Avoiding a Burglary: Secrets Your Burglar Doesn't Want You to Know
Burglars don't like getting caught. So they are always on the lookout for dwellings where they can get in and out of easily and quickly. You may be doing things that make your burglar's job easier... things that your burglar doesn't want you to know about so that you'll continue to do them. We're sharing some of them here to help you deter a possibly burglary and make your home safer.
Your Burglar Hates Light
Your burglar does not want to be seen, so he hates light. When he sees a home that has lights blazing near the doors/windows and in the yard, he'll likely pass it up for a different target. Motion lights scare him. Not only do they shine a light on him, they also alert you that he is there. Yah... he hates that. He loves homes that are dark at night. He can do his job without anyone knowing.
Put lights up outside your home. Illuminate areas around doors, windows, and blind spots. Install the lights high up on the exterior walls so a burglar can't easily disable them. Be sure motion-sensor lights are in the right position so they will pop on when you want them to. Also, light up the yard, not just your home.
Related Post: "How to Keep Your Home Safe While You are on Vacation"
Your Burglar Likes Unoccupied Homes
Your burglar likes breaking into homes that are unoccupied. It gives him more time to steal your stuff. If he can tell that there's no one home -- and it's pretty easy for him to tell -- he may put your home on his job list.
Make it look like someone is home, even if you will only be gone a few hours.
Tune your radio to a weather or all-talk station and leave it on. Use a volume level that can just barely be heard from outside of your home. It will provide the illusion of muffled voices and will sound like people are inside.
Leave the TV on. Or use a TV Simulator Light which uses random patterns of flickering lights to resemble that of a TV. (Available online and not very expensive.) But make sure to close your drapes so your burglar can't see that it's just a light.
If you'll be gone for several days, remember to stop the newspaper and mail delivery. Have a friend/neighbor shovel your driveway in winter, mow your grass in summer, remove flyers from your door and/or bring your garbage cans up away from the curb. Your burglar will notice those things! (In fact, your burglar might put a flyer on your door himself. If it's still there a few days later, he'll figure no one's home and that it's safe to break in.)
Put lights on timers in various rooms in the house. And don't just use one light on one timer. It's a dead giveaway that no one is home. Use several lights, in several rooms, set at different times, to mimic lighting in an occupied home.
Your Burglar Knows all the Outside Hiding Places for Keys
There are articles all over the internet about "great places to hide your keys outside your home." But really, your burglar knows all of those places. And if he doesn't... 'cause maybe he's just starting his career in burgling, all he has to do is search for ideas on the internet!
Don't hide keys outside your home. If you really need to have a spare key around, leave it with a neighbor or friend... one you trust to not loose it!
Places Your Burglar Looks for Valuables
What happens if a burglar does successfully break into your home?
Make it very difficult for him to find your valuables. (We're talking jewelry, money, tablets, etc. here. We know that hiding your TV, DVR, speakers and other large and/or connected electronics every time you leave your home would be impractical. Not to mention a little crazy.)
BTW, do you think your valuables are safe in your sock drawer, or in your freezer? Nope.
I used to think that, too. But, they aren't. Your burglar will most likely check your dresser drawers, your bedside table, your freezer and your medicine cabinet. He usually doesn't into kids' rooms. Also, since he won't want to take the time to break into the safe where you keep your valuables, he'll take it with him, unless it's bolted down.
Be Creative When Hiding Your Valuables
If you have book shelves, you could buy a used book (that matches the type and style of books on your shelves) and hollow it out. There are ready-made book safes available for purchase. But don't buy one unless it looks like a real book and matches the style of your other books. Otherwise, it'll stick out like a sore thumb.
You can also buy diversion safes that look like electrical outlets, soup cans, household cleaners, etc. But only use these if they look realistic and not out of place.
But remember, depending on how much time your burglar has to ransack your home, even the above ideas may not be foolproof. If a burglar thinks he has enough time to pull your books off the shelves, or check for "fake food safes," he probably will. So consider purchasing a good safe that can be bolted down. And/or put valuables that you don't use/need very often in a safety deposit box.
It's scary to think that a burglar could be casing your home. But with simple changes in your habits, you can make your home safer.
Check out our second burglar post: "Secrets 2: More Secrets Your Burglar Doesn't Want You to Know."