Most burglars are opportunists who rely on homeowners failing to take basic safety precautions. While burglar-proofing a home may sound like a daunting task, it’s actually surprisingly simple. Here are five sure-fire steps that you can follow today to help keep burglars at bay.
Step #1: Install mortise locks on your main doors
There are two basic types of door locks; cylindrical and mortise. Cylindrical locks are installed through the door and are far cheaper and easier to install. They also offer less protection than mortise locks that require a pocket – or ‘mortise’ – to be cut into the door. If your front and back doors only have cylindrical locks, it’s best to install proper mortise locks. These have built-in deadbolts, giving you much more protection against a break in.
Step #2: Install a letterbox cage
The second point of weakness on your front door is the letterbox. As most people leave their door keys near their front doors, some burglars try to use a long piece of wire to reach inside the door and remove the keys. Many car thefts have occurred in this way. The best way to guard against this form of attack is to install a letterbox cage on the inside of your door.
Step #3: Restrict access to the sides of your home
If you live in a detached home with a side gate or alleyway, this is a significant risk area. Burglars prefer to gain entry via the side or rear of a home, out of view of passersby. If you have a side gate or an alleyway, make sure that you don’t have a convenient handle for a burglar to step onto and climb over. You can install trellis on top to deter anyone from trying to climb over or paint the tops of your gate or side walls with special anti-theft paint that leave indelible marks on skin or clothing.
Step #4: Obscure the view into your home
Just as you shouldn’t leave things on display in your parked car, your living room might look like a shop window to an opportunist thief. Make use of curtains, blinds or lace to obscure the view into your home. This makes for difficult for burglars to see whether anyone is inside. Another option is to install tinted window film. This will make it very hard for anyone to see into your home and make it far more difficult for anyone to break the glass.
Step #5: Invest in a monitored alarm system
Alarm systems aren’t cheap and it can be tempting to just buy a dummy home alarm box to deter opportunist thieves. However, most burglars know exactly how to bypass cheap alarm systems and can spot fake alarm boxes from a mile away. You should invest in a monitored alarm system for peace of mind. If triggered, the alarm system will alert an operator who will phone your home. If you aren’t there to give a safe code, or if the phone goes unanswered, the operator will alert the police.
These steps should help make your home far more resistant to a break-in and less likely to be targeted by opportunist burglars. Although it would be ideal to implement all of these ideas, we’ve listed them in order of expensive and difficulty, so start with step one and move forward from there.
How to Burglar-Proof Your Home in 5 Easy Steps