How Burglars Pick a House

According to the FBI, a burglary is committed about every fifteen seconds. In order to avoid being a data point in those statistics, there are things you can do to secure your home. Just try to think as the professional burglar does.

One thing that is safe to say about most professional burglars is: they avoid getting caught. In order to do that, they minimize the odds by looking for vulnerable targets.

Some amateurs will simply smash and grab, taking something from the garage or entering an unlocked home when you’re away. But the professional applies a little more thought, in order to up the haul and lower the risk.

The first thing to notice is that they have to approach the house by stealth. That’s why, not surprisingly, most burglaries take place during the night. Lighting your home well can help shift the odds. Look especially for those corners and windowless areas that lead to a point of entry out of sight.

Secure best those areas where a burglar could enter unseen. In most homes that will be on the side, but not always. It depends on how the house is constructed and how the houses nearby are situated. Those will need at minimum a good strong wooden or metal dowel for sliding glass windows.

But that form of protection will offer no more than a two-second delay if your window can be easily lifted out of the frame. Preventing that is simple and inexpensive.

Just drill a small hole through the metal or wood window frame into the wall frame holding it. Insert a small dowel into the hole, or better still obtain a small kit that contains a spring-loaded mechanism, similar to some screen door kits. The kits screw into the frame.

Depending on what they think your home holds, and who or what is nearby, some professionals will risk breaking glass to enter. A set of wrought iron bars in front of the windows may be called for.

Your last, but not necessarily least, line of defense is an alarm system that senses vibration or breaks in the glass.

Look for areas where you can trim back bushes from the home that thieves can use to hide behind. Having an easily visible perimeter around the house makes it less likely a thief will want to enter.

Burglars more often commit their crimes when no one is home, again for obvious reasons. Having someone watch the home while you’re away, ideally from the inside, will motivate the professional to seek a different victim.

Nothing will prevent the truly determined, but if you fortify your home, they are more likely to pick an easier target.

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