When I attend a home that is recently been burgled I often find a homeowner experiencing many different emotions – none of them pleasant ones. Anger, trepidation, fear of being in their own home. The most common question I get is do you think they will come back and how could I have prevented this? The best way to prevent a burglary is to ensure that your home does not look either a worthwhile target or an easy target. Here’s how.
Don’t let your kids leave bikes unchained in the front yard. Not only are they easy to steal, it tells a thief who might be driving past your house casing it that you aren’t really concerned with the security of your belongings. If expensive looking bikes are left unlocked front yard your house probably contains expensive items that are not well secured.
Connect some electrical items such as lights and stereos up to timers to come on during the day whilst you will are away. Yes, you will use a little bit more electricity but a burglar who only target empty homes during the day will be reluctant to break into a home that appears to be presently occupied. Sure… They can ring the bell to check if someone is actually home that by doing this they risk showing their face to someone in an area where they are looking to burgle a home so most will avoid this if possible.
Whilst a motion sensor home alarm system is well within the reach of most households I can appreciate some people would prefer to go with this simple deterrent value of an official looking ”this house is protected by a an alarm system” sign… regardless that one is not in fact connected.
This is going to sound a bit like common sense but don’t leave a door key under the mat, but the front or back door mat. That’s the first place any thief will look and then under the nearby pot plants. If you must leave a spare key out… It should be kept as far away as possible from the door to your home itself and certainly not in a place where someone can see you retrieving it emergency keys are best left with a trusted friend or neighbour.
Remember that they beautiful high hedge or paling fence which provides you with so much wonderful privacy also provides thieves with the privacy to take their time breaking into your home. A high fence is not an addition to your security measures – it’s an added security problem.
Be alert to what is going on in your neighbourhood. Get to know your neighbours. The vigilant neighbourhood creates a scenario where intruders are recognised as being strangers to the area. A neighbour who does not know you might think the nice looking guy walking up and down your driveway is you as opposed to the thief emptying your house that he really is.
If you are going away, ensure someone collects your mail, mows your lawn, you cancel your newspaper subscription. If possible get someone to house it whilst you’re away, certainly set your timers to that your house is not constantly dark and perhaps ask a neighbour to park the car in your driveway to make it look occupied especially during peak holiday season thieves case streets looking for homes with the owners appear to be away.
Secure your home. Deadlocks front and rear, locks on the windows, consider a home alarm system or a surveillance camera system… Neither are exceptionally expensive any more. If you’ve just moved into a new home you need to change all the barrels on the deadlocks.
Use your common sense, secure your home and belongings and may we only ever meet you when we coming to secure your property before the thinkable happens.