Home burglary is occurring almost constantly throughout the United States. I’ve read a statistic that home burglary happens here about every 15 seconds.
Who commits home burglary, and why?
Apparently most are committed by young males under 25 years of age looking for small items that are expensive, and can easily be converted to cash. Home burglars are looking for cash (duh…), jewelry, laptop computers (and other small electronic devices), watches, guns, etc…
Most burglars prefer a home with easy entrance through an open door or window (can’t get much easier than that). A home burglar will use ordinary tools such as a screwdriver, small pry bar, small hammer, and/or pliers to gain access.
Home burglaries are not random. Burglars will select a home via a selection process…
– A home that is unoccupied
– A home with the easiest access
– A home with the greatest amount of cover
– A home with the best escape routes
Here are seven ways to help prevent home burglary:
Doors & Locks
Solid core metal doors.
Quality heavy duty dead bolt.
Heavy duty strike plates with 3″ screws into door frame.
Blocking devices for doors.
Blocking devices for sliding glass patio doors.
Master Lock Door Security Bar
Patio Door Security Bar
An open window, (especially if visible from the street), may become the sole reason that a burglar chooses your home. So, keep your windows latched & locked while you’re away! Sounds simple enough, but during the summer – LOTS of people leave their windows open without thinking while they’re away at work, errands, etc..
Use alarm decals or other generic crime prevention decals on the windows – especially ground level accessible windows – and even more importantly on sliding glass doors (which are generically easy to break in due to cheap locking mechanisms).
It’s a good idea to get to know your immediate neighbors to your left, right, behind, and across the street. Even if you live rural and your nearest neighbor is down the road – get to know them for the sake of mutual security and neighborhood watch.
You all know your own neighborhood, and the cars that belong there (and the people themselves). If something is out of the ordinary, take notice. Transients walking the neighborhood is a ‘red flag’ for example. If while at night you notice a neighbor’s motion light come one, then take a look out the window…
If you have established trust with a neighbor, you might consider further burglar deterrent actions, such as letting a neighbor know when you’re going on vacation and parking one of their vehicles in your driveway when you’re away. Picking up the mail, things like that…
Having light’s that are ‘on’ inside the home will indicate that someone’s there.
Use light timers when you’re away during the night.
Fake TV (reviewed here).
Install an outdoor motion light for effective burglar deterrence. Not only is it logical to install one at your driveway and front door area, but it’s equally important to install an outdoor motion light at the rear of your home.
Review of the ‘best’ outdoor motion light
Photo-cells to turn on/off lights automatically, dusk-to-dawn (e.g. porch lights).
Dusk-to-Dawn CFL Bulb
An alarm system will definitely deter a home burglar who will move on to an easier access home. And the thing that enables the deterrence is not the alarm itself, but the lawn sign and the window decals!
Alarm Lawn Signs
Installing a ‘real’ alarm system is obviously beneficial – should the burglar actually gain entrance to your home. There are many to choose from – lots of ‘do it yourself’ choices. However to have it done professionally may be the better choice for many…
A Home Safe
Assuming a burglar does get into your home while you’re away, by having taken the simple precaution of keeping a ‘home safe’ will minimize your potential loss of valuables such as cash, jewelry, a handgun, etc..).
Choose a home safe that is also fire rated. It is imperative that the safe be secured to the home’s stud framing in some way (e.g. lag bolts). A Safe will typically have recessed dimples in the bottom or the back to facilitate drilling through and securing to a floor or wall.
Install it away from the master bedroom or closet (one of the first places a burglar will look).
There are LOTS more ways to deter or prevent home burglary, but these were just a few examples of actions you can take to better secure your home from the common thief.
If you have further ideas, let’s hear them…