With the recession seeing few industries grow other than the online retail industry and the burglary ‘industry’, homeowners around the world are looking for new and innovative ways to protect their homes from intruders of the unsavoury variety. While a state of the art alarm system is one route and should be considered there are a number of simple steps you can take to make your home more secure. The first thing is to establish how secure your home is and if existing home alarm systems are up to the job.
Rooms with a View
Windows are an obvious point of entry for most burglars, especially those hidden away at the back of the house or smaller windows that are hidden from public view. Older wooden windows offer an easy option, while modern UPV and Plastic windows are harder to smash presenting more of an obstacle. Doors are the next obvious points of entry, not just for welcome guests. Main doors with only one lock can prove deceptively easy to force as they are weaker at the bottom; secondary security locks can make the job much harder and can also make it much noisier and messier: – something which burglars always try to avoid. The appearance of your home is important – if you have no window coverings, this acts as a sort of display for would be borrowers to see what’s on offer. Notes left on doors for neighbours and delivery drivers also act as a sort of advertisement for burglars. Therefore avoid leaving tell-tale clues that the lights are on, but nobody’s home.
Lights, Cameras and Inaction
An empty house is like a department store to burglars, so don’t leave a clue as to your whereabouts; i.e. not at home. If you’re going away for a longer period there are a number of ways in which you can leave the house with that lived in feel. The oldest trick in the book is to leave the lights on and modern technology allows you to utilise this trick in endless new ways. Burglars like certainty, so a timer that switches the lights on and off is a great way to get them feeling nervy. Modern home alarm systems are now available that allow you to do this remotely – meaning you can vary the times that lights come on and off, giving that truly lived in feel. Don’t leave window coverings wide open but don’t close them up completely; leave a car in the driveway if possible and ensure that rubbish filled bins appear at the end of the drive regularly (ask a neighbour to help). Cancel any and all deliveries to avoid tell-tale items gathering by the door. Have mail removed from any external mailboxes on a regular basis (daily if possible) and ensure lawns are mowed during the summer.
Don’t assume that you have nothing to steal; to confuse burglars it helps to understand that they are often creatures of routine. Domestic burglars generally need to operate on a quick and efficient basis; professionals will follow a routine similar to the following. Bedrooms are often a starting point and thieves work in a top down fashion, starting with upper shelves and moving onto curtains then down to the undersides of mattresses, then under the beds. In studies they’ll check for personal documents, bank cards and passports. Kitchens and utilities will form a focus for those who specialise in valuable pets – pedigree species will normally be on the list of “must haves” for a pro thief and may even be a specific target. Hallways and landings usually provide a rich source of handbags, keys and credit cards, while lounges are lucrative when it comes to electrical goods which include the handy portable type such as laptops, iPods and mobile phones. Finally, the front door provides a perfect escape route, especially if it has only one lock. Knowing your way round your own house is a great thing but understanding a burglar’s likely route can help you to provide a few obstacles to a seamless robbery; simply not storing items where the burglars will look makes the whole process time consuming and potentially unprofitable for the average domestic burglar.
Finally of course, adequate home alarm systems are often enough to get the local specialist domestic burglars shaking their heads sadly and turning away from your door. An alarm system that includes options for remote lighting systems will add an extra way to make your home look secure and lived in while away. Studies have shown time and time again, that homes with alarm systems are far less attractive to thieves and as an investment they can prove well worth the outlay.
Jann Webb is a freelance writer who writes on a number of home improvement and security blogs. When looking at investing in alarm systems, Montreal is home to the company protectron.com that he would recommend to homeowners to improve their home’s security.