We all want to stay safe and protect our family and our homes from any type of home invasion, and there are easy ways you can stop burglars from targeting your home. As a home owner, the work required to make your house safe is minimal. Some of the things we are going to suggest are great deterrents for a burglar. Much of the information listed below comes from the insights of actual robbers. There are many things they consider before choosing a home to break into and we can prevent them from picking our home. Make sure you implement these strategic ideas, so that you can stop burglars from targeting your home.
Make it Look Like Someone is Home
This is such a simple, yet effective way to prevent a home invasion. Always make it look like someone is home every hour of the day. If a robber is eyeing your home for an opportunity and sees that you are always home, the robber will move onto another house that appears empty. Most criminals break in to steal your valuables, so they will choose a home that is vacant. Make sure your home always looks like someone is in it, so robbers never find a window of opportunity to attempt a break in.
Do the following things to make it look like you are home.
- Leave a car parked in driveway during the day. If you both have jobs this would be tough to do but robbers have said a car in the driveway would make them think twice about targeting that home.
- Own a dog. Especially large type guard dogs like a German Shepherd will make a burglar pick another house. They don’t want to deal with a dangerous attack dog, so they will move on to pick an easier home to invade. Even though any barking dog is a good deterrent, the larger dogs are most feared by robbers.
- Leave your lights on as well as a T.V. or radio. Any home with the lights on or with the TV or even a radio on in the house will prevent a robber from breaking in, thinking someone must be home. Make it a habit to turn a few lights on in the house and keep one T.V. or radio on before you leave. I do this all the time when my rental properties are vacant in between tenants. I put a radio in the home and turn it up loud. I also leave lights on in different rooms in the home to make it look like someone is there.
Don’t Make Breaking in Easy
There are simple ways you can make your home more difficult to break into. You will need to develop new safety habits and be mindful of doing certain things before you leave your home. Some of these are common sense, but often people don’t always remember to do these things, or they don’t feel it’s necessary. Consider the following ways you can secure your home better, so that it’s much harder to break in.
- Lock all your doors and windows. Even the windows on the second floor. If you leave one open, it is a perfect entry point for a robber- and that means on any floor.
- Always keep your garage door shut. This is something people forget to do if they are in a hurry on their way out the door. You should also have it shut while you are home as well. An open garage door is easy access into your home because most often, the door going into your home is unlocked all the time.
- Do not leave a ladder in the back yard up against the house. This is a great way for a burglar to get into an open second story window with ease. In fact, don’t leave a ladder laying around in your yard at all, because a burglar can surely use it to break into an upper level window.
- Secure your door with a really good dead bolt and make sure you reinforce your door jam. You want to make it hard for a home invader to kick in the door. The number one way robbers enter a home is by going through an unlocked door or window. The number two way they entered a home is by kicking in the back door.
Setting up Alarm Systems and Cameras
Alarm systems: Anything that can signal a neighbor or the police that someone has entered your home is a good thing. I know many people can’t afford the monthly cost of an alarm system. If you can afford it, absolutely purchase one. If a burglar knows you have an alarm system, they are less likely to break into your home.
Most home robberies will happen during the day while people are working or kids are in school. The alarm system will warn you and the police as soon as the burglar enters the premise. We put an alarm in one of the houses we were renovating to sell. Because the house was vacant for a time period during renovations, I put an alarm system in there just in case- And what do you know, someone broke into it in the middle of the day. The alarm went off, so the intruders fled, so the only damage was the sliding glass window. The police were there in 10 minutes after the alarm went off, so there was a quick response time, but the thief had already left the premise.
Cameras: Cameras are an excellent and affordable deterrent. If a criminal sees any cameras, they are more likely to not break into your home.
I wish I had a camera system in my rental property to catch the criminal who broke in. I could have captured them on tape or even better, they would have seen the camera and not have smashed my sliding glass door and broken in. If you can get a camera with the amount of storage for the recordings, do it. Once you have it set up, you do not have any ongoing cost like an alarm system that has regular monitoring. Another idea is to buy ‘fake cameras’ to put in your windows to mislead robbers into thinking you have them. Place them somewhere highly visible, for the most effective way to prevent someone from breaking in. Most robbers will not go after a home that has a surveillance camera in the front and the back of the home.
These are the most effective ways to stop burglars from targeting your home. When burglars in prison were asked what most deterred them from breaking into a home, they identified the three areas we covered.
Let’s review what the actual criminals identify as deterrents that keep them from invading your home:
- Hearing a TV or radio on when they approach the home. They did not want to break in when they believed the homeowners were at home.
- Large guard dog at the home was also something that made them walk away from robbing a home.
- Security cameras were another reason that made a robber less likely to target a home.
You have it straight from actual interviews with criminals. These are the answers they gave on what they look for when robbing a home. Hopefully with this information, you can effectively secure your home and have a better chance of staying safe.