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Even with burglar alarms so popular today, burglars continue to break into homes many times leaving with the owners most valued properties. There are a few precautions you can take to keep your home safe from burglars. These tips will help those with or without a burglar alarm.
As everyone knows, a dog is the best guard against burglars. Persistent barking not only alerts you to the approach of an intruder, it can often alert your neighbors. But many times when you are away from home a burglar can find a way around even the most vicious dogs. In order to keep your property safe you might need to take stronger precautions. Begin by trying to imagine that you are a burglar. Go through your home and examine it for any weak points that might make an entrance easy. Once you have done this talk to your local police department to learn what methods are being used to gain entry to homes. This will help you find weak points in your home that you might never have thought about. In some communities the police department will allow officers to come to you home and inspect for possible entry areas. They can then advise you about what you should do to fortify these areas. Next you will want to consider what you own that might attract burglars to your home. These items should be made as inconspicuous as possible. Items such as extremely valuable jewelry, coin or stamp collections and the like, might be better placed in a safe or safety deposit box at your bank. Valuable stereo equipment, computer equipment, cameras, television and television equipment might be stored in cases that close and lock to make entry more difficult for a burglar.
Since most burglars work in pairs, they will usually scope out a home before burglarizing it. When they see a car leaving the driveway or an empty garage this is like an open invitation for them to enter. Most approach the home and ring the doorbell to be sure no one is left in the house. If the door is answered they have a set line of innocent inquiries they can make before leaving as if nothing were wrong. If they get no response they will enter your home in the quickest way possible. Too many times burglars find an unlocked door or window to enter. Most people do not worry about leaving a window open or door unlocked if they are only going a short distance. But even a short trip to the grocery store will give a burglar all the time he needs to remove many valuable items from your home. If the pair have been watching you prior to the burglary, they will usually have your schedule down and feel secure enough to take their time as they go through your home. In most cases where a person has entered their home to find a burglary in progress, it is because they have returned unexpectedly for one reason or another. Besides an unlocked door or windows, some of a burglars favorite entry areas include window mounted air conditioners, cellar windows where breakage is less noticeable, patio doors that easily pop out, flimsy locks on hollow doors that will open with one kick, opened skylights and open garages with a flimsy entrance door to the house.
To burglar proof your home begin by checking all your entry doors. If the are hollow with flimsy door frames you should replace them with solid wood or steel doors and firm frames. If you have a sliding glass patio door you can purchase rods that are easily inserted between the frame and the back of the closed door. You can also drill a hole at the top, middle and bottom of a sliding glass door and buy rod locks which can be inserted to lock the door in a closed position. There are a variety of locks for all types of windows. You can use a thick dowl cut to fit between the top or side that slides open wedged into the frame. Much like sliding glass doors, many window locks can be drilled into the frames. It is also a good idea with windows to install motion alarms that will screech loudly if the window is breached. If you are in a burglar prone area, you might want to check into having bars placed over the outside of your windows. Talk with a security company about this before you make an investment since some bars simply screw on the outside of the windows and are easily removed with a screw driver.
Install double dead bolt locks on all your entry doors. One above and one below the door knob. Make sure your door knob has a lock, as well. For the best results use locks that must have a key inserted for locking and unlocking the doors. Even if a burglar does enter your home, he will only be able to leave with what he can take through a window. Install 180 degree peepholes in all of your outside doors, so you can easily check any unusual noises without opening your door. If you have shrubs around your home, trim them back so they won't make a good hiding area for burglars. As added protection install motion lights around your home. Many times these will detour a burglar by clicking on when they least expect it. Even with all this it is still a good idea to install a burglar alarm in your home. Be sure that an alarm sticker is placed on every window. As new technologies are discovered, burglars are working around the clock trying to learn how to breech it.
If possible get to know your neighbors so you can alternate keeping watch on each others property. Local police departments will aid you with setting up a Neighborhood Watch Program if you will encourage neighborly cooperation. As a group you can post signs in your neighborhood warning strangers that they are being observed. If you are planning to leave on a trip, arrange to have your home appear occupied. Have friends or relatives come by daily at different times to park their car in your driveway, get mail, put out garbage, pick up newspapers, shovel snow, water plants, feed pets, readjust the draperies and automatic light timers.
The best form of security is prevention. Many burglars need only check your garbage to see what types of equipment you have in your home. When you purchase new items such as computers, stereos, microwaves, and televisions don't just toss the box in your trash. Instead you should destroy the box and put it in a garbage bag with your other trash. It is also a good idea to etch your social security number onto as many of your valuable items as you can. This will give you a definite way of identifying your items should the burglar be caught.