5 Ways to Burglar Proof Your Home
5 Ways to Burglar Proof Your Home… and 29 tips to prevent being a target
Make it look occupied when you’re away
A house that looks like the occupants are away is a prime target for a burglar, in fact it is the first thing a burglar looks for when choosing a house for a break-in. If you make your house look occupied when you're away, many burglars will move on to one that seems like an easier target. Here are the top tips.
- Use Light timers: Consider using automatic light timers that can turn on and off in a way that closely replicates your usual patterns. Timers with a battery backup are recommended so they can continue to operate in case of a power failure. Use multiple timers to create the effect of movement from room to room.
- Connect television and stereo equipment to timers so they can be turned on and off.
- Either divert your phone calls or make sure the ringing volume is turned down low so it can’t be heard ringing out from outside.
- If your grass is likely to grow unusually long while you are away you should arrange beforehand to have someone mow it in your absence.
- Don’t allow uncollected mail and newspapers to build up. To maintain the appearance of someone being home, it's best not to cancel these deliveries and instead ask a neighbour to pick them up and hold them for you.
- Ask a neighbour to use your rubbish bin from time to time and to put it out and bring it back on bin collection day.
Make getting access as hard as possible
If your house looks easy to get into, it’s almost the same as putting out a welcome mat for a burglar. The easier they think they can get access the more likely they are to try, but the harder you can make it for them to get in, the more likely they will look for an easier target.
- Don’t leave any doors or windows unlocked no matter how safe you think the neighbourhood is.
- Don’t hide a key to your house outside where it can be easily found.
- Secure all external doors with quality deadbolt locks. Wherever possible use deadbolt locks with a horizontal bolt at least 2½ centimetres long. This will make it difficult for them to spread the door frame and open the door.
- Use door locks with hardened steel and bevelled outside casing. This will make the lock more impact resistant and difficult to twist off with a wrench.
- Use four-screw high security metal strike plates on external doors using 8 centimetre long screws. This will help prevent against a burglar kicking at the plate to kick open the door.
- Consider replacing at least one screw in each door hinge with a long screw to help prevent forced entry of your external doors.
- An attached garage that has a door between the garage and the house can make gaining access to the house relatively easy. Treat the connecting door like an external door and use the same type of locks that you use on the front and back door.
- Attach a clear security window film to any window or glass panel in an exterior door where the glass is closer than 100 centimetres to the lock. A shatter resistant film will prevent an intruder breaking the glass to access the lock and unlock the door.
- Ensure all external windows are connected to a security alarm.
- You can also use shatter resistant security film on external windows for extra protection..
- Use patio bolts, security braces or long track rods for sliding glass patio doors.
- Remove any outside ladders that can be used to access the roof or a second storey window and don’t store them in an unlocked garage or shed.
- Trim or remove any tree limbs that hang over the roof, and remove lower branches from trees next to the home that can be climbed to access a roof or window.
Don't provide easy cover
A burglar will prefer a house where there is less chance of being seen. Eliminating places where they can hide is another way to make them look for an alternative house to target.
- If you choose to have trees and shrubs next to the house, make them difficult to hide behind. Consider using roses or other thorny plants like bougainvillea. Also trim back or remove any unnecessary shrubbery next to doors or windows.
- Illuminate each access door with security lighting. Use a light at the front entrance that has more than one lamp structure or more than one bulb so it is effective even with one blown bulb.
- Ensure outside security lights are motion detector activated.
- Avoid having tall privacy fences around the house perimeter. Once someone climbs over them the tall fence can stop them from being seen from the street or by neighbours.
- Install a Home Security System. Home security alarm or camera systems are not a guarantee that burglars will not enter your home. But they make a great deterrent by increasing the risk that the burglar will be seen and caught. If it's obvious your house has an electronic security system the burglar may look for an easier target.
- Be sure to display warning signs that say your house is protected by a security system.
- Regularly check to make sure the signs are visible and have not been covered, damaged or removed.
- Disguise your security code or password if it is written down anywhere and never keep it next to, or on the home security alarm key pad.
- Sometimes the best home security can be neighbours who look out for one another. Make it a point to know your neighbours so that you can ask them to keep an eye on things while you're away.
- And if your neighbourhood doesn’t have a Neighbourhood Watch program, consider organising one. A good Neighbourhood Watch program can assist the whole neighbourhood to be more security aware and help protect your possessions and your family.