Is your home secure? Intruders can gain access through crawl spaces

Published: Jul. 16, 2019 at 9:41 AM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Homeowners and renters will want to pay attention to this.

A recent report by ranks South Carolina in the top 10 states with the most break-ins per 100,000 residents. Some people may think their home is secure by simply locking all the doors and windows, but in some cases, victims of a break-in are not going to find any broken windows or doors kicked in.

Instead, intruders are sometimes entering homes using crawl spaces, which are installed on houses that don’t have a basement or that are not built on slabs.

The space is typically used to promote air circulation through the home and also allow easy access for plumbing, electrical and maintenance needs. It’s roughly one to three feet high, which is just enough for someone to enter by crawling.

Philip Coggin, owner of Coggin Security, said the space under a home can attract burglars and unwanted guests. To make sure homeowners’ homes are safe at all times, he recommends using a security system and installing cameras for an extra set of eyes, if possible.

“It’s just much more prevalent now, the breakdowns are much more prevalent. Car break-ins, home break-ins, commercial buildings, there’s just a lot more break-ins now and it’s really hard to say which time of the year is the worst, because it’s pretty consistent," Coggin said.

Coggin recommends making sure crawl space doors are hardwired shut or secured with a wireless transmitter. Experts say break-ins can happen at any time of the day, but the summer months are a prime time for burglars to take advantage.

For those leaving their home unattended for a period of time, Coggin said to make sure and hold deliveries, keep the lawn well maintained, and get to know the neighbors and have them keep an eye on the house.

Coggin also points out it doesn’t take much time for an intruder to make a person a target, noting there’s been many times where his customers were targeted while doing work in their backyard.

“If you’ve got some lights on, anything that’s a deterrent, if you do have a security system and if you have a yard sign, that helps but just be aware," Coggin said. "And if you go and leave for 30 minutes or an hour to go to the grocery store and go shopping, just be aware of what’s going on because those are the most vulnerable times and we don’t want anybody in the house when you come home.”

Savvy burglars will pay attention to a person’s social media activity, so people should be cautious of what they post online when on vacation.

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