One of the basic truths about home burglars is they really don’t sit around and plan out elaborate heists with plans and blueprints and teams of experts. They may be skilled and they may be experienced, but for the most part, there are no big plans or movie-like scenarios. Basically, home burglars look for homes that are appealing to them to break into. Different burglars may have different methods for how they come across that information, but most of the time they are looking for a place that meets a handful of important criteria.
- There must be at least one weak point in the access points to the house. It might be a sliding door or a bedroom window or an unsecured basement window; any easy way into your home will drastically increase the chances of a robbery.
- The property itself must look appealing. This means that:
a. It is dark at the right times;
b. Secluded in the right areas;
c. Shows signs of taste and wealth; and
d. There are no signs of home security.
Burglars look for these kinds of conditions every day, and they will break in and take whatever they can if you allow it to happen. Things that may make your home appealing to burglars include:
- Evidence of your extended absence: Newspapers and fliers piling up while you are on vacation are a great invitation to burglars. Make sure you have a neighbour or nearby family member stop by and collect your mail and newspapers for you as well as leaving tracks in snow that may have accumulated on your driveway or walkways.
- Nice landscaping and exterior design: These signs of good taste usually mean good stuff can be found insideas well. To combat the attractiveness of a nice home, be sure to include obvious security features to dissuadethieves.
- Signs of children: While many burglar’s will not bother with entering children’s rooms, seeing their toys in the front yard will get them wondering about what video game systems the house might hold and they will definitely stop into any room that looks like it will contain easily moved electronics.
Luckily, there are things you can do to make your home unappealing to burglars, so they won’t even want to bother. The prospect of getting caught is the most unappealing thing, so anytime they see that a homeowner has taken steps to minimize the risk, they will usually just forget it and try their luck elsewhere. Burglars will always take the path of least resistance: think of them as opportunistic hunters like vultures or hyenas.
Some of the things you can try to make your home unappealing to burglars include:
- Cutting down shrubs and bushes that might be good hiding places;
- Installing better doors and windows;
- Installing security bars on your basement windows; and
- Having some quality exterior lighting installed.
At night, burglars want it nice and dark, so high quality exterior lights will keep them walking past. Motion sensor lights are also a great deterrent, and they might even surprise a burglar and have him running away. Of course, effective lighting doesn’t stop on the exterior of the house.
Great interior lighting is another way you can cause burglars to pass on by your house. Regular burglars aren’t interested in trying to get in when there is anyone home, and with good interior lights, it will always seem as though someone is home. A well-lit home is about as unattractive as it gets for a home burglar, and it will help to keep your home safe.The best thing you can do to protect your home is to make it look, convincingly, like there is always somebody home. Timed lights, radios, and televisions can be a great way to do this but make sure you do not leave them on a set schedule as a burglar who is keeping an eye on your home will quickly realize that the lights always come on at exactly 6pm and the radio starts at 6:15. Vary the schedule and order of lights and noises and you will create a convincing illusion that keeps them guessing until they give up.