How To Protect Your Home? Outsmart The Burglar
Homes often get broken in because people are too confident that what happens to persons in the news or in movies will never happen to them. Burglaries are often portrayed as dramatic, sometimes comedic, that many don’t take the threat seriously.
However, it is this nonchalance that makes one the perfect target for thievery. And, often, that person or persons who will be entering your home or place of business is someone who has been there at least once. It could be “surveyor” who was supposedly required by law to have a look at possible fire or earthquake threats around your house, or the cable guy whom you welcomed into your home for an emergency fix. It could be a stranger or someone you know. Thus, you must take precaution.
What Do Burglars Look For In A Target?
Your daily behavior and schedule, appearance of your front yard or garage can tell unscrupulous individuals a lot about the potential treasures you are hiding in your home. What you consider a simple element of your facade might be seen as a welcome sign for burglars to exploit a weakness.
Is your landscaping pretty? Do you keep beautiful rare plants out front? Do you have a lavish fence or a fancy lawn sprinkler system? These signal to burglars that you have the money to spend on a pretty front yard. Having tall hedges and shrubs, as well as life-size decor, can also be a way for would-be thieves to hide while casing your house, or while waiting for you to leave. Any spot that will allow them be under the radar is a welcome sign.
Do you often leave your windows open? Can people from outside see what items you have kept in your home? Windows offer a clear view of your valuables and your activities while inside the house. It also gives them an idea where you are, what security systems you have in place, or if you have a pet that could hamper their entry and escape.
Finally, where do you place your trash? While not exactly the most favored method, burglars will have a good sense of your financial status by looking at your trash. Did you just purchase a new standing AC and left the box whole along with the trash. Then you just told the interested burglar what you purchased, plus offered him a nice hiding place to scan your premises.
Are You Being Targeted?
You already know what burglars look for when deciding which house to target. Could it be you? Here are some tips on identifying potential burglars or predicting a possible break-in.
- Strange people or cars suddenly show up.
You’ve been in this neighborhood long enough and probably know everybody in the street. When you see pedestrians or strange vehicles suddenly hanging out at your vicinity, it’s a sign to be alert. Watch out for people who seem to be loitering without a specific reason. Don’t hesitate to dial that non-emergency police number if you think something’s amiss. It’s better to be suspicious than to find out later that you’ve been targeted.
- Know where things are in your home and be mindful of the small changes.
Always be observant about your home’s layout and keep track of where things are. A small change in the arrangement could be indicative of a possible burglary. Thieves often mark their targets to find out if anybody’s home and then change it up later as reminder that it’s that house that they need to get back to.
These “marks” include a strange paint mark on the fence, a missing item on the front porch, or a seemingly random item that keeps being left on the yard. This is part of what thieves call “house drafting,” which happens with a burglar placing an item at the front of the target home. If the item moves, that means you’re home. If it doesn’t, then that’s the time they break in.
- Strange work offers and drop-ins
Did you suddenly get a visit from the local “inspector” who needs to see if your walls are earthquake proof or to check if your gas range is working properly? That could be a burglar looking to survey your interiors to plot ways to get in, take a visual inventory of your belongings, and plot a way out. This “visit” will also give them an idea what types of people live in the house. So the next time someone stops by and offers to work on your home or conduct a free demo of new equipment, be on high alert. Better yet, don’t let strangers in, please.
Tips To Prevent Burglaries
The best defense is a good offense, as the saying goes. While you can’t predict if your home is going to be burgled, there are several ways to prevent this problem from happening to you.
- Install a home security system
Having reliable technology set up around possible points of entry around your house is one step towards gaining peace of mind. There are nifty devices that can detect the slightest movement at night, while there are those that allow you to monitor what’s going on in your premises through your smartphone — and in real time. There are systems that you can install outdoors, while others can be placed indoors.
- Meet with your neighbors to create a neighborhood watch system
Resident-run surveillance is a great way to prevent crime in your entire area. This program not only unites the community but also sends off a signal to would-be thieves not to try anything funny in your neighborhood. By meeting regulary and updating each other of new constructions and other potential threats, you can keep each others’ homes safe. Having multiple eyes on the watch means a narrower chance for burglars to succeed, if they even still have the courage to try at all.
- Don’t make announcements online.
Thieves are less likely to target a home if there’s somebody in it. Thus, even if you’re out of the house, you can make it look like somebody’s inside. There are smart home devices that you can control using your phone even if you’re miles away. It can turns lights and off or control some appliances to work at certain times.
More importantly, if you’re going on a vacation, don’t announe it on social media. That’s just tantamount to an invitation for burglars that your home is ripe and ready for picking. Even if you think only your friends can see your posts, you never really know who’s monitoring and watching you.
- Get a pet.
This is good if you’re pet person, because a dog will definitely be on high alert for any movement when you’re not home. A thief will have second thoughts about trying to break into your home when he or she knows a pet is guarding it. If you don’t have a dog or can’t have pets, you might be able to get away with a “beware of dog” sign on your front yard.
- Close your blinds and lock your windows and doors.
This is a simple practice that often gets taken for granted. If your doors are locked, even during the day, then nobody’s going to try to enter your home. An unlocked point of entry is a welcome sign to burglars. Another thing you can try is installing motion sensors at entryways to alert you instantly if someone tries to get in.