Burglar-Proofing Your Home
Unless you turn your home into Fort Knox, opportunities
will always exist for burglaries and break-ins. No home is
absolutely burglar-proof, or even fire-proof. But there
are measures you can take to protect your family and your
Whether you are going on an extended vacation or simply
leaving your home unattended for a couple of hours, do so
with peace of mind by taking the following precautions.
In about the time it takes to read this sentence, someone
can burglarize your home. Be aware that break-ins can
happen anywhere, anytime. Don't wait until it happens to
you or your next door neighbour.
Install an alarm system
Research has shown that homes with some form of alarm
system are 15 times less likely to be broken into. In
addition, homeowners with alarm systems can often get
security-related discounts on their home insurance
It is important to understand what these systems can and
can't do. They work best when other precautions to prevent
break-ins are taken, as even the most sophisticated
electronic system can give false alarms, by by-passed by
an expert or be worthless if they aren't activated.
Check out a number of systems to determine which is
best-suited for your home -one that protects boundaries,
one that detects motion, one that is monitored centrally
or hooked up to a police switchboard, or one that offers a
combination of these features. Most homeowners should aim
for a system that doesn't necessarily catch the burglar in
the act, but helps prevent major losses and damage and is
easy to maintain.
Think like a burglar
Occupied homes are rarely ransacked. Burglars often stake
out homes before they break in and avoid homes that look
occupied all the time, prominently display alarm system
decals or where occupants come and go at unpredictable
Your average burglar will target homes with windows and
doors that are easy to break or enter, especially if they
are camouflaged by overgrown shrubbery, high hedges, other
landscaping or low lighting. Most will try to ensure no
one is home before they enter. The true professional is
the best equipped, least common and tends to hit only very
expensive homes in affluent areas. This burglar is a pro
at disabling alarm systems and breaking in whether the
home is occupied or not. Fast and efficient, this thief
does minimum damage and concentrates on lightweight
objects of value.
Take these precautions:
Make your home look occupied at all times. Put lights, a
radio and the television on timers.
If you are away for more than a day, arrange for someone
to pick up your mail, clean the snow or cut the lawn. Ask
a friend or neighbour to park their car in your driveway.
When you leave for an extended period, have someone re-set
the times in your home periodically so that they activate
at different times.
If you use a telephone answering machine or service, never
reveal your name, whereabouts or any other personal
information on the recorded message. Say simply that you
can't come to the phone right now.
Trim any shrubs or bushes near windows and doors. These
may increase your privacy, but they make ideal hiding
places for burglars. se outdoor sensor lights to
illuminate the property and any possible hiding places.
Secure all exterior doors and windows. A burglar can kick
in a weak door. Locks should be good quality deadbolts.
All windows should have some form of anti-slide lock,
especially if they are located near ground level.
Do not leave any ladders outside and ensure that any
stored in the garage cannot be accessed by burglars. Keep
your garage door locked.
Put some signs on windows and doors warning of a guard
dog, high voltage, alarm system, no large amounts of cash
or valuables inside. These warnings don't have to be true.
The idea is to get the burglar to reconsider the risk.
Remove any large, decorative outdoor signs with your
family name on them. These invite burglars to look up your
telephone number and see if you are home.
Keep large amounts of cash and jewelry in a safety deposit
box at a bank. Don't hide these in your home, thinking a
burglar will never guess the spot. Never underestimate a
Make your valuables harder for thieves to sell and easier
for police to find by engraving all your valuables with
some sort of code or identification.