The amount of crime in this country is just unreal. A significant portion of that is property crime, with burglary being a major contributor to that. The reality is, burglary is still a real and present danger, even in neighborhoods with relatively low crime rates.
The consequences of burglary go deeper than just the loss of property. It’s a very traumatic experience. People who have had their possessions stolen from their home lose peace of mind, trust and they lose sleep at night.
Your home is sacred. When that sanctuary is shattered, that can leave a lasting impact that may not truly disappear.
Luckily, we have some great tips on how you can avoid making yourself an easy target for burglars. Even if you don’t have a significant budget to devote to security, you can make your home unappealing to burglars quite effectively with a few simple home improvements.
Lights, cameras, action
Exterior automatic lighting at night can be a significant deterrent as well. If exterior lights are high lighting the activities of a burglar they may well decide to seek an easier target elsewhere.
Layered security can also include security cameras which can send you text messages or app notifications with a still picture attached. This could be configured to alert you if your cameras detect movement in certain detection zones around the perimeter of your home.
Even if you have the front of your home secure, that's not much good if a thief can just walk into your backyard and gain easy access to your home. They take a "path of least resistance" approach.
For instance, if you have no fence, you are inviting them to enter your backyard and check for a way in. So it's a good idea to install fencing around your yard. They will likely opt for an easier target where they can have easy access.
Landscaping can also play a role in security. Eliminate any plants around the entry points that provide cover. Most burglars will not want to be exposed during an attempted break in, having landscaping they cannot hide behind makes a difference.
Depending on where you live, certain plants may also be effective deterrents. Many species of cacti can penetrate all but the thickest and heavies clothing, which given the environment they live in means a person is unlikely to be wearing such garments.
Certain stinging trees like the Australian Gympie are covered with stinging hairs that impart extremely painful neurotoxins when touched.
Purchase an alarm system
Most people put off buying an alarm system because of cost, but which is more expensive? The alarm system or all of your valuables being gone? This one is a no-brainer. This is an investment in a device that could save your life. Thieves hear an alarm and they high-tail it out of there. You can check out some top-rated ones over at Gadgetreview.
A well planned out security system would have a door/window sensor (or two) installed on this window. Additionally it would have a motion sensor that covers the area of that window.
A glass break sensor would also be advantageous if it is within range of this window. This is basically a microphone that listens for either the loudness of glass breaking or the frequencies of glass breaking to activate the alarm.
Most modern alarm systems use a cellular chip as the primary form of communication or as a backup for your Wi-Fi. Cellular jamming devices are extremely rare and difficult to obtain, so unless you are the curator of a high-end art museum likely to be targeted by professionals, that won’t ever be an issue.
The latest alarms also have an internal battery backup so a burglar cannot simply disable the system by cutting the power.
Secure your windows, avoid window air conditioning units
Sure, we have to keep our homes cool, but those window AC units? They make it very easy for a thief to gain access to your home. All a burglar has to do is give it a firm kick and they are in.
Windows in general tend to be weak spots in any home defense strategy. If you can, find another solution for the summer heat and get rid of that window unit.
The company 3M makes security films that can be applied to glass, and you can choose between various tints and thicknesses. When correctly applied to glass, it makes the process of smashing through a window far more time-consuming. There are roll down metal security shutters or window bars for residential and commercial applications.
Lock your windows and doors
Again, this is just common sense. Keep every door and window locked. Whether you are home or not, you never know what may happen. A smart thief knows that this is something that most people overlook. Be smarter than him and don't make it this easy.
Choose your locks carefully to make sure they withstand brute force attacks and can't be cracked with lockpicks. Top quality locks such as Assa Abloy Protec2 for example are pricey but immune to just about everything short of a battering ram.
Have someone collect your mail when you're away
That big pile of mail that piles up while you are on vacation? To a burglar that says, "Jackpot!" Now that he knows you are away, he'll take his chances, as well as your stuff. You can easily pause your mail or have a trusted neighbor gather your mail for you daily.
Don't hide spare keys
Yes, you saw this on TV and so did the burglar. He also knows the key under the fake rock trick and to look in your potted plants. Just don't do this. Find a more secure hiding spot if you really need a spare hidden nearby.
These are just some tips that will turn you from an easy burglary target a harder target. Sometimes we all need a reminder. Just practice common sense and make safety a part of your daily life.
Download the Ultimate Guide to Home Security and learn:
Top 5 misconceptions about home security
How to assess vulnerabilities in your home
Why home security is about more than preventing burglaries
Cutting-edge security equipment: how home security has changed