Simple Ways to Defend Your Home against Burglars
An unlocked door is basically an open invitation for intruders to come in and rob you of your valuables. Check out this article for some basic tricks about how to defend your home against thieves.
Despite the fact that more people are investing serious money to feel more secure in their houses, there were over 2 million burglaries in the U.S. in 2012. What’s surprising is the fact that only around 60-percent of burglaries involved forcible entry; in 34-percent of the cases, the thieves managed to smoothly find their way in. Spare keys and unlocked doors are always tempting for criminals, and experienced burglars can be in and out of a house in only a few minutes.
Sophisticated electronic security systems, reinforced glass, and solid locks are all good investments, but you should always do your best to make sure the place looks occupied and discourage intruders from targeting your home. Here are some easy tips you should consider if you want to better defend your home against burglars.
Not so Fancy Security System #
Burglars avoid houses with security systems. However, these systems can be expensive. After all, you aren’t living in a luxury apartment with 24-hour monitoring and a doorman. Not to worry: if you can’t afford a sophisticated system to protect you, you can still trick burglars into thinking that you do. Put a home security sign in your yard without actually obtaining the service. It may discourage unwanted intruders from targeting your home and make them focus on a house without any security signs instead.
Getting a dog is also a good idea. Some burglars may know their way around a security system, but dogs are unpredictable. There’s a possibility they will bite, so robbers usually go for dog-free homes to avoid the hassle of calming an angry pooch.
Motion sensors are another less expensive way to go, and light is a great impediment for nighttime break-ins. Install motion sensors on outdoor lights that turn on automatically if someone triggers them. This way, you will know if someone is lurking around your house late at night.
Make Your House Look Occupied #
You may have seen “Home Alone.” If so, you’ll remember how Kevin confuses the thieves by making them think there’s a party going on? That was a clever use of a train set and a Michael Jordan cardboard cutout, no doubt. Nonetheless, there’s no reason why you can’t do the same thing, but on a smaller scale. Whenever you leave for work, leave the radio or TV on; if you leave your house at night, leave a light on.
If you leave your home unoccupied for an extensive period of time, don’t allow daily deliveries of mail, newspapers or flyers to build up while you are away. Arrange with the Post Office to hold your mail, or ask a neighbor or friend to collect mail and newspapers regularly. The same goes for your lawn – hire someone to routinely mow it, so your home still looks occupied.
Secure Your Yard #
Trees make great hiding places for criminals to wait until the coast is clear to get into your house. In order to avoid this unpleasant situation, cut away any tall tree branches that reach upper story windows. You can also use strategic landscaping to discourage thieves from targeting your house. Keep entryways to your home visible to prevent people from being able to sneak up. Furthermore, thorny rose bushes under windows will make thieves think twice before going in that way.
As a side note, do your best not to display your valuable items to people passing by. Expensive toys or a fancy bike lying around your yard make a burglar wonder what else you might be hiding inside. A wise idea would be to keep your prized possessions away from prying eyes. For instance, if your new plasma TV is visible from the sidewalk, find a more secluded place for it.
Lock it Up #
As we’ve mentioned before, over 30 percent of break-ins happen without the use of force. Choose solid locks and always lock your doors and windows when you are away and at night. Even if you are only gone for 10 minutes to chat with a neighbor, that’s more than enough time for a burglar to sneak in and steal whatever money or valuables they find lying around.
Double-check weaker doors such as those on the patio, and make sure their locks are strong enough to withstand kicks. Also, beware of the garage, which is a common entry point for burglars; only keep it open when you are around, and remember to lock the door leading from the garage to the house when you leave home.
Last but not least, never leave a spare key around your yard; it’s best to leave it with a neighbor for safekeeping. Never put identifying information on your house keys. If you lose them, it would be fairly easy for the person who finds them to trace them back to your home and break in.
The bottom line: make sure you stay vigilant. Notice any suspicious cars parked in the area for long periods of time and write down the license plates. Additionally, when you leave town, let the police know; if they are aware that you are gone, they can drive by your home every now and then to make sure everything is in order.