One of the topics I frequently educate on, as a security analyst, is the mistakes homeowners make that make a burglar’s job very easy, that attract potential burglars.
A burglar busts into your home while you’re there, and you recognize him. And why not? He was there recently to repair the furnace, deliver the new flat screen TV or pick up old furniture you wanted to donate.
Attractive ornaments or pricey “kids’ things” outside your home can indicate to a potential intruder that your house is full of valuables.
Don’t let a service person use your bathroom. This may seem rude, but burglars have been known to visit the john so they could unlock or disable its window for future entrance into your house.
Make sure your house alarm’s control panel is not visible through glass to someone loitering outside.
Always have your newspaper and mail delivery put on hold when you’re away. And if you notice a flyer on your doorknob, immediately remove it so that the burglar who put it there doesn’t think you’re on vacation.
Would you ever exit your house wearing only socks because you forgot to put your shoes on? Absolutely never! So make it a point to also never forget to lock your door after leaving.
If someone is at your door, and you’re not expecting anyone, it’s not a crime to ignore them. That person on the other side may be a burglar casing your house (“Do you know where Clover Street is?”) and your demeanor to see if you’re easy prey.
Hot spots for a burglar’s entrance include the window above the kitchen sink and the upper level windows. Have these spots set with alarms, and install motion detectors upstairs.
Even a half-witted burglar knows to check medicine bottles for those diamond earrings, and scour through the sock and underwear drawer for more valuables. But he just might not bother going into the children’s bedrooms.
Even though the sun’s beginning to set, you insist on keeping your blinds up or curtains open to milk what little daylight is left to lighten up the room. Meanwhile, a savvy burglar is strolling about the neighborhood, catching glimpses through windows that he can see through because it’s dusk (let alone night time). This way he can pick easy looking targets or ones with visible valuables.
If a burglar can hear your TV or sound system, chances are pretty good he’ll think someone’s home. Don’t rely only upon your state-of-the-art alarm system.
An alternative to leaving a TV on while you’re on vacation is to use a device that generates a simulation of the flickering lights of a TV at timed intervals.
Burglars don’t mind taking the entire safe with them if they’re too impatient to figure out how to crack it. Bolt it down.
A barking dog really does deter break-ins. So do nosy neighbors.
A one-time loud noise (like a window being broken) almost always doesn’t compel a neighbor to investigate. If it happens continuously or even just a second time, he usually will. However, a burglar is inside your house after just one window smash.
Yes, a person casing your neighborhood for break-ins looks like the guy who would never do such a thing: clean-cut, maybe dressed in a workman’s uniform with a fake logo, carrying inspection equipment to make himself look legit.
Never reveal your vacation or business tip plans on your Facebook page. Don’t assume nobody could figure out your address just because it’s not on your page.
No errand is too short to leave the alarm system turned off. A burglar can invade your home and steal your valuables in a lot less time than it takes you to run the shortest errand.
Ignoring a knock or doorbell is a smart idea, but leaving the door unlocked-even when you’re home-isn’t. Many burglars will try the door if nobody responds. If it opens, they’ll enter.
No matter how hot the day is, never leave a window open even a tiny bit when you’re away. Burglars can’t resist this.