If you think you’re not at risk of being a victim of burglary, think again. If there’s an opportunity to invade your home, no matter who you are or where you live, burglars will take the chance. Burglaries are considered “crimes of opportunity” because the criminal is looking for the easy way to get into your home. Fortunately, there are practical security measures you can take to make it so difficult for burglars that they’ll go somewhere else.
Secured Doors and Windows
The first line of defense in your home’s security is having solid core exterior doors with high quality grade 1 or 2 deadbolt locks. French doors can be secured with a quality deadbolt lock and a slide bolt penetrating the upper or lower doorframe. Sliding glass doors are especially vulnerable if they do not have proper locks. A snug-fitting dowel, a piece of cylindrical wood similar to a broom handle, in the lower track of the door will also prevent it from being opened. Install eyebolts in the frames of sliding windows to allow for ventilation without leaving enough room for an intruder.
A Loud Dog
Dogs are a burglar’s worst enemy. Most burglars avoid houses with dogs. Burglars don’t want to be seen or caught and they also want to avoid pain. Dogs that bark, even small, noisy dogs, can be an effective deterrent. While you might feel safer with a large dog that could do bodily harm, like a German Shepherd, the most important aspect is having a dog that sounds an alarm with its bark.
Home Security System
If you want something that not only makes noise when there’s an intruder, but also calls for help, consider installing a home security system. These systems detect when someone breaks into your house, sets off an alarm, and also notifies authorities of an invasion. If you are away from home for long stretches, a home security system could be a good option. Do some online research and check with local alarm system companies to find the best system for your needs.
Motion Sensor Lights
Installing sensor lights that turn on when they detect motion is a great way to illuminate portions of your property only when needed. Sensor lights will come on as soon as someone enters under cover of darkness. Outside lighting is one of the cheapest and most effective deterrents to crime.
A video surveillance system can be a bit costly, but it could help you sleep better at night. Installing a video security system can give you peace of mind and act as a deterrent to burglars, especially when you’re on vacation.
However, if you don’t want to go the full route of installing a system, think about putting up a “dummy” camera or two to give the illusion of protection.
A Trimmed and Tidy Yard
Untrimmed trees and shrubs provide good hiding places for burglars and can obscure their entry into your home. Trim tree branches up to six feet from the ground and shrubs down to below window sills.
The Appearance That Someone Is Home
Burglars know your routine, and when there’s a break in that routine it’s a signal that your home is clear for a break-in. The goal when you’re gone is for your home to appear lived in. Use motion-sensor lights and timers on your radio and TV to simulate occupancy and create the illusion that you’re home. Anything you can do to make your home look occupied while you’re away is a good thing, and timed electronics are great for that.
You can enlist help and the best recruits can be your neighbors. Whenever you’re away ask your neighbors to get your mail and newspapers, and check for any deliveries. You can even ask a trusted neighbor to park their vehicle in your driveway occasionally while you’re out of town.