Your home should be a safe haven for you and your family, somewhere you can relax and look forward to returning to day after day. Being burgled can shatter this image, and leave you feeling scared and exposed in your own home.
Fortunately, technological advances have made it easier than ever to deter burglars, and ensure they pass your home without a second glance. Take a look below for our top 9 tips to keep your home safe and sound.
Think like a burglar
Try putting yourself in the shoes of a burglar. Imagine what is going through their minds as they approach your home. Reenact this moment and attempt to break into your own home. What do you see that can make it easier for you to get in and out quickly and quietly? Burglars will target houses that give them privacy, are easy to enter, and are free from distractions. Once you understand this, you’ll be in a better position to keep your home safe.
Keep on top of your post
It’s worth bearing in mind that some burglars will monitor a target for weeks in advance, while others will strike if an opportunity presents itself. A mailbox loaded with several days worth of letters lets them know the house is possibly not occupied right now. Keep on top of your post, and empty it as often as possible. If you’re away, ask a trusted neighbor to take care of it for you. Avoid holding your mail entirely, as a smart burglar can use that information to determine whether the house is empty or not.
Reinforce doors and windows
If there’s one thing burglars hate, it’s difficulties. Generally, they will target homes that present as few problems as possible, such as simple locks on the doors, single pane glass, or open windows. By investing in top quality locks, doors, and windows, your house suddenly becomes too much hassle for most burglars. High-quality deadbolt locks are an excellent investment, as they’re extremely difficult to force open, and are more or less tamper-proof, ensuring they cannot easily be picked. Smart locks are even better; these app-controlled locks mean you’ll never be left wondering if you forgot to lock the door, and will alert you if someone else has entered with your code. As an extra measure, fit locks and motion sensors to your windows, and add break-proof laminate.
Invest in a modern security system
Rather than simply sounding an alarm, modern systems will also alert local authorities. Doorbell cameras can notify you whenever motion is detected, allowing you to see what’s happening as it happens. Motion sensor lighting is another extremely powerful deterrent as long as it lights up your entire property, as are CCTV cameras mounted in strategic locations.
Get a dog
A barking dog is a great deterrent, as they present an additional risk to the burglar. Not only do they bark loudly and attract attention, but they might also bite. However, unless your dog is trained or very territorial, don’t rely on them to fight off an intruder; they’re much more likely to run away, but the burglar doesn’t need to know that!
Put up signs
If owning a dog just for security reasons doesn’t appeal to you, or you can’t afford a full security system, you can always put up signs. ‘Beware of dog’ signs on the gate will make all but the most determined burglar walk on by, while fake, but convincing, CCTV cameras and security alarms will typically deter the more stubborn.
Keep your yard clear & visible
A yard filled with places to hide is an invitation for burglars, so try to keep yours as visible from the street as possible. Avoid large fences and bigger shrubs if possible. Rose bushes placed in front of first-floor windows are a good idea, keeping burglars at bay while looking attractive. A front gate is a simple tool that will stop people from walking up on a whim and trying their luck.
Use lighting timers
If you’re often away from home it’s worth setting up lighting timers. These can be set to switch on various lights and appliances at any given time, to make it appear as if your home is occupied even when it’s empty. Smart appliances make it even easier and can be controlled remotely via an app.
Take preventative measures
Prevention is always the best form of defense, so take the following measures to ensure you don’t become a target:
- Don’t announce that you’re going away on social media.
- Hide or lock up your garbage bins, either in the garage or a special garbage hut. This stops snoops from studying your schedule and seeing if you’re home.
- Keep the car in the garage if you have one, which also makes it more difficult for a burglar to know if you’re home or not.
- Keep your valuables out of view!