We all want to feel safe in our homes, so what can you do to burglar proof your home? There are actually many strategies you can implement to keep your home protected from a possible break in, and we are going to explore the possibilities in this article. We are going to first look at some questions that were provided to burglars in prison to gather more information from the ones who know best. The Criminals.
With their experience and insights, we can learn much about how to protect our home and make it burglar proof. Look at the following questions that were asked and the interesting answers these criminals provided. We can equip ourselves with this pertinent information described below and make the changes needed to secure our home.
How did burglars typically break into a home or apartment?
- Found the key in your hidden spot
- Kicked the door open
- The door was unlocked
- Smashed a window
- The window was unlocked
- Used a Bump key
How do burglars know a house would be worth their time to burglarize?
- Someone told them that the house they targeted had valuables inside
- They knew the person that lived there
- They could tell from the neighborhood
- The nice car in the driveway may make a burglar think they have a lot of valuables
- Simply guessing the home had valuables
Once inside, what is the first thing robbers will look for to steal?
- Things that are easy to carry like cash and jewelry is what is targeted first.
- Then they will look for laptops, easy to carry electronics, drugs and credit cards.
When burglars entered the home, where did they go first to look for valuables?
- Burglars look at drawers such as a dresser or a desk.
- The next thing they look for is a safe.
- They will also look through the kitchen drawers.
What time of day did they prefer to break in?
- Most prefer to break in during the day while people are at work and kids are in school.
Did home alarm signs on the property prevent burglars from breaking in?
- Many will take note of the alarm but may still go through with the theft if they can get in and out quickly.
Did pets in the home deter them?
- A pet, especially a guard dog, would deter most burglars but not all.
- Medium or smaller dogs that don’t seem threatening were not a deterrent.
Do burglars knock on the front door before breaking in?
- Most would knock to make sure no one is home.
- Other burglars said they would not knock on the door.
When they knocked on the door, if someone answered most burglars would do what?
- They would ask for directions.
- They would tell the homeowner that they had the wrong house.
If the home alarm system went off, what would a burglar do?
- Most said they would leave immediately.
- Some said they would leave before police arrived.
What percentage of robbers would not pick your home if lights were on inside house?
- The number is 60% or more because a thief does not want to break into a home with someone there.
What percentage of burglars would not pick your home if they heard a TV or Radio on inside the house?
- This one is similar to question above, because 67% of thieves would not enter a house if a TV or radio was on.
Do you think burglars would break into your home with outside security cameras?
- Cameras make it easy to identify and catch the thief, so most of them about 70% or greater, would not rob a house with security cameras.
Do burglars consider a vehicle in the driveway when looking at robbing that house?
- Yes, they would think twice about breaking in because the owner may be home since the car is there.
What type of homes or apartment do burglars target?
- They target anything that has valuables no matter if you live in an apartment, townhome, condo, house, or mansion.
Do thieves do surveillance on a target home?
- This was 50/50 if they would surveillance a home before breaking in. I watched a show they had on TV years ago called “It Takes a Thief”. The ex-burglar that hosted the show always did surveillance for every home he burglarized.
I hope the answers to the questions above helped you understand the mindset of a burglar. None of the deterrents above were 100% effective in stopping a burglar from breaking into a home, but they surely had an impact on their decisions. The key is to utilize as many of the burglar deterrents as possible to lessen the threat to you and your family.
We need to look at some ways you can secure your home with many of the tips we have learned so far.
The first area we want to tackle is the risks for breaking and entering from outside of the home. Let’s look at how a burglar gets into a home.
Doors and Windows
Do you leave your doors or windows unlocked? You remember the question above that talked about the most common way a burglar was able to break in? The answer was they just went through an unlocked door or window. If you leave any window or door open, this is an invitation for a thief to walk into your home and steal your possessions. You must keep your home secure by closing and locking all windows and doors when you leave your home.
This should be a really easy fix. When you leave your home and nobody is there, secure the windows plus the doors. It takes just a few minutes for you to secure the house and protect a robber from breaking in and stealing your valuable. Make this a daily habit so that you can keep your home protected while you’re gone. Add it to your daily exit routine and it will become a natural part of leaving your house.
Where do you Keep your Spare Key? Robbers know all the secrets to where we hide our keys. They will find them! I was just watching the movie Horrible Bosses and in the movie they needed to get into one of the boss’s homes. They found his fake rock with the house key in it in a plantar right by the door. If you are going to have an extra key somewhere please secure it with a lock box like realtors use. Don’t use the old familiar key holders, such as a rock or planter by the door. It’s an obvious find for any criminal.
Is Your Door Easy to Kick in? Most robbers won’t kick in the door, unless they have no other way in, because this creates a loud noise and they want to be as inconspicuous as possible. Some doors are reinforced, so kicking them in is almost impossible. Make sure your door is reinforced with a frame that is almost indestructible. There are several products on the market that you can check out HERE. Take a look and see what would fit best for your home and your budget. These are items you need to look at to secure your doors and protect your family.
Can Burglars Break your Windows Easily – Many windows can easily be smashed. Same thing as kicking the door in, this creates a lot of noise so breaking glass is not something burglars do often. They will break door glass on French doors that have a bunch of the small square glass in the door. We have a property that had these old French doors with about 16 small panes of glass. We had a robbery at this house once and they knocked out the pane next to the lock. They reached their hand in and opened the deadbolt. We put on that door a key lock from inside and outside so that does not happen again. If you have French doors, look into doing this for your protection.
The Basement Windows – We have had people break into the small basement windows of one of my rental properties. You would be surprised what people can fit through and all for a few pounds of copper pipe. Glass block windows in the basement or security bars would stop a thief from going through basement windows.
Second Floor Windows – Many people will leave their second story windows open to get fresh air during the summer. Leaving the upstairs windows open during the day while you are at work is an easy entrance for a burglar. In the TV show “It Takes a Thief”, the thief that hosted the show grabbed a ladder on the side of the house, climbed onto the roof and went through an open second story window. He did all that in literally 1 or 2 minutes. Be warned: Leaving your windows open upstairs can give robbers easy access into your home.
Dog or Cat Doors – The truth is some people can fit through those doors. This is an easy way to break into a house. I am not sure how you would secure that, since people have it to let their dog or cat out while they are not home. I would just not have this in my door because it makes it way too easy to get in.
Bump Keys. These are special keys used by lock smiths to easily open any door or dead bolt lock. This special key is placed in the lock, then you tap it with a hammer to bump up the lock pins allowing a burglar to open the door. These are illegal to own unless you are a locksmith. There are locks that you can buy from Medeco and Mul-T-Lock that the bump keys will not work on or be harder to use. I would consider this as an option for your home.
Which House to Burglarize
Why does a burglar choose one home over another? There are several different ways you can make your house less attractive to a thief. We are going to go through important tips to consider, so you understand what you need to do to secure your home.
Surveillance. Burglars may do several things to figure out if your home is worth breaking into. Many will do surveillance on your home to see when you are gone and what patterns you follow. Not all burglars do surveillance before they break in, but the really good ones practice this often.
Cars or vans parked on your street that you don’t recognize. You will need to look out for any suspicious cars or vans with strangers just parked and hanging out on your road. I use to live on a cul-de-sac and I saw a car parked there with a guy I did not know. I went up to him and asked if there was anything I can do to help or if he needs anything. He said he was their doing some work for the city and he was finishing up the paperwork. I still kept a watch on him when I went back into the home.
Friends and neighbors might be a risk. As much as you’d like to trust your friends and neighbors, you need to be careful who you give a key to for your home. Sadly, sometimes relatives or friends with a key will break into the home and steal from you.
Having a nice home and car puts you at higher risk. The nicer your home or car, the more likely a burglar would target your home. My house has nice things but nothing compared to really expensive homes. Burglars want to steal expensive items so they can resell and make a profit. In the show “It Takes a Thief”, the host was a professional burglar and he said he could sell your guns, paintings, jewelry, etc. in 24 hours. He also said on the show that he usually made anywhere from $50,000 to $150,000 or more on each home he robbed. He only targeted homes where he could make a ton of money off selling the stolen valuables.
Top 5 Burglar Deterrents
Burglars do not want to break into a home while someone is there. They want to get in and out with the least amount of effort possible. The following is a list of the most effective deterrents to prevent your home from a robbery.
- Surveillance cameras outside and inside home
- Guard dog especially medium to large dogs
- Alarm system
- TV and radio on in house or car in driveway when they approach the home
- Lights on in the home
Burglar Proof Your Home
Let’s take a deeper look into each deterrent, so you can learn how, where, and when to use them to protect your home.
Surveillance Camera Systems Indoor/Outdoor
The cost reduction of security cameras have made home security easier to afford. You also have technology advancements that make DIY set up quite simple to do. More and more homes are adding outdoor and indoor security cameras to protect the home.
You can often DIY with video surveillance cameras. You will just want to set up a camera to monitor the front yard and back yard. The features on these cameras are incredible, so let’s take a look at one camera system.
Isotect 8CH HD NVR CCTV Outdoor Home Wireless Security Cameras and System
These products are excellent in protecting your home because they have several efficient and effective benefits for your use. You can consider the following features of this product before you decide to purchase:
They are waterproof – All the outdoor cameras are waterproof, which is an excellent benefit, so put them anywhere and you don’t have to worry about the inclement weather.
They are wireless – Wireless cameras are the easiest to use, so you don’t have to run cables and be concerned about how that will look on your property. You can put them in any location in your yard, which is nice too.
They have an App – It’s a wonderful benefit to be able to download an app to your phone or ipad so you can have an ongoing live feed you can monitor coming from your home.
Receive alerts – With these cameras, you will get alerts any time when motion is detected from the camera.
Easy set Up – Most camera systems are easy to set up and if you are having an issue, customer support can usually help.
Night Vision – These cameras have night vision so the cameras can record at night.
You should check out all the benefits and features of different camera systems available HERE.
There are also indoor cameras parents often set up to monitor their baby in another room. These can also be used in other places of your home while you are gone. You don’t have to have a baby to set these cameras up. You can install them for many other safety reasons. For example, you can use them to check on a dog or cat that you leave home while you are at work.
I bought the Dachang 720P HD wireless IP camera for the inside of my home. The features on this are just as good as the outdoor cameras. This particular camera has pan and tilt, night vision, two-way audio, motion detection plus much more. When I purchased this camera, the cost as $40.00 and setting it up was a breeze.
You just need to pick the right system for your budget and needs. Most of these surveillance cameras are now affordable and easy to set up. They are also the number one deterrent when a burglar goes to pick a home to rob.
Video Doorbell Cameras
I just bought an AKASO video doorbell security camera for my front door. I did this after the USPS delivery employee informed me there were a lot of packages being stolen from porches in our neighborhood. This doorbell video camera has motion sensor and even an app that alerts you when someone walks up to the porch or rings the doorbell. This security camera also has night vision so it can record at night. If someone rings the doorbell I can talk through my phone with the person at the door. This also has a rechargeable battery so no need to connect wires.
I know the Ring video doorbells are real popular right now. I went with AKASO based on reviews and the price. This doorbell has worked great for me with no issues.
Burglars identified guard dogs as a major deterrent when choosing a home to break into, and this would include any large dogs. You may already have a dog so no matter the breed or the size, they are good at alerting you of a possible intruder.
According to some experts, there are certain dogs that make perfect guard dogs. I will list them here, but also know that having any dog that can warn you of an intruder is always a good thing. There are many more mixed breeds and medium to smaller dogs that would work just as good for alerting an intruder.
Bernese Mountain Dog – These dogs are calm, good natured, strong and great with kids. This dog is not very aggressive but the size and bark would deter most criminals.
Boxer Dog – These dogs are active, fun-loving, and extremely loyal. They love affection, especially from kids. They are the perfect family dogs. These dogs are also very astute to danger.
Doberman Pinscher – These dog are intelligent and easy to train. They are agile, alert, fearless and cautious around people they do not know. Make sure to raise this breed from birth with small children.
German Shepherd – This breed is very playful and loving even though they are bigger dogs. This breed loves children and would make a great family guard dog too.
Great Dane – These are very big dogs, but very gentle and safe with children. The size of the Great Dane alone, would deter a robber from breaking into your home.
The camera surveillance systems are something you can set up yourself that should be only a one-time fee for equipment and installation. If you want to put in an alarm system for your home, then finding the right cost and benefits is the key. Alarms can get really expensive, plus you have the monthly cost for monitoring. You need to find the appropriate system that fits your budget.
Let’s look at various systems and what they can provide for you.
I have a wireless security system called LiveWatch that I bought online. They had a huge sale when I was looking so I bought this for two main reasons: It claimed to be easy to set up and it also calls police through cell network not a phone line.
This system has worked well for me but the way I use it is different than most users. I use this portable alarm in my rental homes in between one tenant moving out and the other one moving in. I put this in a home that I had recently decided to sell and it was going to take about 3 months to rehab the house before listing it. I thought it would be wise to install this alarm system when the house went vacant. Because of this particularly small home, I only used 3 door security devices and one motion sensor.
It was about a month into the rehab and I got a call from the monitoring company saying the alarm went off. They dispatched the police and I rushed down to meet them. Someone threw a rock through the sliding glass door in the back of the house. The house was vacant and we kept nothing valuable inside, so the burglar got nothing. It did cost me new glass, but if I did not have my security system in place, they could have stayed and torn up the place. This alarm saved me from that criminal doing damage to my rental property when it was vacant. This type of alarm can definitely protect your family when needed.
Here are other wireless security systems you can also research for your home:
Digoo Wireless Home and Business Security
Thustar Wireless Home Security
SimpliSafe Wireless Security System
You can also look into local companies like ADT since they are nationwide.
There are many various security systems out there for you to consider when you are looking to protect your home and keep it secure. You just need to find the right one for your home and your budget. I highly recommend installing something in your home, because it can prove to be valuable in many different ways. If you have a security system, thieves are less likely to break into your home, and if someone does break into your home, you can be assured that you will be notified immediately and law enforcement will follow up. Having a security system can bring you peace of mind, knowing that your home is continually monitored and if there would ever be a home invasion, police would be notified immediately.
Make it Look Like Someone is Home
After listing so many valuable products you can purchase that are effective in protecting your home, this one strategy is free and easy to implement and believe it or not, it’s an excellent deterrent that will lower your risk of any home invasion. All you have to do any time you leave the house is simply make it look like someone is home.
The best thing to do is to connect the home up to a timer that turns lights on and off sporadically. I actually use a radio and I leave the lights on with my rental units that are vacant when I am in between tenants. I have the radio on loud and usually place it in the back of the house by the door. I also have a few lights on upstairs and a few on downstairs and I always keep the porch lights on. This has definitely worked for me keeping people from breaking into my homes.
The key here is to set your lights up with a timer or use smart plugs and their apps. You can easily make it so the home looks lived in while you are away from your house for any reason.
Travel and Vacation
I just wanted to review the topic of traveling with you because when you travel, where you stay is your home for the amount of time you are there. You need to take in to account the security and safety of your family when traveling. You are staying usually in towns and areas that you are not familiar with, so make sure you check out the area before you leave on the trip. You want to use every security feature that the door in your hotel room or house rental has. Lock the dead bolt and every other lock on the door. Make sure the sliding glass door or windows in the room are locked and secure as well.We often don’t think that a break in can happen where we stay on vacation, but there is always a risk for theft anywhere you go. Be mindful of using any of these safety strategies wherever you are staying, so you can continue to keep your family safe and your belongings from being stolen.
In this article, we wanted to inform you of helpful insights into how a burglar thinks when looking for a home to break into. This list of actions and products will arm you with the most efficient and cost effective means of protecting you and your family. Most everything on this list, you can either install or implement yourself, or do with minimal help. I have done many of these security upgrades to my home to better protect my family. We also make sure to practice all the safety precautions listed as well. You and your family will lower your risk for a home invasion if you consider these smart strategies and install the security equipment needed to stay safe.