Have you ever thought about your porch lights and safety before going on a fun vacation? Many folks think about residential lighting as a deterrent to would-be burglars. We, at Rockwall Insurance, would like to remind our customers of effective and easy methods to safeguard their homes and cherished belongings.
Is it worth it to leave your porch light on? We know that families are concerned about safety and their electricity bill, simultaneously. Let’s look at an interesting statistic:
There are 2.5 million burglaries annually in the United States according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
With this in mind, we’ll look at some different ways to protect your home with lighting.
Let’s look at the alternative, first. When is it a good idea to keep your lights off? Yes, you read that correctly! Sometimes, you can save electricity and, perhaps, be better off:
- Going on vacation: If your lights are on for days in a row, burglars may notice this and deduce that you aren’t home.
- During the daytime: There’s usually no reason to have exterior lights on during the daytime. So, this could be a telltale sign you’re not home.
- Very late at night: When people are normally sleeping, they turn all their lights off. Also, did you know that residential break-ins often occur predominantly during the day? A light on at 3 a.m. will not help with those instances.
- Rural homes: If your home is in a sparsely populated area, a light may call attention to your property that would otherwise go completely unnoticed! Lighting that would normally help neighbors see a potential intruder may not be effective in this particular case, as neighbors are far away.
However, as you may have surmised, it can be helpful to have your lights on to help prevent break-ins. Here are some examples:
- Out for the night: Perhaps you’re leaving for the evening to dine at a restaurant. When you get back home, you’ll be able to see everything easily. That includes anyone near your home who could use the shadows for cover if the lights weren’t on.
- You’re home: If you’re home and your interior lights are on, it can reveal to anyone watching that this particular home is not a great choice.
- A combination of lights: If you have backyard lights, or lighting on the side of your house, (perhaps illuminating your driveway), that could heavily deter anyone from approaching. Multiple lights in different areas help give the appearance that someone is home.
Lights: Fully Automatic?
Did you know there are many simple options for automation with your lights? Furthermore, you could install motion-sensing lights around the perimeter of your home. It’s startling to approach a home and have a light surprise you and possibly reveal your presence to neighbors or a neighborhood watch program.
Some of these systems detect the exact time of sunrise and sunset and can be used in that manner. Thus, the lights turn on and off as if you were at home. You can also control some of these automated lights from your cellphone with an app. That would give you the ability to make occupancy appear totally random. This applies to porch lights and interior lights, and may be a worthwhile investment considering the relatively low cost.
Last But Not Least…
Let’s make our yards and perimeter as safe as can be. If you have shrubs that are much larger than they should be, it could conceal burglars. You may also want to take your window security into consideration. For example, if you’re in an urban area, you could purchase attractive, but effective, iron bars to cover your first-floor windows.
Furthermore, if you know your neighbors and get along with them, you might let them know you’ll be out of town. Perhaps they’ll pick up your newspapers for you (and mail) if you have deliveries. That could help a lot! We, at Rockwall Insurance, hope these tips have helped you and your family, as safety and protection is our number one consideration for our valued customers and friends.
For other valuable summer safety tips, such as swimming safely, please have a look!