With the increasing incidence of robberies and burglaries nowadays, homeowners should seek ways to improve the security of their homes. According to law enforcement agencies, homeowners should think like burglars to effectively devise strategies to safeguard their homes against theft or burglary.
But what are the things that criminals consider when planning a burglary or theft? In his book “Burglars on the Job” University of Missouri-St. Louis Criminology Professor Richard T. Wright cited several things that criminals or thieves look for when scouting or ‘casing’ a target.
Some of the strategies used by burglars and thieves are:
- Familiarizing themselves with their target by posing as carpet cleaners, painters, deliverymen or landscapers who may move freely around homes in a neighborhood.
- Entering a target house under the guise of a sales call or maintenance check, they create openings or opportunities to discreetly enter from the outside at a later date such as unlatching a back window or door.
- They maintain good behavior and appropriate appearance when scouting a target so as not to alert homeowners.
- They mainly survey a target’s security systems, as well as the possible things that they could remove during a burglary such as gaming systems, small appliances, electronics and jewelry.
- They may observe open garage doors and windows, as well as newspapers piled up in the driveway indicating unoccupied homes – good opportunities and signs for a successful burglary.
You can learn about what did 86 burglars say when asked how they broke into homes.So, how can homeowners prevent burglars from their houses and effectively drive away criminals and thieves? According to the Insurance Information Institute, homeowners can implement several steps to improve the security of their homes.
Among the strategies recommended by the institute are:
- Conducting a walk-around of one’s house and identifying the possible entry points of burglars like doors and windows and devising ways to make them harder to forcibly open by burglars.
- Identifying areas where burglars or thieves can hide like behind big trees or shrubs around the house. Homeowners should trim the landscaping around their homes to provide less cover to burglars.
- Installing sufficient exterior lights that can cover the entire house and surrounding areas, as well as motion-activated systems to deter thieves.
- Using effective and simple security systems like padlocks, window bars or grates to frustrate or impede the progress of burglars.
- Advising family members to avoid displaying valuable items or collectibles in places where they can be seen from the street as these are appealing targets for thieves or burglars.
- Investing in a security system, preferably one with an off-site monitoring system that will be triggered when a potential security breach is detected in the house.
Additionally, below are some recommended security systems or devices that homeowners should improve on or install in their houses to make them safer.
- Lights & Lighting
Homeowners should ensure that there are sufficient lights around their house to deter burglars. They should also install interior lights that can be controlled through smart devices that can be used when they are away from home. These switches, allow homeowners to control lights and other appliances like radios and TVs through their smartphones. Through this capability, homeowners can make it appear that they are inside the house while they are actually away.
- Upgraded Locks
Aside from regular window locks and solid deadbolts, owners can install upgraded locks to bolster the security of their homes. According to The Master Locksmiths Association, extra keys for high-security locks cannot be reproduced without the consent and knowledge of the owners. The locking system also ensures that previous owners or tenants of a house cannot access or enter it.
- Security Alarms
Alarms are already proven to be an effective deterrent against burglary and theft as they emit a piercing sound when a trespasser is detected which will cause the criminal to leave and avoid being apprehended. Alarms can also be linked to a live security response service.
There are two major types of alarms. The standard alarm features a ringer that produces strong sound or noise when an electric circuit is tripped. The monitored alarm is linked to a keyholder or an alarm receiving center (ARC). In the case of an alarm, the ARC or keyholder contacts the homeowner to determine if there is a false alarm or the house is being burglarized.
Security cameras are a good complement to a sophisticated alarm system. Adding a security camera to a monitored alarm system allows a homeowner or security officers to take immediate steps to prevent a possible burglary. A system with a camera instantly sends photos or video of a violated area to immediately determine the cause of the alarm and act on it.
With a combination of the above devices and methods, homeowners can have added protection to prevent burglars and thieves. However, they can still improve their security by developing a closer relationship with their neighbors. Having a cohesive neighborhood with good communication is a good deterrent against thieves and burglars because they any suspicious activity will be easily spotted in the community.
And for the best protection of all, the installation of a high-quality security system is the most cost-effective and useful way to protect a home or property. Many online retailers offer moderately priced systems that can be installed by a homeowner and have powerful features for the safety and protection of any home.