Today, marks 7 weeks since our home was robbed. It should not have been difficult to cope for me. I have been through more difficult situations in life. Starting from the ground up when I moved to the States 13 years ago, having my car totaled and breaking many a bone, losing jobs for both Nikhil and me due to the company going bankrupt, giving up our first home that I wanted to play along with my grandkids, having a miscarriage, seeing my son cope with cancer treatment for 3.5 years and taking the green card 9 years to come. But it was, it left me feeling violated and sad. It was different and yes, it was a nightmare, something I hope others do not have to go through.
We have a double lock on our front door other than the internal child-safe lock to avoid the kids from opening the front door. The robbers pried open our back door and went through all the drawers in our home. We had a separate lock on our master closet and they pried the door open. They also broke open our fire safe which has the biometric scan and is decently sized. They went through every single drawer in our master area. The robbers took away with all our valuables. This is not the first of its kind and has been increasing in the recent past. It seems they target the Indian homes a little more since Indians keep their jewelry at home.
I have learnt many a lessons on how to avoid a robbery and also deal with the aftermath’s of a robbery. This blog is some of the steps on how to avoid a robbery.
Avoiding a robbery at your home
1. Front door: Other than the regular lock, make sure you have a deadbolt lock on your front door and keep it locked when not in use. I also have an internal lock that cannot be opened from outside.
2. Back door: If you have a sliding door, put an extra lock on the top of the sliding door to avoid the door from being pried open.
If you have a window close to the door, adjust the position of the lock so that it is not easily accessible
It is very easy for a robber to pry open a sliding back door (something I was unaware of before this incident)
3. Garage door: Most of us do not lock the door that connects the garage to the home as we consider the home safe with the garage being locked. It is again easy for a robber to open the garage door. Consider keeping the door locked when you leave your home.
4. Security System: Definitely think of investing in some sort of security system for the home. Consider the options of a wireless security system so that if the robbers do mess the system, it will still do its job of informing the authority and you.
We reviewed 3 security systems including ADT, Simplisafe and SafeMart. We finalized on Simplisafe because of the cost and the reviews we got from friends and colleagues.
Some of the sites that might help you review other home security systems are
5. Security Camera: Consider investing in a security cameras. Again, consider a wireless security camera. There are many available in the market and you can figure out what works best for you. We chose Asante and it is working awesome for us.
6. Safe Deposit box: Consider investing in a safe deposit box at a bank if you have valuables at home. Those valuables can include jewelry, gold, watches, ID’s, important documents and other items that have sentimental values.
7. Jewelry: For the jewelry that you decide to keep at home, try to avoid keeping them in your master bedroom, master closet or master bathroom. That is the first place the robbers will attack.
8. Documents: Again, as mentioned for jewelry, avoid keeping them in the master bedroom, master closet or master bathroom.
9. Fire Security Safe: We bought our firesafe from Costco which was about $400 and thought that our items were safe. After speaking to a couple of sheriffs, we have learnt that if you have valuables of $1500 or more, consider buying a safe for atleast $800 – $1500 for those items. That is something that is not easily breakable by the robbers. Again, avoid keeping it in the master area.
10. Neighborhood watch: Your neighbors are your best friends for the home and you are the best friend of your neighbor’s home. Consider starting a neighborhood watch with your neighbors and keep your eyes open for any suspicious or unknown car/person in your area. When you are driving in your neighborhood, slow down, look for suspicious vehicles/people and if you spot something different, call 911. Know which cars/people belong in your neighborhood. Also exchange contact information with your neighbors if you need to contact them of an emergency.
11. Calling the sheriff/police: If you spot a suspicious car/person immediately call the sheriff/police for your area. You might be able to avoid a robbery from taking place.
12. Insurance: You are paying a good amount of insurance for your home every year. Do you know what your insurance covers? Understand the limits that your insurance covers when a robbery occurs. If you have lost valuables worth $100,000, your insurance might not cover it. They have caps on every category and the limit is usually very low. If you would like to consider insuring your valuable separately, figure out the costs for it with your insurance company.
The above are some of my major learning’s in the past few weeks. I hope this helps some of you and protects your home from a possible burglary.
I would love to hear from you about some of the tips and tricks that you or your friends have done to protect your home and family from a burglary. Suggestions and comments are welcome!!