Even if you have taken all of the appropriate measures to secure your home from burglars, like installing motion-sensor lights, locking your doors at night, and keeping windows locked, educating yourself on how these criminals operate is very important. Burglars have been at their craft for a long time and have come up with many different ways to gain access to your home and to your valuables. Here’s a list of common entry points to your home and how to secure them.
Back & Side Entryways
All entry doors, even rear and side doors, need to be made with reinforced steel and they should be solid instead of hollow. Use extra-long screws to install exterior doors, at least two or three inches long, to be sure they are installed securely.
In addition, be sure that each exterior door is locked with a high quality dead bolt and not just the standard knob lock. Spend the extra money and choose locks and deadbolts that are designed to be difficult to pick or to bump-pick. Burglars love an easy entryway. If you make it difficult to get in, they will move on.
Most burglars work during the daytime while the homeowners are at work. This means that they need good places to hide since they won’t have the cover of night to remain undiscovered. Make sure shrubs are trimmed back so burglars aren’t shielded from neighbors or patrol cars as they try to figure a way inside.
If you invite anyone into your home—workers, contractors, landscapers—be sure to double check all doors and windows after they leave. Some burglars will provide a real service for you, but unlock a window when you kindly let them use the restroom so they can come back another time and steal your valuables. If someone is at your door and you do not know them, don’t open the door. You never know what they might be trying to accomplish.
If you don’t park your car in the garage, be sure to secure any vehicles that you park in the driveway so that thieves can’t open your car and use your garage door opener to gain entry to both the garage and your house. Keep your garage closed when you don’t need access to it, especially if you have valuable and easy-to-lift tools in plain sight.
Hiding Your Spare Keys
Your fake rock is the oldest trick in the book and your front door mat shouldn’t even be a consideration. Even if you think that you’ve come up with the perfect hiding spot for your spare key, chances are that someone will see you hiding it or retrieving it at some point and you won’t know it until it’s too late.
Instead of trying to hide a spare key outside, give one to a neighbor that you trust or a friend who lives nearby for safekeeping. If you have a doggy door, attach a spare key to the dog’s collar where it isn’t visible.
Don’t advertise all of your valuables by leaving them in plain sight. This tempts burglars to window shop and come up with a plan so that they can be faster when they break in to your home. Move your valuables out of sight or keep your windows covered if items can’t be moved.
What are criminals looking for? Along with cash, jugs of change, or any other currency that can be spent right away, they are looking for things that are portable and can be sold quickly. If you own any of these commonly stolen items, be sure they are secure and out of direct sight:
Tablets and eReaders
Cell phones and smart phones
Hunting and decorative knives
Most burglars would rather not be seen carrying anything too big or cumbersome so your big-screen TV is probably safe, however, if you make it easy enough for them to quickly swipe it and get it into a getaway vehicle they will certainly give it a shot. Rifles and shotguns are also easily sold on the street, and although they are a bit more conspicuous for a burglar on foot to get away with, if you make it too easy they will probably take the risk.
Take the Proper Precautions Against Burglars
Even if you’re using the best locks, heavy doors, and are using good common sense to keep your valuables out-of-sight and locked away, burglars are still going to try getting into your home. Give your home the added defense of a home security system that can detect when a burglar is trying to pick your locks, use a crowbar on your windows, or jimmy your patio doors open. They’ll detect broken windows and movement in the garage around your vehicles and sound an alarm that will attract police and neighbors and shoo burglars away from your home and out of your neighborhood.
To learn more about how burglars gain access to your home and how you can make it less attractive, contact SafeTouch Security Systems for a home security consultation today.