Again, our philosophy on home security is simple. Make your home a more difficult target than the homes around you and the "bad guys" will go somewhere else. You are not trying to create a fortress. You are trying to make it as difficult a and unattractive as possible for them to get in.
Most thieves are not "professionals". We estimate that 90% of burglaries are committed by someone simply looking for an easy score. These people could care less if they rob your house or your neighbor's house. They will be in and out of your house in three to five minutes and want to do as little work as possible to get the best "score" possible. With this in mind, here are some simple tips for making your home safer:
1. LOCK YOUR WINDOWS AND DOORS
BRILLIANT! Yes, this sounds simple, and probably stupid, but the majority of burglars enter through unlocked windows and doors. Simply locking your windows and doors means that the thief must decide to forcibly enter the home, which increases their chance of getting caught. It also means that if you follow some of the steps below, you will stand a better chance of thieves not getting in. Yes, this means even when you are taking a quick run to the store!
2. DON'T ANNOUNCE VACATION OR EVENT PLANS
When going out of town, tell a few trusted neighbors and friends so that they can keep an eye on your home. Do not tell everyone that you know and DO NOT POST VACATION PLANS ON FACEBOOK - AND DO NOT POST PHOTOS WHILE STILL ON VACATION! Many burglaries are committed by someone you know or by someone that knows someone you know. Letting the world know that you are not home is a great way to make your home a target.
3. DON'T CONFUSE DETECTION WITH PREVENTION
For most people the concept of home security is a device that lets you know that someone is already in your home. Having an alarm, dog or anything that will make a loud noise will make your home a less attractive target. However, these devices do not physically prevent anyone from entering your home. Alarms do not scare experienced thieves and a good thief will know how to get around a dog (yes, even YOUR dog). Many people believe that having an alarm or dog means that they do not need to take the steps necessary to add physical security to their homes.
4. LIGHTS AND TREES
Intruders do not want to be seen. Making sure that the exterior of your home is well lit is an easy way to help insure that you do not become a target. Also, make sure any shrubs or trees that obstruct the view to your doors or windows are trimmed or cut. Thieves love shrubs and trees because they keep them hidden as they break-in.
If you leave home for an extended period, place your lights on timers and, if possible, leave a car in the driveway. This will give the appearance that someone is home. To be clear, a good thief is going to know that you are not home but this will help you avoid unwanted attention from those looking for an opportunity.
6. STRENGTHEN YOUR HOMES EXTERIOR
All of the tips above are designed to help stop a thief from choosing your home as a target. If the thief does choose your home, the next step is to make it as difficult as possible for him to get in. If your windows and doors are locked, the next course of action from most thieves is to kick in a door. More than 85% of break-ins are through a door and kicking in a door is the easiest way in. Much of this site is dedicated to helping you find inexpensive ways to strengthen your doors and windows. Check out simple tips for door protection and window protection that will help you keep an intruder, that has made the decision to enter your home, out.