While the number of burglaries has been decreasing gradually, there are still plenty of individuals out there trying to make a living on the wrong side of legality. Therefore, it’s vital to eliminate opportunity by implementing these simple measures in order to burglar-proof your home.
Hiding your valuables in the master bedroom is not a good idea since it is the first room where burglars look for things to steal. They are typically easy to access, and a quick look through dresser drawers and nightstands, under mattresses and in closets gives the thieves a nice stash to run away with. Cash, jewelry, electronics, medicines, and weapons are some of the items burglars are after in your home.
Never rely on a low quality safe to store your valuables. Consider investing in a safe that’s bolted to the floor, which is hard to break into and carry away. If you want to mislead thieves a good strategy is to install a small decoy safe to throw them off the scent of where your valuables are actually kept. Because most burglaries are fast (between 90 seconds and 12 minutes, according to the FBI), they’ll be more likely to run off with a decoy safe full of fake valuables and call it a day.
Don’t be that guy who keeps the spare key under the flowerpot. Burglars know all the hiding places, and that includes all the clever ideas you might have thought of. Instead, ask a friend or neighbor to hold your spare keys in case of emergency, or invest in a lock box that you can mount on the outside of your home.
All the points of entry to your home should be well lit. Consider also using motion sensor lights to illuminate the rear and sides of your house. The sudden bright light will draw attention and scare off any unexpected presence outside.
An extension ladder laying unsecured outside can (and will) help a thief break into your house. Don’t forget to keep garbage cans, building supplies, and tools locked up and out of view, so you don’t provide an intruder with the means to rob you.
Did you just moved to a new house? Congratulations! Now do your homework and have all the locks changed. You don’t know who the previous owners gave spare keys to (neighbors, baby sitters, pet walkers, kids, relatives, housekeeping, construction workers, in laws, yoga instructors…) and since the front door is the most common point of entry for robberies it is best to be proactive and have control over who has a copy of your key.
Don’t overlook your mailbox security: it should be always locked. Avoid placing your family name on it, and don’t let it overflow. If you are going on vacation, arrange to have your mail and newspapers picked up daily.
Landscaping is critical when it comes to securing your house. It can either prevent or encourage burglary, hence the importance of being mindful about the plants around your home. Keep dense bushes and trees trimmed and at least six feet away from your doors and windows to ensure a clear view of the perimeter. Planting thorny bushes under your windows can also deter criminal from accessing your property. Another good idea is to use gravel on your walkways so the loud crunch of footsteps can alert you of any intruders roaming around.