It’s a well-known fact that the home is the most valuable possession most people will ever have. We do what we can to protect it – purchase insurance, keep up on repairs, any ensure the land around it is in the best possible condition. Unfortunately, criminals are equally aware of the value of homes, and are always looking for ways to burglarize them.
Too often people believe a home burglary is something that happens to other people but isn’t going to happen to them. But a home burglary happens once every 13 seconds in the US. The break-in can be very simple or involve a complex plan. Over time, burglars have developed some patterns, which also provides possibilities on how to protect the home from them. Let’s look at some of the ways burglars break into a house, and how to prevent them.
8. Unlocked doors and windows
Not many burglars are skilled craftsmen and use sophisticated tools to gain entry into your home. ASecureLife.com reports that the majority of burglars enter a home through doors and windows that are unlocked. It’s an easy thing to overlook if it’s a moderate temperature and you want to use the fresh air instead of your heat or air conditioning system. Make sure you lock your doors and windows so a potential burglar doesn’t have an easy time getting inside.
7. The other doors
People often put more effort into securing the front door and can neglect back or side doors. Do you remember to lock the garage door, as well as the door leading from the garage to inside the house? Other side doors or storage areas can easily be overlooked and left unlocked. These can provide additional paths for the burglar to use to get inside.
6. Use of the land
If your house is part of a large neighborhood, and your backyard has another house behind it, there’s always the possibility the neighbor can see a burglar trying to break in your house from the back and alert you and authorities. However, if you have no neighbors behind you, then your home could be a target. If you have a multiple-story home and a burglar can climb a tree and reach the second floor through a window, that could be a method to break in. Just like with the doors and windows on the first floor or at the front of the house, lock doors and windows at the back and on the upper floors to thwart this method of breaking into the home. Cut down or remove shrubbery that gives burglars a place to hide.
5. Animal entrances
No, this is not a joke from a comedy skit, it is a real method used by potential burglars. Surprisingly enough, a would-be burglar may seek to enter your home through the dog / cat opening of a door. Not all burglars are built like football players. Some can wiggle their way through the pet entrance into the home. Not only is this an innovative move, it is one that likely will not activate a security system. People can be extremely inventive when coming up with ways to get in your house.
4. Climbing fences
Like climbing trees, climbing fences isn’t very difficult for burglars, particularly chain-link fences or ones made of simple wooden slats. Some Arizona residents that had homes with an empty lot behind them, and several of them were burglarized. We discussed in the previous point that all burglars aren’t built like football players. However, most home invaders do have some ability to climb, jump and run, or they would be targeting another victim that would be unlikely to require them to use some athletic ability.
3. Exploiting weaknesses
Windows can come cheaply-made, but those are easy to break as well. There’s a lot more to securing your house than simply locking the front door. And speaking of the front door – most people know to go the extra mile to make it the most fortified entrance to the home but aren’t as diligent as all these other doors and windows. Also, if your front door has any glass in it, make sure your security system keypad is in a spot where someone outside can see if it’s armed or not. Also, you should consider the landscaping. Large bushes, shrubs and plants may make your property look regal and picturesque, but these are prime places for burglars to hide. If these are next to fences, doors or windows, the burglar can use them to assist in the breaking-in process.
2. Having the right tools
While what we discussed earlier about crooks not really being skilled craftsmen, there are some who will use some tools to get in. A crowbar, credit card or pipe wrench are tools a skilled burglar will use to literally “break in” to the house. A power drill can get through the dead-bolt lock if the burglar believes he has enough time and distance from others. A putty knife can get through old-fashioned window locks. Adding a secondary lock to the window will help protect it better.
1. What else can you do?
Security providers and law enforcement recommend leaving the drapes or blinds open when you are away, as well as leaving a car in the driveway. A security system will be a very big help. It might even be more effective than you think, as some people have been known to put a security system sign in the yard even though they don’t have a system installed. This has increased the rate of some burglars ignoring the sign and attempting to break in anyway. If there is an active system in your home, the burglar will definitely find out and have to run for his life. If your security system includes cameras, that may thwart a burglary attempt before it even begins.
If a burglar does get in, make sure your valuables are not hidden in obvious places. The first places a crook is going to search are your bedroom closet, under the mattress, the medicine cabinet, dresser drawers, vases, the freezer, and the portable safe (the thief will just take the safe and break into it later).
It is unfortunate that there are people who believe they can just break into someone’s home and bring harm and heartache to people and the things they hold dear. However, by taking a few steps to make things more secure, the would-be burglar can be stopped before inflicting such damage on you. Always be alert and protect you and your family so that burglars have a hard time breaking into your house!