1: Blend in. Look at the surrounding homes. Do you stand out from the rest? If your home has the fanciest or most manicured lawn in the neighborhood, it tells a burglar that you might have more resources and potentially more valuables in your home than the others on your street. You’re a target. Not saying to be trashy – just pointing out the obvious.
2: Avoid tall or large shrubs around your windows and doors. Don’t make it easy for a burglar or intruder to conceal themselves while breaking in. Home privacy fencing also provides shielding between the burglar and the street, giving them more freedom of movement without being seen by others. If you have fencing like this, then you especially need outdoor motion lights within the perimeter.
3: Good exterior security lighting. Surround your home with the best outdoor motion lighting you can afford. Motion lights are better than ‘always on’ lighting due to the sudden alert of lights-on.
4: Burglars often case a neighborhood before they rob it. They will observe your home schedule, you’re coming and going routines, and also your neighbor’s schedule. Be aware of this, and look for strangers in the neighborhood who may be gathering data. Situational Awareness.
5: Look through the ‘burglar’s eyes’. See what they would see. They will see whatever you have outside in plain sight – visual clues as to the potential valuables inside. Anything that looks expensive outside will indicate that you probably have expensive stuff inside. A new car in the driveway, a swimming pool in the backyard, expensive outdoor furniture, you get the idea…
6: Avoid doors which have glass near or within reach of the doorknob. This is a home security “no-no” which creates an easy “smash and twist” to get in your home. This is one of the first things a burglar will notice when casing the neighborhood. They are looking for easy access.
7: Unlocked or open windows, even when you are away for a short time are easy access for a burglar. Even in the backyard, a burglar will look for an easy way in – which could simply be through an unlocked or partially open window. Get in the habit to lock ALL doors, even the garage – when you’re home or away. It’s not like it was many decades ago when this wasn’t so much a potential issue…
8: Window air conditioners in any of the first floor windows – be sure to secure them into the window sash or frame.
9: Window coverings. If you have nice-expensive things in your home, don’t make it easy for a burglar to look through a window and see inside. It’s especially easy to see into a home at night when the lights are on inside. Be aware of this and use window blinds, shades, etc..
10: Appear like you’re home. Use lights on timers, or at least leave a few turned on. Consider leaving on a radio. If you are on vacation or away from home at night, there’s a clever fake TV deterrent which will create an effective illusion that someone is home.
The main take-away from this list is this…
Whether or not your home appears as a target for a burglar will largely depend upon what the burglar sees from the outside. They are looking for clues, opportunities, and easy entry. Home security and your first line of defense is the “appearance” that there’s nothing special here… just move along. Put yourself in their shoes and look around your property and home from the street. Do you blend in?
By: Ken Jorgustin