An alarm system is a great burglar deterrent, but it’s not the only option. If you do have an alarm system, it’s important to advertise this clearly. Utilize lawn flags and put stickers on your doors and windows. An alarm works best by keeping a burglar from even trying to break in, not by actually alerting police or neighbors when they do.
There’s an alarm system to fit nearly every budget, but some people opt simply to advertise an alarm that isn’t there. This can work, but the professional thieves might check to see if you’re bluffing. There are a number of tricks you can use to optimize your safety. Try out these tips for maximizing protection.
Think Like a Criminal
Case your home just like a criminal would and see if there are any troubling spots. Do you leave tools, ladders or other materials in the yard that can double as stepladders to get inside? Are you prone to leaving the garage door unlocked? Are there overgrown shrubs that can act as hiding spots by windows?
It’s most important to ensure the entry points to your home are secure. This includes ground-floor doors, garage doors (if connected to your home), and ground-level and basement windows. Avoid decorative front doors with glass and replace these with solid-core doors complete with a deadbolt lock. Consider coating windows with crack-resistant film.
Forget About Showboating
Don’t advertise what you have up for grabs. Keep valuables out of view from the street. When you bring home that new flat-screen TV, don’t put out the box for recycling until pick up day. Ideally, break the box down and keep the side that identifies the item hidden. This is especially important during the holidays.
Everyone likes to show off their tree or gifts in the window. However, this is actually advertising a tempting display of brand new items that some thieves won’t be able to turn down. Tuck any gifts clearly out of view, including the view from the front door. Some thieves case a home by posing as a sales person or other door-to-door professional.
Hide Things Carefully
The first place a burglar goes is the master bedroom. This is where jewelry, weapons and extra cash are almost always hidden. Instead, hide belongings where they’ll never look like a child’s closet or kitchen cupboard. Food items are almost never touched and canisters or cereal boxes can double as prime hiding locations.
Imagine what you would do if you were breaking into someone’s house. Everyone knows that keys are left under mats and sock drawers house treasures. Just like bird repellents will keep birds out of your yard, a well-thought-out burglar-proofing strategy should repel criminals. However, if you face a house that’s well-lit with trimmed shrubs, a barking dog and an alarm system advertised, you’d probably move on. That’s the conclusion potential burglars should come to when looking at your home.