How to Prevent Sophisticated Burglars from Breaking into Your House
It might be terrifying waking up in the middle of the night and seeing a thief in your house. Not only frightening but sometimes also dangerous. The day before, a friend of mine told me she woke up in the morning, after a good night's sleep, only to find that her house had been broken into, and her valuables stolen. A laptop, cell phones, some money and the car keys. Something might have gone wrong, because the cars were still parked near the house. Other houses in the neighbourhood had been burglarized as well, including ones with alarms.
It seems like burglars are more sophisticated nowadays. They can easily go past alarms or steel doors and break into places we might consider safe.
That is why taking measures in different ways might prevent thieves from wanting to break an entry.
A first and very simple thing, is to have a dog as a guard. Dogs make good protectors of their territory, and their very presence might drive away a thief that does not wish to draw attention to himself.
Having a dog is not enough for preventing an entry. Announcing it with a sign: dog in the yard / in the house, is best. Putting up a sign might imply on a very large dog, but even if that is not correct, showing a picture of a frightening dog will serve you well. Tricking thieves to think you own a big dog, even if you do not hold a pet at all, might be doing you a favor. Just noting on the door: here lives family and Rex, showing a scary Rottweiler, will do the trick. That simple note might protect your belongings better than any lock, alarm or safe together. Even without a picture, the name Rex, meaning king, is normally given to large dogs, rather than small ones. That goes to smart thieves who know how to read. Adding a picture will ensure any kid or foreigner will understand what he is facing.
Leaving the lights on in a room, with a TV or a radio working with volume, might give the impression that there is someone in the house, even if it is deserted.
There are systems that switch on a light when sensing a movement. That could be used as well, preventing thieves from breaking in at night, considering they do not wish to be seen, and prefer darker places. The same could be done with a recording of gunshots or loud sounds that might scare the thieves who silently creep at night.
Do not trust strangers who appear at your doorstep, asking for help or trying to sell something. A man in a suit might be a thief in disguise. They no longer follow the appearance of wearing black clothes and a mask. Some enter houses in full daylight, when alert levels are low, and even while there are people in the house. Lock the doors even when you are at home.
It is always important to keep valuables out of sight. Away from doors and windows. Never leave a purse, a cell phone or a laptop on a table. Put it away when not in use.
Lock all windows and use thick curtains that are not see through.
Most thieves make a background check first, and then come back to steal goods, after gathering information on a place: who are the people who live in the house, do they have noisy pets, are there dogs around, are there weapons, are they rich, do they wear expensive clothes or jewelery, do they have laptops, cell phones, cameras or other portable devices that could be worth something, do they hold money in the house, do they use alarms or surveillance cameras.
Seeing the inside of the house might give a lot of that information. It could be done by peering inside of windows, by being invited in, or even through social networks such as Facebook, that reveal a lot of information that could be used by thieves. An open profile might show attended events, an inside of a house, expensive personal belongings. Smart thieves know where to check. That is why it is best to keep a short friend list, that holds only trustworthy people, and grant access of your profile to “friends only”.
A thief might check if anyone is at home by calling a land number. Never leave a message saying you are away. It is better making it seem like the line is busy.
It is impossible to ask people not to own expensive things. A person who can afford a nice dream-car, a professional camera or an up-to-date mobile phone, will not settle for something less expensive. But those people can also afford good protection of their home.
Having security patrols in a neighbourhood might help reduce theft.
Think creatively of hiding places. Do not make it easy on a thief, that would prefer to make a quick break-in. People are known to be hiding money in or under mattresses, under loose bricks, in air conditioners or ventilation openings, in kitchen boxes... Try to be creative with coming up with more unusual hiding places.
You can even learn something about protecting your home form the movie: Home alone, and build your own devices that could scare thieves or slow them down until the cops show up. Tie unnoticeable strings, use glue, lights, sprays... It might seem silly, but small innocent constructions might be of a help to you, as long as you remember not to bump into them yourself. A thief entering a home will not always remember to mind his step, while looking around anxiously. A string that trips him might change his mind with going any further. But that might also be dangerous with tripping innocent people. Putting up a warning sign of booby traps is another way of preventing an entry.
Make a list of all your valuable possessions, their descriptions and their serial numbers. Keep that list in a safe place or at your insurance company.
Do not hold large amounts of money at home. Keep them in a bank or in a hidden safe.
When away from home for a long time, ask your neighbours to visit and light up different rooms in your house, to give the illusion of your presence.
Keep a phone in your bedroom with a list of emergency numbers. Try to avoid contact with a burglar, and shout for help, or make a lot of noise to scare him away.
Any fail in a burglar's plans might make him turn around and retreat. So attempt to fail him, with making it more difficult breaking an entry.
Taking simple measures of protecting your home, might help prevent burglaries and spare you the loss of valuables.