Burglars will always go after the easiest target. Not necessarily the biggest house on the block?but the easiest one to break into. Burglars like dark houses, and they like to get in fast. If your house is well-lit or takes more than five minutes to break into, chances are they?ll go elsewhere. If you want to make your house less inviting to burglars, here?s how to do it.
Keep the lights on. It?s a good idea to invest in security lighting. If your home or yard is kept lit at night, it?s a definite burglar deterrent. When lighting your home, it?s important not to make it blaze so brightly it bothers the neighbors?but a downlight over your garage and front doors, uplights beneath windows, and a few well-placed outdoor lamps in the yard can go a long way towards discouraging most break-ins.
Get a good home security system. The best home security systems have an alarm that automatically alerts the police. Motion detectors are useful to install in your yard?turn them on before you go to bed at night so they don?t go off when you and your family are outside during the day.
Have a thick door with a deadbolt. Your door should be in good repair. It should fit its frame well, with no chinks and no soft or rotting wood in the frame. The best lock in the world won?t keep a burglar out if your door isn?t strong as well. You should have a deadbolt?never rely on those doorknob locks. Get a peephole, preferably a wide-angle one, installed in your door. It?s much safer than using a chain?strong burglars can break those chains and push you aside to get in.
If you have a garage, this also applies to the door that leads from it to the inside of your house. Garage doors are often flimsy, with cheap locks. Make sure the door that goes into your house from your garage is just as strong as your outside-access doors, with the same strong deadbolts and peephole.
If you have sliding glass doors, you?ve probably noticed the locks are weak. Don?t depend on a stick set in the door channel. Go to your local hardware store and see what they have for strong locks for these doors.
Don?t make it obvious you?re away. When you go away on holiday, don?t close your blinds any more than you usually do. Have the post office hold all mail and packages so it doesn?t collect outside your door. Ask a friend to collect hand-delivered circulars from your doorstep. If you?re going to be gone for longer than a week, pay someone you trust to mow your lawn or shovel your driveway.
Many people install timers on the lights in their homes, and set them to go on and off at appropriate times to make it look like you?re home. There are lots of other ways to do this as well, like installing motion-sensitive lights outside of your house and putting your radio and TV on a timer so that they go on and off, as well.
Get a home security safe. If you have anything especially valuable in your house?jewelry or important documents, for example?protect them with a home security safe. These can go a long way toward protecting your peace of mind, as well as your belongings.
Don?t show off tempting items. Open your blinds and look in your windows?from the street as well as from your yard. Can you see a television, a computer, stereo equipment, or any other valuables from your windows? If so, you may be advertising to burglars without knowing it. Make sure nobody from outside can see any valuable objects in your house. Also, don?t leave anything outside in your yard that can be carried off?it makes too tempting a target for even casual thieves.
Watch your windows. Make sure your windows are strong and in good repair?including the frames. In addition, it?s a bad idea to put a window-mounted air conditioner in a window on the ground floor?these can be easy to push out. It?s a good idea to trim shrubs and trees near windows, as these can provide cover for burglars.
Careful with your keys. Don?t keep your keys on a ring with your home address anywhere on it. And don?t hide an extra key under the doormat, in that flowerpot by the door, or anywhere else outside. You may think you?ve found the perfect hiding place, but most burglars know where to look. Think about getting a key safe.
Contact your local police. Often, the police will send someone to assess your house and recommend the steps you should take to make your home safer. This is a good thing to do anytime you move into a new house, or if there have been robberies at other homes in your area recently.
Keep your house from being a tempting target. Don?t help burglars rob you by keeping your house dark at night, keeping expensive items by the window, or neglecting your windows and doors. Follow these simple tips, and your home will be much less inviting to criminals?and much safer.