When you’re ready to leave your home to head out on a holiday it’s normal to be worried by the threat of home burglary and the subsequent emotional and financial impact of a break-in. That worry can be mitigated by taking appropriate steps to deter burglars while you’re gone, but what steps work and what doesn’t?
Should you leave your curtains open or closed? Put timers on the lights? Leave a radio on? With some common-sense steps and clever diversions, you can make your home less likely to be targeted by burglars.
- Lock windows and doors – This may seem obvious but, surprisingly, more than 40% of break-ins occur without the use of force. Use deadbolts, lock the windows shut and place a rod at the base of sliding doors to prevent their opening.
- Get a dog – As long as you’re not gone for too long, and your dog can handle it, leave a dog at home. Otherwise, get a motion sensor that triggers a dog barking from within your house.
- Use smart LED lighting – Beside saving you money on your bills, smart LED light bulbs can be remotely turned on and off via smartphone, tablet or computer wherever you are as long as you have an internet connection. You can also just program when you want them on and off.
- Use your friendly neighbours – Get a neighbour to regularly check that newspapers and postmail are not left hanging out of your letterbox. Do the same for them when they go away and you should have a partner in creating the illusion that you’re home.
- Motion sensing outdoor lighting – A burglar isn’t likely to break in while in the spotlight, assuming you have neighbours. Even if you live in a remote place, motion sensing lights can provide enough light for a security camera to get a good view.
- Outdoor security cameras – Along with your outdoor lighting either on timers or motion sensitive, consider installing a security camera system at appropriate parts of your property.
- Trusted neighbours – Again about the neighbours. If you have friendly neighbours who you would trust with your key, have them open your curtains or blinds in the morning when they pick up your mail, and close them in the evening.
- Place security signs in yard – Placing security signs around your yard can scare of potential criminals as long as it’s believable, even if you don’t really have such a system. You can purchase such signs or simply leave a dog dish with the name “Killer” on the step. Combine the “Killer” bowl with a motion sensitive dog barking recording for best results.
- Don’t show off – When you get a new flatscreen or high end bicycle, don’t leave them laying out in plain sight as burglars tend to scope out an area before they act, and you don’t need to make your home a potential target by showboating.
- Leave car in driveway – If you normally have a car in your driveway when home, don’t leave the driveway empty for days. Again with the trusted neighbour, you could leave them the keys and have them move the car a bit each day. Doing the same for your own neighbours is probably the best way to develop such a relationship. Action and attention by good and caring neighbours is possibly the number 1 way to deter and prevent burglaries.
Aside from implementing adequate deterrents, consider that if someone really wants to break into your house, they will, so make sure you have adequate insurance and are set up to catch them in the act.