If you are subject to an attack by a determined, properly equipped, funded and expert burglar, you cannot keep them out of your property with basic security. However, most burglars are not determined, properly equipped, funded, and expert. They are opportunistic, amateur thieves with little in the way of planning and reliant on luck and the carelessness of householders to succeed in their stealing.
Basic home security measures prevent their activities mainly by presenting them with obstacles so they go elsewhere, leaving you alone. While this will not help your neighbor if their property is easier to burgle than yours, it will mean that your property remains intact.
Some Home Security Statistics
An interesting statistic is the fact that the time of occurrence for most residential burglaries is between 10 am and 3 pm. Yes, the middle of the day when the sun is out, is when 57.4 percent of all burglaries take place. Only 42.6 percent happen at night. This 5 hour window is when wives are usually out shopping, children are in school, husbands are off at work, neighbors are gone, and there is very little movement in the neighborhoods except for a stray delivery truck or postman.
61 percent of all burglaries involve forcible entry, meaning that the burglar had to break a window, door, entrance way, or fence to get in. It also means that they could have possibly picked a lock. The other 32 percent of burglary attempts are the ones in which there was no forcible entry attempt at all, meaning someone was able to just walk right in, possibly through an unlocked door, take what they wanted, and walk right back out. 68 percent, two thirds, of all burglaries were residential. The rest were businesses, churches, and schools.
Your Best, Cheapest Deterrents
One of the best deterrents you can have is good neighbors. If you think about it, when you have lived in one area for a while, you get used to seeing a particular person going to and from a house. Without being really aware of it, you notice visitors and the general coming and going. You get used to seeing particular cars and vehicles around, and you don’t even have to really be friends with your neighbors. It helps if you are.
You all have a vested interest in keeping your area crime-free. So if a stranger turns up, or something doesn’t seem right, do the neighborly thing: call the Police. Not suggesting that you immediately go into vigilante mode and investigate yourself, just that if something is suspicious, tell someone about it.
What Does a Burglar Look for When Seeking to Burgle a Property
So, I am a burglar looking for a house to burgle. How I got to my target area depends to a degree on what I intend to steal. If I am looking for something fairly large, like a computer, I don’t want to walk down the road carrying it very far, as people will notice. If it is your computer, you bring the car to the computer, not the computer to the car.
On the other hand, if I am looking for money, laptops, etc., it is not so noticeable. But at some stage I will end up on my feet walking down the street. I want to get in as easily and as quietly as possible. I want to be in the property for as short a time as possible and to get out as quickly and easily as possible. I do not want to be seen, preferably by anyone, especially in the act of breaking in. Being seen coming out is not such a problem, depending on how I do it.
Before I go into a property, I want to make sure I can get out again. I must have an escape route in case of emergencies. I look at the properties as I pass to see if they are suitable. Corner ones are good, and ones with high fences are good too, depending on if I can get behind the fence. Your high fence may make it more difficult to get into the area, but once inside, your fence shields me from the prying eyes of your neighbors.
Most of the time I will attack during the day. Nighttime burglaries present me with problems. For a start, I already need to know how I am going to burgle the house, trying to do it on the spur of the moment leads to all sorts of mistakes. And people tend to be home during the evenings, which increases the need for care on my part. I need light to see with, or once inside, but if neighbors know you are away, any lights cause suspicion, so I will attack during the day like most of my colleagues.
Lots of things and home security products can put me off a property, car in the drive, noise from inside, people obviously around, neighbors, dogs, all sorts of things. But other things can draw me to the property. A newspaper half out of the letterbox in the middle of the day. Areas where I will be out of public view. Obvious ways of entry due to the carelessness of the householders? Open downstairs windows. Even flowerpots adjacent to the door. (People still hide keys underneath, that is no end of help to a burglar). Anything that suggests you are out. If I am not sure, I might even knock on your door. If you answer I am a window cleaner looking to start a new round and canvassing people to see if there is a demand locally.
Don’t imagine I dress badly. A smartly dressed person in a good area is far less noticeable than some dirty, ill-dressed person and the converse in the poorer areas. In fact, I often stick to the poorer area because they want their kids to have the latest things but often skimp on security. As for stealing from my own kind, why should I worry? It’s a hard world out there and I don’t see why I should suffer. If you don’t answer and the rest of the indicators are good I will attack, perhaps not there and then, but I make a note to come back later when I have given the area a once over for problems. I look for where I can be overlooked by other properties and move into the hidden places. Then I will strike. So let’s see about spoiling it for him.
Where you have no fences, the defensive perimeter moves to the next line of defense, usually the outside of the house. Where you have fences, think about how high they are. If they are low, so low you can just step over them easily, they are no protection. But if you have them waist height so you can’t easily step over them, they are better. If they are overhead height for privacy, they are better but can shield the burglar once the burglar is inside the fence line. So use plants to make it harder to negotiate the fences. If you have plants outside the fence, the burglar has to get through them before getting over the fence. Or inside if you pick one of the intruder-proof plants and don’t want to risk anyone else getting hurt.
It is very convenient to have a shed with a window in it to give light to the inside, but doing so compromises the shed’s security. If you like windows, have one. But do at least lock the shed with a padlock. With regard to the type of hasp used, do use a good one. And if the material of the tongue does not cover the screws, fix them so they cannot easily be unscrewed.
Most external doors of a house have some sort of cylinder type lock if they are the front doors or a sash lock on the back doors. Both types of lock come as a surface fitting lock where the lock is screwed to the back of the door, the bit with the movable slider, and the piece into which it slips to hold the door closed is screwed to the door frame.
Sash door locks can be of a mortise type where the mechanism is actually within the material of the door, and the area into which it slips is cut into the door frame. Back doors often have a Sash lock and bolts on top and bottom for extra security. All of these locks can be of a deadlock type, which means they can be locked from the outside so that you need a key to unlock them again, a sort of double locking. By the way, don’t leave the key on the inside of the lock when you are out, as it allows easy exit if they do get inside. It is worth spending money on good locks for both the front and back doors.
This is particularly important for any windows on the ground floor as they are another common way for people to break into your home. Often times through an unlocked window. Here are the best ways to secure your windows in order of quality. With double hung windows, as in windows that slide vertically have new ones installed that can only be opened to a certain height that makes it virtually impossible for an intruder to enter without smashing out the whole window. Another way that will solve the problem of having ventilation and keeping yourself safe is to use a nail or screw in the side of the window track to block the window from being opened enough to have a criminal from entering your home.
One of the important home security products is an alarm system. Just about every alarm company has packages that can fit your budget. The thing to do is buy the best you can afford. At minimum you will need an alarm system to track entry through doors and ground floor windows, as well as motion detectors. With your alarm system, your home will be monitored for intrusion and often fire and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Products like home alarm systems should only be purchased after reading several positive home security reviews on the product. Reputed home security companies are likely to give you good products and services, providing that you do good research.
I hope that these home security tips have given you sufficient knowledge to approach the increasing of security for your premises with confidence. A good home security is all you need. Remember, it is not about money but about what you think and what you do.