Home Protection: More than your insurance policy

Homeowners, landlords, and renters should keep in mind that liability risks are hiding everywhere in your home. Thank goodness for the availability and accessibility of insurance coverage. Despite the genuine peace of mind that insurance policies provide to policyholders, active measures should be taken to prevent losses and damages – especially the potential theft, burglary and vandalism that illegal trespassers and prowlers can perpetuate.

The thought is underlined by the 1.5 million reported burglaries that took place in the United States last year, and proactive ways to secure a home is one of the most important defense tactics for any home or apartment resident.

Here’s the question, though: Does keeping outdoor lights on keep lurking criminals from breaking into your home?

Whoever reads this article, in all probability nods emphatically in agreement with a resounding yes. Surprisingly, the answer is not always affirmative!

Those involved in related insurance claims have done the research involved. They provide the following tips on how to use your outdoor lighting to your advantage.

Four tips for outdoor lighting for the owner or tenant of a house and apartment

1. Leave your outdoor lighting on when it is dark outside. The benefits of this are twofold: a) the potential burglar understands that there are people inside; b) it improves your own visibility from the inside so you can spot any prowlers on your property.

2. Keep your outdoor lights on when night falls. In addition to the above benefits, this also lights your way home, allowing you to quickly enter your home in case you detect an unwanted trespasser.

3. Don’t leave your outdoor lighting on when the sun is still shining. This sends a message to prowlers that you intentionally left the lights on while you were away or on vacation.

4. Do not keep your outdoor lighting if you live in a rural area and away from another house or building. In this case, leaving the lights on actually puts your home on a criminal’s radar. The burglar is not deterred by fear of others and can target your house specifically because of the lights that show the house.

Is there anything else a homeowner or renter can do to fend off burglars? The insurance specialists say yes: take care of your property. Mow your lawn, trim shrubs and keep your surroundings tidy by doing your own yard work or hiring a landscaping company. This will show intruders that your house is not vacant and is not the first sign of a break-in.