Protecting your home is extremely important. Your home is where you sleep. Where you go to escape the chaos of the world. But you cannot keep the chaos at bay without using reliable security. In order to know if you have the proper measures of protection in place, it is important to know how your home will be tested. So you should know about the ways that burglars evaluate your home security.
1. Knocking On Your Front Door
The most widely used home security evaluation method for burglars is also the easiest to perform. The would-be burglar simply walks up to your front door during midday as if they have some business to attend to. Then they knock on the door and ring the doorbell. What happens next tells them a lot about how you are securing your home. Because this is almost always done in the light of day, being greeted by a person tells them that the resident might work from home, be a stay at home parent, etc. A dog may begin barking, letting them know that they have a very active security system that will not be easily bypassed. Being greeted by a person or dog will often scare them off. If there is no one home, then they will most likely look for any signs about dogs or security systems. If they find no further signs of your protection, then they will attempt to break in. Try to befriend your neighbors, so that you can some extra eyes on your property. If you can, invest in a guard dog.
2. Looking Through Windows
One of the most crucial ways that a burglar uses to assess your security is by peering through your windows. When a criminal can see inside your home, it is almost as good as stepping inside. Maybe they can see the control unit for your DIY security system, which may make them think that they may be able to reach it and disarm it before it goes off. They will have a better idea of your floor plan, so they can devise an exit strategy. Be aware that interior lights at night allow those outside of the home to see inside perfectly, while also obscuring your vision to the outside. Burglars have been known to stand in a backyard and just watch residents, observing their nightly routines, and perhaps getting insights into the existence of safes, security codes, etc. Be sure to draw curtains and blinds to prevent wandering eyes from assessing your home. Make sure that you do not only draw your curtains when you are leaving the home, because this routine will alert anyone watching the property that you are not home. Also, be sure to maintain your routine of opening and closing curtains when you leave the property for an extended amount of time.
3. Lighting and Cover
A house with very poor exterior lighting is preferred by burglars. It allows them to cover their approach and surveil the property without residents or neighbors seeing them. Even if the outside of a home is well lit, cover such as bushes, debris, etc. provide hiding places for potential burglars. Any dark or hidden place that a person can conceal himself or herself in is an invitation for criminal activity. With cover, burglars are more likely to watch your property with the expectation that they can get away with the crime do to their ability to observe your routine. Make sure that all of your bushes are flush against walls so there is no space to walk behind them. Use motion sensor lights in addition to consistent light sources. Be sure that any home security system signs are well lit. If a criminal does not see that you have a security system, they might end up breaking something before running away.
4. Seeing If Your Locks Are Open
If you are not using your locks, then you are undermining your own security. Even with a visible security system, desperate thieves may risk a time crunch to take advantage of an unlocked door. Whenever a burglar does not need to work very hard, they will rationalize other risks. Always lock your doors, because once a criminal has found that no one is home, the first thing they grab is the doorknob. They give it a turn and then they start looking for other ways in. If your locks do not work correctly, then there may also be an issue where a hard turn can retract the latch bolt. This is why it is important to install both a keyed knob and deadbolt on a front door and use both when the house is unattended, and while the residents are sleeping.
5. Forced Entry Attacks
Many people assume that burglars prefer surreptitious means of entry, such as lock picking, bump keys, etc., but most often thieves will use forced entry attack. The appeal of these methods is that they require very little training and practice. There is no requirement to purchase materials other than tools that a burglar may already have access to. The forced entry methods are also quick and almost guaranteed to work. A rock will break most any glass. A kick will knock down almost every door. Quick, reliable, cheap, and easy to use. These are what thieves look for, as most are just looking for a crime of opportunity. You can strengthen your doors by adding metal slip casings around the lock hardware, and install 3-inch screws into the strike plate and hinges. Windows can be improved with security film that makes them shatter and scratch resistant. If your locks are damaged you should contact a locksmith to replace the broken materials and pick their brain for remedies to any attacks your home may be vulnerable to.
Now that you understand how a criminal really thinks about your security, you can do what you need to protect what is yours. Do not fall into a false sense of safety. It is all too easy to say that it won’t be you and that this only ever happens to other people. Eventually, the hand of fate points to you. On the day that your security is tested, you want to make sure that it does not fail.
Ralph Goodman is a professional writer and the resident expert on locks and security over at the Lock Blog. The Lock Blog is a great resource to learn about keys, locks and safety. They offer tips, advice and how-to’s for consumers, locksmiths, and security professionals.