Some illegal acts are crimes of passion, but burglary is a crime of opportunity. This means break-ins are largely preventable if you can eliminate the factors that make homes vulnerable to attack. It’s as simple as rescinding any invitations to robbery you may have accidentally put out there. Here are five tips for protecting your home from burglars.
1. Let There Be Light
Burglars love darkness because it allows them to get in and out of a house undetected. Outdoor lighting that illuminates both the approach to the house and the entrance is a great deterrent against burglars. One of the most effective devices you can install to protect your home is motion-sensor triggered lighting around your home. Nothing makes a burglar rethink his strategy faster than the potential of finding a homeowner at home or being detected by a neighbor.
2. Make Friends With Your Neighbors
That nosy, retired lady across the street might be your best ally when it comes to fighting neighborhood crime. No one is in a better position than your neighbors to keep an eye on your house when you aren’t at home. Your neighbors know your schedule, your family cars, and can be alerted when you go out of town on vacations. Having good relationships with neighbors also means they’ll communicate with you when they see something out of the ordinary. An unfamiliar car cruising the street “casing” houses during the day should warrant a call to police.
3. Conceal and Reveal With Landscaping
Trees and shrubs obscuring the front entry of your home are an invitation to burglars. Keep trees, shrubs, and grass trimmed so that it doesn’t conceal the entrance of your home. By the same token, valuables visible from the street make your home a more likely target. Some strategically placed hanging pants are a great way to conceal the view from windows that open onto the street. In addition to providing some screening, ornamental shrubs can add visual interest and color to your landscape. And right under a window, prickly plants such as blackthorn or hawthorn plants could give a burglar small wounds and second thoughts.
5. Install a Security System
If getting a dog isn’t practical for you, then consider installing a home security system. These days your options range from comprehensive alarm systems to simple doorbell cameras … and many options in between. Camera systems are great for keeping tabs on suspicious visitors, packages on the porch, and cars parked in the driveway. Most will connect to your smartphone and alert you to any activity, so you can immediately call the police. Alarm systems are ideal for properties with many valuables that are often unoccupied, such as second homes or vacation properties.
While bad things happen, there are some unfortunate events we can plan for and prevent. No matter where you live, taking a few precautions can make you dramatically less likely to experience a burglary.
By Meredith Hale
Meredith Hale is a gardening and landscape writer, and design addict. She has coordinated the design on many house flipping projects, admitting that her favorite part is creating inspired outdoor spaces.