loss of luxury items. Make certain that your household insurance covers you for losses of specific items – you may require a separate valuable goods policy.
Fully record and photograph your luxury valuables and keep this evidence safe in case it needs to be referred to such as when reporting a theft to the police. Give a copy of this evidence to a trusted relative or friend.