Thieves are a crafty bunch. They have a particular set of skills that enable them to break in, loot your home and slip away without anyone noticing.
Unfortunately for home owners these skills have been honed over multiple break-ins and they are very very good.
However, there are a number of measures you can take to stop them in their tracks.
The key is to make your home as unattractive as possible to a burglar. Burglars like to target properties whereby:
- they can get in and out as quickly as possible
- they won’t be seen by neighbors or passersby
- they won’t be captured on video surveillance
- no-one will be alerted to the break-in
In this article we will look at a number of ways you can make your home as unattractive to thieves as possible.
1 – Install a security camera system
Having 24/7 security camera feeds monitoring entry points to your house is a sure fire way of putting a thief off. If a burglar sees a security camera it increases the risk that he may get caught.
There will be video evidence of the break-in that can be relied upon to both catch them and be used as evidence in court. For more information about selecting the right kind of security camera to monitor your home’s entry points see this article.
2 – Install a security system
A security system, much like a camera system is a potent deterrent to a would be thief. If they try and break-in, an alarm will sound alerting your neighbors, and, depending on your provider, the police will also be called. Most security system companies will install siren on the front of the property which will let the thief know that your property is going to be particularly tricky to break in to.
3 – Get a guard dog
Some homeowners liken a guard dog to an alarm system. If someone tries to break in, the dog will bark. This will alert passers-by and your neighbors. Whilst a guard dog may not seem like an effective deterrent, many professional burglars have stated that if a house has a guard dog, they would never attempt to break in.
4 – Add a security screen door
According to the IAHI, 56% of burglars attempt to enter via the front or back door. Adding a security screen door will make this much harder. A security screen door is an extra door that sits on top of your current door. Normally its made out of either steel or aluminium and is designed to look decorative. By installing a security screen door it makes it harder for a thief to enter as they now have two doors to break through.
5 – Upgrade your door locks
By upgrading your door locks to the strongest available type it will help stop thieves in their tracks. Most houses are originally built with cheap spring latch locks with short rounded locking fingers that slide into the casing around the door. Unfortunately, a hard kick is all thats required to send the door flying. By upgrading your locks to dead bolt locks (or even better, dead bolt locks) non-one is going to be able to kick the door out of its frame.
6 – Ensure your patio door is secure
If you have a sliding patio door then you will want to ensure that it cannot be lifted out of its frame. If it can, then the nest way to fix this is to use screws and add them into the top track above where the door sits when its close. Don’t screw them in al the way, leave them sticking out about 1/4 inch. This stops anyone from being able to lift the patio door high enough to lift the bottom out of the frame.
7 – Install motion activated flood lights
Burglars hate being seen. Installing motion activated flood lights will put them off an attempted break in at night. As the approach, the flood lights will come on making them visible.
8 – Use plug timers for in-door appliances
If you’re going away then using a timer that triggers an appliance to come on at a certain time is a neat way of making it look like someone is at home.
9 – Check everywhere is locked before going out
Whilst this tip sits in the leading obvious category, you would be surprised at the amount of break-ins in which the thief has been able to gain entry via an unlocked door or window. Make sure you check all doors and windows, not just those on the first floor. Second floor windows can be a target too.
10 – Keep bushes, hedges and trees trimmed back
Burglars love to hide out in overgrown bushes whilst assessing your property as a potential target. Trimming your bushes back will force them out into the open, increasing the risk they will get seen. Also, burglars love high hedges and dense trees as this gives them cover when breaking in. Where possible, keep them low.
11 – Make your house look lived in if going away
If your off on vacation then you don’t want to advertise this. An empty house is a obvious first target for a thief. Make sure to stop newspaper deliveries so they don’t build up on your drive. Maybe even go a step further and ask a neighbor to park on your drive so it looks like your house is occupied.
12 – Join a neighborhood watch scheme
Neighborhood watch is a crime prevention program that teaches residents how they can identify suspicious activity. In addition it provides people with the ability to make their neighborhoods safer through a variety of measures. If there’s one in your local area, join it, you’ll be glad you did.
So there you have it. Our top tips for making your home as unattractive as possible and scaring burglars away. If you have any tips of your own we would love to hear about them in the comments below.