We don’t often consider what our homes look like to the common thug, but we should. If you can, take a walk around the perimeter of your house as if you really wanted to sneak into it. How hard would it be, really? A true test is to purposely lock yourself out of your house and see just what it takes to get back inside. That is how a thief thinks, but it is a valuable lesson to us all because it identifies our homes’ security weaknesses. Now while your mind is thinking like a common criminal, imagine what types of things you might see outside your home and make them decide it isn’t worth the risk of trying to break in. Those are the things we need.
1. Strong, Tall Fences
If the fence around your property or back yard area is tall and looks strong, a trespasser will think twice before entering your back yard because leaping over the fence is his most likely method of getting away. Make your fence at least six feet tall, or as tall as your Home Owner’s Association will allow. This is an extra precautionary step that can really make a difference. Couple that tall fence with a motion detecting flood light at the back door and no one in their right minds would try and break in to your home!
2. Big Dogs
There are many breeds of large dogs that are great at instinctively protecting you, your family and your property. German Shepherds for instance are intelligent, loyal and protective without being aggressive to small children or other animals. Just the sight of a Rottweiler in the yard will have a trespasser shaking in their boots; a Rottweiler’s bark alone would deter anyone from coming near your house whether you are home or not. Rottweiler breeds are highly intelligent, respond well to training and are fiercely loyal. They are also very affectionate, but only to their owners or people their owners seem to trust. Now, the reality is that not everyone can own a large protective dog. But there is no rule that says you can’t buy a sign for your back gate that says “Warning! Guard Dog on Duty!” Even if you own a Chihuahua, a sign indicating that there is a guard dog on the premises is going to scare away anyone trying to find a house to break into.
3. A Light on Inside
If you are going on vacation, or just out for the evening, it is always wise to leave a light on inside your house. This creates the appearance that someone is home. There is nothing more attractive to a burglar than a dark, quiet house with no car in the driveway, which are all signs that nobody is home. These are the houses that will be broken into first. Leaving a light on, or even setting a couple of them on timers would be smart if you’re going to be away from your house for even just an evening but especially out of town for several days. You can find light timers at the home improvement store for a couple of dollars each and they are very easy to use. You just plug the timer into the wall, and the lamp into the timer then set it at certain intervals to come on and turn back off.
There are certain characteristics that make our homes more vulnerable to thieves and break-ins, such as lowly lighted or unlighted areas around the porches and perimeters, easy escape routes out of the back yards, unlocked windows, or a dark, still house that looks like no one is home. These are all signs that a burglar will look for when choosing which house to hit next. Taking these precautionary steps makes you much less vulnerable, and less likely to be the victim of a burglary or a break-in.