4 Ways To Protect Your Home From Being Targeted By A Burglar
A home break in occurs about once every fifteen seconds in the US. This is particularly unsettling for homeowners who spend long days at work, who work during the overnight hours or who travel frequently for work.
While this startlingly high number shows that anyone can become a victim, there are things that a homeowner can do to reduce their chances of being a target. Contrary to what some people believe, all criminals aren’t low brow thugs who strike at random. Experienced burglars take the time to case neighborhoods in order to identify the homes that have the best possible return to go along with the lowest risk of being caught.
If one home in a particular neighborhood appears to carry a very high risk, a would be burglar will likely pass it by for an easier target. This holds true even if that home appears to have a potentially good haul.
Improve Outdoor Lighting
While some burglars will strike at any time, most prefer to work comfortably under the cover of night. Complete darkness around points of entry (garages, doorways and windows) allows a criminal to take their time and gain access to a home quietly, making for a very attractive opportunity. Installing light fixtures with motion sensors around front and back doors and garage doors is an excellent way to keep potential thieves from targeting a home.
Clean up Landscaping
Large trees and hedgerows offer a potential burglar the same comfort level as a dark entryway does. They allow that criminal to work at their own pace without fear of being seen from the street or sidewalk.
Trimming up overgrown trees and bushes to create a clear line of sight from the roadway is a great way to discourage a thief. If it is impossible to gain entry into a home without being seen by anyone who walks, rides or drives by a thief will very likely keep looking for a more suitable target.
Signs of Indoor Activity
Most burglars would rather not risk an encounter with a homeowner. If it appears that someone might be home, most crooks will move along to a house that appears unoccupied.
Having a TV or stereo set up to a timer that comes on at a specific time will create the illusion that someone is in the home which makes it a far less attractive option. Interior lights can also be used with timers to help keep the bad guys at bay. Table lamps plugged into timers in different rooms, set at different intervals can make it seem like family members are inside, going about their daily routine. This is a simple and very affordable way to direct a potential thief toward another target.
The indoor activity doesn’t even have to be human in order to be effective – most criminals would prefer to avoid an encounter with a dog as well. Any signs of a dog in the home (a “beware of dog” sign, food and water bowls outside, barking, etc.) can work to dampen a criminal’s interest in a home.
Home Alarm System
While all of the examples above can be very effective – the single best way to improve peace of mind is with a quality home alarm system. A sign on the lawn or decal in the window advertising the presence of an alarm system can be enough to discourage the most brazen thief.
A security system also provides a direct link to the police. Even if no one is home to pick up the phone, the company monitoring the system can see a breach and dispatch the authorities. Most experienced criminals are well aware of this and aren’t willing to take the risk of serving time in prison if caught.
In the unlikely event that a criminal does decide to continue on with their mission in spite of the advertised presence of a security system, the alarm may still stop them in their tracks. A quality security system will sound a loud alarm at any indication of a breach (broken window, kicked in door, motion inside the home). This alarm attracts plenty of attention from anyone in the home, any neighbors who are close by and anyone else who happens to be in the vicinity. No criminal wants to be caught in the act, so this is often enough to force them to flee before they’ve had a chance to get their hands on any valuables.
It is impossible to completely eliminate the risk of a break in, but installing a quality home security system can certainly reduce risk and dramatically reduce the potential for loss. A good home alarm can provide protection for a home, family, heirlooms and valuables 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. This is true whether the owner of the property is at home or away which provides the homeowner with the ultimate peace of mind.