The most common burglar is a young man who lives within a two miles of you. This type of burglar is the easiest to stop. They are normally not very experienced and highly skilled. However, there are still many experienced burglars that may target your home. But by taking some simple precautions, you can minimize your chances of be burglarized.
Start by simply walking around the exterior of your home and ask yourself, how would I break in. Often you will see obvious routes of entry. When I talk to people about this problem they often have that attitude that if someone wants in, they are going to get and there is nothing I can do. Nothing is further from the truth, the average burglar is scared to break glass and make a lot of noise.
Ask yourself the following question as you look around your home.
- Do you keep a hidden house key outside the house where it can be found? Burglars know where to look.
- Is your home well lighted with particular attention to exterior doors? Are your lights on timers, photocells or motion detectors?
- Can your main entrance be seen from the street? Hidden doors are often easy access points for burglars.
- Are your exterior doors at least 1-3/4 inch solid core, properly hung and are the locks correctly installed?
- Do all your exterior doors have heavy-duty dead bolts and reinforced door frames? A solid door with a weak frame is easy to kick in.
- Does the door from the attached garage leading to the house have a dead bolt and is it kept locked when you are not home?
- Can anyone gain easy access through a mail slot, dryer vent, or pet entrance? This includes small children.
- If doors have glass panels or windows, can someone break the glass reach in and unlock the door.
- Are all trees and shrubs pruned and well maintained to prevent anyone from hiding unseen? Plants with thorns or sharp points can be planted under windows that are hidden or otherwise vulnerable.
- Do any trees, down pipes, or latticework provide easy access to upper floors?
- Are any ladders or tools kept outside in your yard that will assist any potential burglar?
- Have all your sliding glass doors been protected to prevent them being lifted out from their frames?
- Are all exterior lights and security devices in good working order?
- Does your overhead garage door have a working electronic door opener?
- Does your overhead garage door have any loose, broken or missing door panels or hardware?
- Do you keep the overhead doors closed, and your car locked inside the garage?
- Do all windows have reinforced locking devices that can be secured in the open position?
- Do ground level windows have guards or grates?
- Are basement windows protected by grates or security devices?
- All irreplaceable items should be kept in high quality fire resistant safe or in off-site safety deposit box?
- Do you have a current video tape or pictures of all your valuables? Is there a copy kept off-site?
- Always be observant of your surroundings and trust your instincts. If you suspect something is wrong, it probably is.
- Become friends with your neighbors familiarize yourself with their schedules. Watching out for one another is an effective ways of preventing crime.
- Park your car in well-lit areas or in the garage.
- Investing in an alarm system, deadbolt locks, exterior lights and surveillance cameras can save you a lot of grief. A fire alarm system once saved my home.
- Don’t let people in your home that you do not know, ask for ID from repairmen.
- If you can, set up video cameras around the exterior of your home. These systems have become quite inexpensive. Just be sure they are rated for exterior use and have night vision capabilities.
- Don’t advertise that you have preps, precious metals, gun collection of other valuables. In other words don’t make yourself a target.
None of these ideas will prevent someone with enough determination from breaking in. What they will do is force them to make noise that can alert you or your neighbors. Most burglars don’t want to attract this type of attention and will go to an easier target.