In the last several weeks, our middle-class, suburban neighborhood has seen more than its fair share of vehicle and home break-ins.
We’ve seen neighbor after neighor report car prowls and break-ins, and the question that kept getting asked was some variation of “how to secure your home”.
It was all quite distressing to my family especially because we had a 4-day long camping trip scheduled, and we wanted to know how to secure our home when we were away.
To make things worse, our home security system had been acting up, and the repair guy was not due until after our vacation.
Because firefighters work with the cops a lot, I spoke to one of the officers at Woodinville Police to get a few tips on how to make my home less attractive to a burglar.
I then emailed a few home security experts, and picked their brains as well.
Their collective advice can be grouped into three basic principles that will make it less likely that your home will be broken into.
We then unpacked those principles into a list of 25 things that you can do to make your home more burglar-proof with little toil or treasure.
Here we go:
Principle #1: Don’t worry about outrunning the bear.
As the saying goes, “You don’t have to outrun the bear, you just need to outrun the other guy”.
So don’t worry about hardening your home so much that it gives Fort Knox a run for its money. Don’t get me wrong – if you have the money to invest in a state-of-the-art security system, and that’s what you feel you need, go for it.
But if you are like me, and you need to watch every dollar, then think about doing just enough that makes your home the least attractive target in your neighborhood, and to let any observer know that the people in your home care about their privacy and safety.
Better yet – partner with your neighbors to make your entire neighborhood less attractive to shady types.
Principle #2: Make it look like you are home.
The thing about the vast majority of break-ins is that they do not actually occur late at night, when you and your family are sound asleep.
They usually occur in the day time or early evening, when the house is empty for a few hours.
Or, they occur when it is obvious that you are away on a vacation.
How do the bad guys know you are not home? By observing it, to see if there are any signs that you might be away.
So the way to counter this is simple – create the perception that you are home. All. The. Time.
Principle #3: Look at your home through a bad guy’s eyes
If you have ever bought or rented a house, you’ll know that curb appeal describes the relative attractiveness of the home to the potential buyer.
Well, there is another kind of curb appeal, and this one speaks to how a potential burglar sees your house. The same idea applies to your vehicles if they are left in your driveway or on the street.
Does your home look like an easy target? Does it look like there will be a lot of valuable stuff in it? How difficult would it be for them to get in and out? What is the risk of getting caught? Do the people who live there look like they care about security?
By looking at your home through a criminal’s eyes, you make it easier to identify what you need to do to deter him or her from breaking in.
All these make sense, right?
If you are ready to turn these principles into actionable steps and secure your home with minimal effort and budget, below is “25 Ways to Protect Your Home With Little Toil or Treasure”.