Breaking and Entering: 5 Things Thieves Think About When Vetting Homes
Whether you're going on vacation or you're just at work, the idea of someone breaking and entering your home is scary. Thieves have their own ways of evaluating a home to decide if it's a good target. By knowing these five things that thieves think about when breaking and entering, you can give yourself added protection, making your home a less likely quarry.
1. Is there an alarm system?
Thieves want to get in and out of your home quickly and without detection. They'll case the home to see if it's alarmed. They might look through a window for a control panel inside. Burglars also might look for a surveillance camera above or near the door. Thieves get nervous when seeing alarm signs placed around the home's exterior. If a thief has a choice between breaking and entering a home with a home security system and one without, which do you think they'd choose?
2. Is there a dog?
Thieves don't want to get bitten by a dog, and they don't want them barking. After all, a barking dog alerts neighbors that something is amiss. If you have a dog already, great. Make it obvious. But even if you don't have a pet, put a big dog bowl outside or a lawn sign warning that a dog lives there. A thief doesn't want to mess with Fido.
3. Is anyone home?
If a person is breaking in, they'll obviously want to avoid running into the homeowner. Getting in and out quickly is the priority, as they want to limit the time inside the house looking for valuables. Having someone at home changes the whole operation, as they can call the police or trigger an alarm. They also may identify the thief to police. Make it obvious when you're home. When you're on vacation, put lights on a timer and leave a car out front.
4. Is there good coverage?
A thief doesn't want to be detected going into or out of a home. They'll look for dense foliage around doors and windows, which might shield them from view. If the home has a high fence, that might be the protection the thief is looking for, especially if neighboring homes don't face into the yard from a second level. A homeowner should look at their home from a burglar's perspective and figure out where someone can hide from view and whether there's enough lighting around the home. A high fence can be helpful if it's locked, making it difficult for a thief to enter or exit.
5. Are doors and windows open?
When the weather is nice, it feels good to let in the cool breeze. Open windows are good for that, but they make for easy burglar access, especially if you leave the window open when you're not home. A screen isn't adequate burglar protection, as it can easily be cut apart. If you're going to leave a window open, make it a second floor window that's difficult to enter from the outside, or use the window stoppers that only allow a small opening. The same goes for the door. Leave the door locked, even when you're home. A thief might test the door first, and you don't want any surprise visitors.
By using common sense and thinking like a burglar, you can better protect your home. It doesn't take a lot of work to make your home a less interesting target for a thief.
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