Home Burglar Security Precautions
The following is a list of security precautions to deter a home burglar.
These deterrents include factors inside and around your home, what to do when callers are at the door, when answering the phone, when you suspect an intruder is inside, and when you’re going away.
Looking for your suggestions too…
INSIDE & AROUND YOUR HOME
Look at your home from the outside – through the eyes of a burglar. What is it that you see (as a burglar) that might entice a burglar to break in to your home? Lots of burglaries happen at the ‘spur of the moment’ through opportunity. No-one home. Lights are out. Unlocked door. Unlocked window. Seeing valuables in the yard, or through windows. Etc.
Outdoor motion sensor lights triggered by movement are excellent burglar deterrents at night. I have written a review on what I consider to be the best motion sensor lights.
Do not to leave your car keys in a place just inside the door or where they can be seen from outside your home through a window (e.g., on a table-stand next to the door). That’s a good way to get your car stolen…
Add a deadbolt to your front and rear doors. Most ordinary locks on a typical home door are weak. Look for bump-proof locks if you decide to replace them.
Lock your windows at night and when you are away.
Is the big screen TV visible through the window by a passerby burglar? That could be tempting.
Go out one evening after dark and look at your house from the street to discover what others can see (through the windows) when your lights are on inside.
Here’ an idea – leave a HUGE dog food-water bowl at the front door, even if you don’t have a dog. It’s a good burglar deterrent.
Or you could simply get a dog ;) Most will bark an alert – as they have better ears than we do.
CALLERS AT THE DOOR
What do you do if a stranger knocks on your door? Here’s 21 things your burglar won’t tell you.
Consider a wireless intercom for the front door.
A spy hole in the door will let you see who’s there.
A door chain is an added bit of security if you crack open the door (be sure it’s mounted well with long screws into the frame).
Outside lighting (a burglar likes the dark).
Choose not to answer the door if you are suspicious.
Ask for ID if a caller claims to be representing a company or organization. If you are uncertain about the ID, phone the organization to check the caller is genuine. Use the telephone number given in the phone book or on your utility bill, rather than the one on the ID card.
Sometimes a bogus caller will try and distract you while an accomplice robs you, often by entering through a back door. Try and make sure other entrances into your home are locked when you answer the door.
ANSWERING THE PHONE
Do not answer the phone (or leave an answering machine voice-mail outgoing message) with your name, address or telephone number.
If you do not know the caller, then avoid answering questions about yourself, no matter how innocent they sound.
If you have an answering machine or voice-mail, consider carefully before including your name or number in the message.
The message should never tell people that you are out or away. Try and give the impression that you are only temporarily unable to answer.
IF YOU SUSPECT AN INTRUDER
If you are in your home and think there is an intruder, retrieve your firearm. Call 911.
Keep a phone by your bedside, or keep your cellphone there at night.
Keep your car keys on your bedside nightstand so that you can press the alarm key on the key-fob to sound the car’s horn (a great burglar deterrent).
Consider obtaining personal protection such as a firearm. Take a training class. Practice with it.
If you come home and suspect a burglar has been inside, don’t enter the home (they may still be inside). Use a cell phone or a neighbor’s phone to call 911.
Be a good neighbor. Look out for each other. If you see anything suspicious, call the police.
Close all windows and doors whenever you leave your home. Many a burglar will gain entrance throw a partially open 1st-floor window.
Use one of those 24-hour timers when you will be away overnight to switch on-off some lights while you are away.
One clever device is a Fake-TV, which casts a realistic light at night and is a good burglar deterrent when you’re away.
If you are going out at night, draw the curtains but turn a light on so it looks like someone is at home.
If you are going away on vacation, do not to tell too many people or make it obvious, (e.g., announcing plans on social media sites), etc.
Remember to cancel papers and mail delivery. If they sit on your doorstep they tell everyone passing by that you are away.
OUTSIDE YOUR HOME
Thorny shrubs can be added to hedges or planted under windows to discourage a burglar.
Or you might consider cutting back hedges and trees around your home which makes it difficult for a burglar to conceal themselves.
Gravel and pebbles on driveways and paths will help you to hear people approaching.
A trellis is fairly fragile and if added to the top of fences, it makes them difficult to climb, or will make lots of noise when the burglar is snapping-breaking the trellis to get over – a good deterrent. Then again, there’s always barbed wire… ;)
Watch out for people acting suspiciously.
Criminals look for predictable behavior, which makes you an easier target. Try to vary the times that you come and go and the routes that you take.
Have your keys ready when you approach your home, so you don’t have to fumble in bags or pockets for them on your doorstep.
These have been just a few ideas for safety and security at home.
What are your suggestions?
again, all good points.
one, my Mother in law drilled in to us girls was this..
at least back then, it was very common for us women to always carry a purse (back pack may fill much same purpose for many now), and we always made certain we put it on a table in hall/close to exit door. this of course, was so we did not “forget our purse”..
she pointed out this was “easy pickings” for anyone who broke in, or even came by casually for some genuine purpose…Temptation was right there..
she got us all on to at the very least hiding it in the closet, under a blanket….less visible/less accessible/less enticing.
oh…same thing for keys, garage door openers…those handy / dandy key holders which go by the door make things awful easy pickings..
Had a neighbor, they broke in through a back window, grabbed his keys from the bowl in the hall, stole the vehicle in the garage / also they had kindly included (in bowl key ring), key to the safe / lock box…
HIDE those keys
“Thorny shrubs can be added to hedges or planted under windows to discourage intruders.”
Plant those around your fence too. Make it harder to climb over.
Along one side of my fence I have Prickly Pear Cactus growing, originally planted there for the fruit and the edible pads, but quite the fence hopper deterrent. Another side has rose bushes with wicked thorns.
I have blackberry bushes around the front lawn. They grow about 5 ft tall ( I keep them trimmed to that) and about 3-4 ft thick. Nothing is going to get through that so people are forced to come up the driveway where they can be seen
“Gravel and pebbles on driveways and paths will help you to hear people approaching.”
I collect my empty shell casing after target practice and dump ’em in the gravel. Makes a pleasant noise when walked on, and gives “visitors” a better understanding of who lives here.
We have motion detector lights on three sides of the house so you can see what direction they are coming from by the succession of the lights coming on (most cases it is just the possum that lives under the shed coming out for his nightly foraging). At least we know they work.
I’ve screwed in roof truss tie plates (wrong side out) onto my fence posts to keep chicken predators from climbing up the posts. These would be ideal for the top of wooden fences so when someone grabbed the top of the fence they’d get a hand full if spikes.
3M MAKES WINDOW WINDOW FILM GUARD THAT IS EFFECTIVE AGAINST BREAK-INS….OFTEN USED ON GOV. BLDGS. AND JEWELRY STORES…ABOUT $2000/AVG. HOME…..
Just inside the door I have a $20 bill sitting on a cabinet top. The first thing I look at when I walk in. Obviously anyone breaking in would find it and take it so I would know this before getting too far inside.
When we took back our rural home from a renter we had rented it to for a couple of years I had the distinct sense that our locked mail box was being opened before we got to it. On a whim I put a $5 bill where it could only be seen if the box was unlocked. Later that day it was gone. I changed the lock the next day. I also called USPS to report the problem and never got a response from them.
If you live down a private road, get a gate! Before we got ours, we used to have “sightseers” who would drive down, looking around, and drive off.
We also got a lot of people who would come to the door for no apparent reason. Being in a relatively isolated location, it’s really dangerous to open the door to unexpected guests! Our gate is opened with a code, so deliveries can still be made, as well as access for family who have their own code. Each code is recorded, so we are aware who used the gate last. If you can’t afford this kind of gate, at least get a pipe gate with a padlock.
Just like a restraining order, those little “No Trespassing” signs don’t deter. Having a fence, at least along the road is essential, too.
If you’re at home and outside working or playing with your kids, it’s unlikely you’ll lock the doors behind you. Keep in mind that distraction!
If someone approaches you when you’re outside, and you see them coming, it’s OKAY to walk into the house (or your car) and lock the door. You DON’T have to feel obligated to stand there and wait to see what they want, just because they call out hello. This includes your friendly neighbor next door. I say this especially if you’re a woman outside alone and/or someone who doesn’t carry concealed. If you can’t get inside a secured location before being confronted, you can easily step far enough away and say, “Stand back!”. Who cares if the person thinks you’re strange? You may just save your life. Be especially vigilant when in a parking lot. Be Loud when you say, “Stand back!” Your personal space is at least 10 feet around you.
I cannot stress ENOUGH, what Tiny posted about your personal space.
There is NO LAW that says you have to answer your door, to someone you do not know. No where in the United States, is it illegal to NOT answer your door to a stranger, on your doorstep.
Also, LOCK YOUR DOORS all the time. Keep them locked! Make the burglars or home invaders make some noise. That TIME, is your friend.
According to the Uniform Crime Report, published by the FBI annually, 90% of all residential burglaries, occur, between the hours of 0800-1500, or, 8:00 a.m. through 3:00p.m. (when the kids are in school,residents are distracted and forget to lock their doors. Same report states that 95% of all residential burglaries, entry is made through an unlocked window or door. WHY, do we make it easy for these lazy lowlifes to rip us off? At least make them work for their loot. It’s your home, safeguard it. Don’t assume you live in a “safe place”, sorry folks, NO PLACE is “safe”. That is merely an illusion. want to find out how “safe” your area is? Listen to the law enforcement dispatch via scanners or via online scanners(free). Learn what is going on around you, you will be shocked. We have alarm systems and four legged alarm system, you might get past one, but you will not get past the other, then, you get to deal with the very disagreeable residents who do not take kindly to uninvited people. Keep pepper spray or better yet, buy a canister of bear spray, keep it handy if you are afraid of firearms, or want to go less-than-lethal first. If you “must” answer the door, do so with your spray IN HAND. “Stun guns” require contact with a suspect, to “work”, and you must keep the contacts ON the suspect while holding down the discharge button. Rather hard to do, which is how the Taser came into being, and even that doesn’t work all the time.
Remember, IF, you are home alone, and particularly a female, never assume that all the intruder/s want is something to pawn, they may decide to have their idea of a “little fun”, which will include your involuntary participation. Not trying to be a fear monger, but, it IS a harsh reality of the thug world. I only say this after seeing far too many victims from my(now past) law enforcement career. be smart, never assume “anything”. Plan for the worst case scenario, pray for the best outcome. Hope this helps someone.
Thank you for your comments, TPS.
We have family in law enforcement and they always stress being aware of one’s surroundings and those who are coming and going.
I’ve personally known those who have been attacked while walking to their car. I’ve also know those who have been targeted for kidnapping.
I CAN’T STRESS ENOUGH how important it is to look and listen. LOOK and LISTEN wherever you go.
It may save your and/or your children’s lives.
I have a friend who lives in an ‘upscale’ area. She leaves her garage door open all day.
Almost all ‘door chains’ are garbage. If you can find one, Abus makes pretty good ones. Or you can make your own with parts from Home Despot. Eye bolt for door (Eye cut off just enough to allow insertion of chain. Weld a nut onto a washer if you want, but these are not realy meant for security when you are away), short chain, and long screw eye for door jamb. Not as pretty, even if painted to match the door, but can be had pretty cheaply.
Great article, but you forgot to mention security cameras around the house. You can find decent night vision systems with DVRs, remotely accessible from the internet below $500 that can be installed with a little DYI. Think about adding a backup battery to the system in case power gets shut off (more DYI). If you have no money, then buy cheap fake outdoor cameras. They will do 99% of the job.
Same thing with an alarm system. Any basic system is fine. Do not forget to put one motion sensor upstairs. Most people only cover downstairs and burglars climb to upper floors where usually valuables are located. If real pros want to burglarize you, there is almost no system that they cannot defeat. If you have no money, buy a couple of fake ADT sticker and put them on your doors. Add fake motion sensors also (Burglars are not totally that stupid). They will provide give you 99% of deterrent effect at a fraction of the cost.
When away, another a good option is a product called fake TV, it simulated a TV like somebody is home. You should add to this article also timers on lamps that turn your lights on and off at night. If away, ask your neighbor to pick up your mail and also, if possible to park his car in your driveway from time to time.
Last but not least, replace hinge screw at your doors with better, longer, stronger ones. Best, replace door with a more secure one. Most doors cant stand a couple good kicks.
Best to all
On the subject of security cameras.We purchased a very inexpensive security camera at our local Harbor Freight tool store, this camera was approx.$30.00. It has decent night vision,is color during the daylight hours and even has audio built into the camera, The camera comes prewired with 80’of cable and is plug and play , we plugged it into the RCA jack on our TV and switched to the aux channel it is plugged into and we can see the entire front of our property from the TV , with the remote you can toggle from reg TV to your outside camera(s). When we go to bed, we leave the TV on and switch to the camera. If we hear noises or a vehicle we can see and hear what’s going on without going outside or opening the door. We were so pleased with how they worked, we bought 3 more for other family members and helped them install.
what brand / model is this? it sounds darn good, even though cheap
The sticker says “Bunker Hill” which may just be the name used by Harbor Freight, also forgot to mention the Chamberlin wireless motion sensor alert (available through Amazon). Very high quality , you get a small base unit and 1 sensor and then can add additional sensors as needed to cover more zones outside, up to 6 if I recall. I have 1 on our driveway and 1behind the barn, they are discreet and the entire system will function just on batteries ( the base has a cord and battery backup) . Also would be a great perimeter alarm in a bug out situation to let you know someone’s approaching and what direction. Don’t waste your money on the cheapies, this is the real deal and you won’t be disappointed in the quality or reliability. Again, try Amazon and read the reviews. Viper1 out.