Lets just say for a moment that you’re selling your home. Lets just say that you’ve been giving tour after tour, and even open houses to try and sell your home in this rocky economic climate. The families seem nice enough, very unassuming and normal; some have children, others none but somehow you feel comfortable. After an open hour you look around your empty home with a sad smile, turn off the lights and drive away to your new home with new memories.
Lets just say that one of the people who went into your home was casing it. Lets just say they unlocked the window, or the sliding glass door, and then lets just say they came back. What are they after? Your old home is empty, there’s nothing left to take, or is there? You know those copper pipes for plumbing in your basement? Bingo.
This has become an epidemic in our country, and sadly shows no sign of stopping. With a high unemployment rate and a recession worse than the great depression people are doing whatever they can to make a little extra money. While most people have just picked up a second job if they can find one others have gone to the side of crime. The person now in your home with emotionlessly take your copper pipes, and they don’t care if the water is turned off. Within an hour all your copper piping is gone, and your basement fills with water.
How do you stop this from happening? Is there a way to protect your assets when you yourself no longer live there? Absolutely. After seeing nearly half a dozen of these claims come in since the beginning of 2012 in our own backyards we feel it important to talk about precautions.
One of the first things we recommend is simply checking all doors and windows before you leave. Make sure everything is locked up tight, even second floor windows before you leave the home. Many cases we see involve someone casually unlocking a window or side door during an open house or simple walk through. They tour the rest of the home looking for valuable materials such as copper piping, or even appliances like air conditioners. Once they know their targeted items they’ll leave. But once nighttime comes? They’ll be back. If before you left the doors and windows are locked this alone may stop them from getting in, but a determined thief knows ways around this.
Another precautionary step is to have a buddy system with a neighbor. Ask them to keep an eye on your house since you’re no longer there. No one other than you should ever be there at night, and if they seem someone creeping about to call the police. Provided the person is still awake this can be a good method, but what happens when they aren’t home either?
Another bit of advice we can give is to install a security system. Not only does this bring up the value of your home, but it also will take away human error. Set it before you leave, if a door, window, or a motion sensor is passed after it’s set the alarm can be set to silently ring and alert the police. Make sure to have a code only you would know. A code like: “1234” or “1111” is just not okay. Make something more complicated like “4786” or if letters are an option include those. Think of it like an email password, you wouldn’t have ‘password’ as your password would you?
Your home should never be in danger of being ransacked. No one deserves to come back one day and find their basement flooded and the plumbing gone. This is not needed when there are very simple and effective methods of preventing these situations. If the worst does happen remember that we are trained to handle these disasters and are more than willing to come help 24/7.
Do you have questions about buglary, vandalism, or forced entry? Leave us a message in our ask box, on twitter, or on our Facebook for an answer. We’ll be happy to answer all we can.