Having your home broken into can literally scare the daylight out of you. My home has never been broken into, but it has happened to family and friends. They were angry and scared at the thought of a strange person going through their belongings and taking whatever they want. Keeping your home safe from burglars is possible, but you have to be smart enough to outsmart the criminals.
1. Use timers on your lights – Leaving a light on in your home when you’re away is a good idea. But if you’re away from home for an extended period and that light continues to burn, it will most likely draw criminals to your home. Instead, I would try using a plug-in timer and have it set to turn on your lights at random times on different days. The Home Alone movie series, is a perfect example of how criminals watch your home closely waiting for the right time (in their crappy opinion) to pounce.
2. Keep the bushes around your home trimmed – Whenever I see a thick hedge, I immediately think “That would be a good hiding spot for a thief.” How many times have you seen television shows where the criminal is hiding behind some tree or plant, waiting to attack or using it as a cover to peep into a home? Trim your trees, plants, shrubs etc. so that there is a clear view of your home.
3. Lock all windows and doors whenever you leave home – Sometimes I can be paranoid, so whenever I leave the house to go anywhere, I lock the doors and close the windows. You can take this a step further and secure them with extra locking mechanisms. My thinking is that someone could be watching my movements, waiting to see when I leave home. It might be a stretch, but I prefer to be make it harder for someone to break into my home.
4. Start a neighbourhood watch – This does not have to be a formal group with a board. All it takes is members of the community exchanging home, cell and work numbers, work places and email addresses. If you see something strange at your neighbour’s house, it’s easy to call and ask them a question. Neighbours looking out for each other is something that criminals don’t seem to comprehend and many of them get caught because of a vigilant neighbour.
5. Install security cameras – Installing security cameras at strategic points around your home is another popular method of keeping your home safe from burglars. Cameras should be placed in very vulnerable areas, which may be easy targets for criminals. Suggestions include low windows; entry points that are out of the view of neighbours; and windows and doors that are obstruction by plants and trees.
The sad truth is that criminals will try any and everything to get into your home. It’s up to you to make sure that your home and possessions are secure. The National Crime Prevention Council has many tips on Home and Neighbourhood Safety. Please read and pass them along to family, friends and neighbours.