Prevent Burglaries

By just doing a few things around the house, you can greatly reduce your chances of being the victim of a home burglary. You might be surprised to learn just how easy it is to stop burglars from getting into your home. Sometimes, people have resigned themselves to the thought that if a criminal wants to get in, there is not much they can do to stop it. Fortunately, that is not the case.

Burglaries See Opportunities
By installing just a few simple and inexpensive upgrades and taking a few precautions, you can greatly reduce your family’s chances of being victimized. Most burglars are looking for the fastest and easiest target possible. Burglars typically target homes they believe to be temporarily unoccupied to avoid being confronted by a homeowner with a gun.

Criminals drive, bike, or walk through neighborhoods, usually during daylight hours, looking for homes that appear vulnerable and vacant. They look for lights on during the day or an accumulation of mail or newspapers that may indicate homeowners are away.

While exterior lighting is an excellent crime deterrent at night, do not allow outside lights to be on during the day as it sends the wrong message to criminals that you are away. Put lights on timers or solar switches to ensure lights are off during the day. Do not allow newspapers and fliers to gather in the driveway or near the front door. If on vacation, consider putting a hold on your mail or ask a trusted family member or friend to hold your mail and packages until your return. Only tell people who absolutely need to know that you are going away.

Burglars Try to Fit in & Act Normal
Most burglars start at the same place, the front door. They do this for several reasons. Primarily, because they need to knock to ensure no 1 is home. They can spend some time there without arousing suspicion. They can peer through glass and determine if the home has a dog or an alarm system (2 things burglars dislike)

Front Door
Many front doors open inward, and unfortunately, that makes them very easy to kick in. The burglar ensures no neighbors are looking and then hits the door with his foot or shoulder to open it. Most of these doors, even those with deadbolt locks, are forced open easily. How? It is not typically the door or the deadbolt that is weak, but the door jamb itself. The little strike plate in the door jamb (the part the deadbolt slides into) is frequently held in place by small screws. When force is exerted on the door, the soft wood of the jamb splits easily and the door opens.

Prevent Front Door Break Ins
The burglar enters, closing the door behind him, leaving no outside clues. How can you stop that? It is actually fairly easy. Replace that little strike plate with a security strike plate with long screws available at many hardware stores or online. Obscure all clear glass at or near the front door so that the burglar cannot see inside. The less he can see, the more uncomfortable he will be and the more likely he will leave without attempting a burglary. Signs near the front door indicating a monitored alarm system or “Beware of Dog” are also good deterrents. Even if you don’t have a dog, a big empty dog bowl near the front door can stop a burglar in his tracks. Think like a burglar. Why would a burglar want to risk encountering a home with a big dog when there are so many homes without dogs?

Garage Doors
Some people will leave a garage door partially open for pets or ventilation. Burglars driving by are attracted to a partially open garage door and will roll under the door to access the garage. Once inside your garage, they can use tools to claw through the dry- wall into your home, all while being completely undetected by neighbors. If your home has attic stairs in the garage, they can use them to get into our attic and then walk across your trusses and drop down through your ceiling into your home.

Side Doors With Windows

Side doors with windows are also attractive to burglars. Most side entry doors are somewhat secluded and the glass is easy to break. A burglar’s objective is not to crawl through the broken glass, but rather to reach through and unlock the door. You can stop this by installing a door without a window, or adding security screening or using a double cylinder deadbolt lock (if code allows).

Install Window Locks
To prevent burglars from breaking in through a window, supplemental locks can be applied to the inside frames. After a burglar breaks a window and unlocks the factory locks, these little locks will still prevent the window from opening. The burglar doesn’t know why and doesn’t have the time to find out. He’s made noise and he is still outside and he probably won’t stick around too long to figure it out. Ensure all family members know about these security upgrades and can remove them during times of emergency.

Sliding Glass Doors
Lastly, sliding glass doors can be a problem. A burglar can defeat most locks with a simple screwdriver. To stop this, simple security pins can be installed which locks 1 slider into another and can prevent doors from being opened, even if lock is disengaged. Some of the older or less expensive models can be lifted right out of their frames from the outside. To help prevent this, open the slider and install security spacers (or screws with washers) in upper track. Leave a little clearance so the slider still moves freely. The spacers remove the space needed to lift the door out of the frame.