So you have a high-tech security system, a shotgun and a big, foaming-at-the-mouth Rottweiler, but that doesn’t mean you actually want a burglar to come around. Your hope is that you will never have to use any of those things to protect yourself and that you can simply enjoy your larger-than-average lap dog. The best way to protect yourself is to be proactive, to do everything you can to keep your home and your family safe, and to keep burglars from taking a second look at your home as a possible target. Below are some preventative measures that can reduce your chances of being the victim of a violent crime in the first place and answer the question of how to keep burglars away.
Be Smart When You Aren’t Home
Make your house looks like you’re in it. Burglars don’t want to be surprised, and they don’t want to run into you even more than you don’t want to run into them. They wait to strike at times when you are not home. Anything from a night out to a two-week vacation provides the perfect opportunity for a crime without confrontation.
Avoid Signs That You’re on Vacation
If your house looks vacant, the shades are down and the lights are off, criminals will think you probably aren’t there. If you go on vacation and let your newspapers pile up in your driveway or the mail in your mailbox is spilling out, the logical conclusion is that the homeowners must be on vacation. You have invited those lovely thieves in for a shopping spree with your treasured possessions as their prizes.
Things You Can Do
So what can you do to make an unoccupied home look like it is occupied? The simplest thing to do is to leave a light on. Even better, set up some timers so the lights come on and off, just as they would if you were home. Don’t bother closing the shades, because the lights are an indicator that the home is occupied, so the criminals won’t bother looking in. It may be expensive to leave a TV on for a weeklong vacation, but a radio will also do the trick.
Use Lights and TV
Light it up! As previously mentioned, thieves don’t want to be seen, by you or by anyone, and 90 percent of intruders will try to break in when there is the least amount of light possible. So light up the outside of your house, too, not only while you’re away but all the time. Motion sensors with high-voltage lighting are especially effective at preventing burglaries because they eliminate the cloak of darkness and expose criminal activity for all to see. And the brighter the light the better.
Lock Your Windows and Doors
Lock up! Lock all your doors every time you leave, even if it is for a quick trip or walk. It sounds like a no-brainer, but in about half of all burglaries, the criminals enter through an open or unlocked door or window. Burglars are looking for an easy crime of opportunity. It all plays back to their desire not too be seen. It’s much easier to enter through an unlocked front door than to have to spend the time forcibly entering a property.
Advertise Your Security System
If burglars know you have a security system, they will often skip your house. They don’t want to draw attention to themselves. They understand how security systems work and don’t want to trip an alarm and have police heading their way. The best way to let them know about your system is to advertise the fact that your house is protected by putting up a sign to that effect. That’s one more obstacle for them to deal with, and chances are they’ll pass your house by. While there’s nothing that will prove 100 percent effective against theft, these tips will go a long way toward protecting your family, your possessions and your home from burglars.