How to Burglar Proof Your Home - Live Work Travel USA|Live Work Travel USA

How to Burglar Proof Your Home

pexels-rafael-classen-rcphotostockcom-11465293During the 18 years I’ve been living in the United States, I somewhat witnessed 2 burglaries into my next door neighbors’ houses. This is probably not making my current neighbors feel at ease, but I happened to be at home both times without really noticing anything until it was too late. Burglars are sneaky and sometimes really bold. A few years back 2 guys broke into my neighbor’s house at noon! Yes, in the middle of the day when there could be people at home for lunch. The driver stayed in the car, which pulled in backwards onto the driveway, engine idling, while the other guy kicked in the door and quickly brought out one valuable after the other. Then they took off in a matter of minutes. The previous break-in (different neighborhood) was around 10:30am. Again, middle of the day. After doing some research I learned that these crooks absolutely prefer  daytime over night time. Why is that?  People are more likely not to be home during the day than at night. And the last thing burglars want during their “line of work” is run into the homeowner. They rather deal with dogs, because most of them can easily be bribed with some treats to make them your best friend. Dogs are however still a very good deterring factor for break ins and makes my list of steps homeowners can take to reduce the risk of break-ins and protect their property.

Secure all entry points

Make sure all doors and windows are equipped with strong locks, and replace any weak or damaged locks immediately. Install deadbolts on all exterior doors and consider adding window bars or security film to windows to make them more difficult to break. A fairly cheap solution to reinforce the lock that you already have is to replace the door strike with a much longer plate. That makes kicking in the front door and ripping apart the wooden frame much harder for intruders.

Install a security system

A home security system is a great way to deter burglars and keep your home safe. Consider a system with motion sensors, door and window sensors, and a loud alarm to alert neighbors and deter burglars. This doesn’t need to be expensive! Nowadays you have quite a few options of not only monitored services with professional installation, but also DIY alarm kits, that you set up yourself all powered by battery and wireless installation. Simply Safe is one of these options that provides a vast array of security devices that you just peel and stick on the wall. No drilling needed!

One of the cheapest, yet most effective devices to have is a doorbell camera. Very easy to install and it keeps recording as soon as motion is detected.

Use exterior lighting

While burglars prefer daytime, they still might check out your property at night to look for any weak points. Keep your property well-lit, especially around entry points, to discourage intruders from approaching. Motion-activated lights can be a good investment, as they only turn on when someone is near, conserving energy and catching any potential intruders off guard.

Trim trees and bushes

Overgrown trees and bushes can provide cover for burglars, so make sure to keep them trimmed and well-maintained. It’ll make your HOA happy, too.

Keep valuables out of sight

Burglars often target homes with visible signs of wealth, so keep expensive items and valuables out of plain sight. Also please avoid to put packaging of valuable items such as TVs, computers, etc. out next to the trash can on the day your garbage is being collected. Spend the time cutting these down and throw it in your recycling bin. No need to spark anyone’s interest in your newest gadgets.

Be a good neighbor

Get to know your neighbors and exchange phone numbers. It’s always good to have somebody close by keeping an eye on your home and text you when there is anything suspicious going on. Also helps to keep delivered packages off the porch until you’re back. Porch pirates are everywhere and just looking for opportunities.

Consider getting a dog

Rover_ad_300A barking dog can be an excellent deterrent, especially if you’re not home. You don’t want to get a dog? Maybe consider dog boarding. You’ll earn some money while having a great deterrent for intruders. And you might even become a dog person.

Keep your home safe while you’re away

When going on vacation or leaving your home unattended for an extended period of time, make it look lived in. You won’t have to pull off a Kevin McAllister. Simply using timers to turn lights on and off at random times often does the trick. There are also many smart home products to choose from, which make it even more random and believable. It’s also a good idea to park a car on your driveway, if you have a 2nd car. Leaving an old pair of shoes on the front porch, or several, is a free option to pretend you have guests over.

The more confused or unsure a burglar is, the less likely that they will pick your home to break in. They rather pick an easier target, which in my case was the next door neighbor.

Photo by Rafael Classen

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