Break-ins can happen no matter where you live. But there are some things you can do to help prevent them. And one may even save you money.

Get a little peace of mind with these 5 simple tips for avoiding a break-in.

1. Keep it clean

First and foremost: leave NOTHING in the car. Not loose change in the center console. Not phone-charging cords. Anything can appear valuable or tempting. Improve your chances of avoiding a break-in by removing anything visible or placing valuables in your glove compartment.

2. Lock it up 

It might seem like a no-brainer, but always lock the doors and roll up all the widows. An unlocked door or even a cracked window can make your car an easier victim then a locked one. And if you have kids, double check your backseat windows. They can easily forget to roll them back up before exiting.

3. Take it with you 

If your car’s stereo has a removable face plate, get into the habit of placing it out of sight or keeping it with you when exiting the car. Same goes for garage door openers. If a thief takes a garage door opener, there’s added potential to rob your home as well.

And if you have items to store in the trunk? Your best bet is to put them in there BEFORE you park. That way, no one will see you loading up the trunk.

4. Park it smart 

Be mindful of where you park. What time of day is it? How long will you be leaving the car there? Will you have to leave it overnight? Look around. Is there broken glass from past break-ins on the ground? Maybe better to skip that place.

Aim for a parking garage if possible. If no garage is available, choose a spot near other cars, preferably in a well-lit, well-trafficked area. Being aware of these elements can help elude a break-in.

5. Add it on

Your car may come with a built-in alarm system. But if not, consider adding one as an extra safety precaution — and be sure to attach the decal in a visible location. Bonus: some companies, like Esurance for example, offer a discount on your car insurance for having an anti-theft device installed. Even if you don’t have an alarm system, consider placing a “dummy” alarm system sticker to deter potential thieves.

Some other anti-theft measures that can be added are tinted windows (just make sure they’re within your state’s legal tint limits), a car camera, or even an aftermarket steering wheel lock — all of which can give thieves pause.

Safe and smart | Car safety


about Hannah

Hannah Fairbanks is a freelance writer living in San Francisco with her husband and 2 daughters. When she’s not writing, you might find her reading, packing bento box lunches for her kids, and making sure she gets in at least 10,000 Fitbit steps a day.