It’s a little deceptive to say that you can burglar proof your home. The truth is there’s really no such thing as a burglar-proof home. But you can take precautions to help ease your mind and make your home less inviting to a potential burglar.
10 Steps to Burglar-Proof Your Home
- 1. Lock your doors and windows at all times. Most burglars attempt to enter a home through the front door or through ground floor windows. Leaving doors and windows unlocked is like putting out the welcome mat for intruders.
- 2. Never leave a spare key hidden outside your home. Leave your spare key with a trusted neighbor instead of hiding it under the doormat – that’s the first place a burglar is going to look.
- 3. Secure all tools and ladders. Burglars can use a ladder to climb up to second-floor windows that are less likely to be monitored by a security system and more likely to be open or unlocked. Garden tools can be used to break windows. Make sure you store all of your tools and ladders somewhere secure, like your locked garage. Burglar-proof your home by also having a burglar-proof garage!
- 4. Install a home security system. Burglars want to get into a home quickly, without drawing attention. An alarm system is an excellent way to burglar-proof your home. Most burglars aren’t willing to risk getting caught; they’ll move on to a house without a security system.
- 5. Get to know your neighbors. Your neighbors are the ultimate security system. A trusted neighbor can keep an eye on your home if you’re gone, keep a spare key to your home, and pick up your mail and newspapers if you’re out of town. Starting a neighborhood watch can be a great way to meet the people in your neighborhood and improve security where you live.
- 6. Don’t put your expensive possessions on display. Burglars usually do a little window shopping before they choose to break into a home, so try to keep your high-dollar items out of sight. And don’t forget the packaging: advertising that you just bought a new plasma-screen TV isn’t a great idea. If you purchase expensive electronics equipment, break down the boxes and put them in the trash can or take them to a nearby dumpster.
- 7. Buy a safe. Don’t leave cash, jewelry, and other valuables in plain sight – and don’t hide them in strange places, like the cookie jar or the freezer. Most burglars will turn the house upside down looking for valuables that they can grab quickly. A sturdy safe isn’t easy to move, and a burglar is less likely to spend time trying to break into it.
- 8. Take photos of your stuff. It’s always a good idea to have a record of your possessions. And if your home is ever broken into, pictures can be helpful when you’re trying to determine what is missing. For extra security, you should etch your name and driver’s license number (but never your Social Security number) onto the back of expensive electronics equipment – your items will be easier to identify and harder for a burglar to pawn.
- 9. Don’t put your name on your house or mailbox. It makes a burglar’s job that much easier. He’s got your address, and now he knows your last name. All he has to do is call information and get your phone number. He can call ahead to see if you’re home before breaking in and cleaning you out.
10. Get a dog. Dogs are great companions: they’re affectionate, playful, and loyal – and they bark. You don’t have to get a huge dog, either. A burglar will usually be scared away by any barking dog, whether it’s a Chihuahua or a German Shepherd.
So, though there may be no entirely sure-fire way to burglar-proof your home, there are plenty of steps you can take to make your home pretty darn Unattractive to burglars. Take these steps, and burglars will likely move on to easier pickin’s, leaving your home and belongings safe and secure.