Everyone tries to secure their home, but is locking your doors and windows really enough to deter potential threats? Probably not. Take it from infamous burglar Walter T. Shaw, a former member of the burglary ring the Dinner Set Gang who shares his best home security tips and tricks with MSN Money on how to really secure your home.
1. Mum’s the word
Shaw points out that Americans tend to publicize their vacation plans to everyone from their hair stylist to everyone who can view their social media posts. “Stop treating strangers like they’re your best friend,” he says. This makes it easy for potential burglars to plan on when to break into your home. Keep this and other home safety tips in mind when considering who to tell about your vacation plans.
2. Where you display home security system decals matters
Displaying a home security system decal is one way to try and make burglars think twice before trying to break into your home. But a common mistake people make is displaying these decals in the front of their house. According to Shaw, the number one way for burglars to enter a home is through the back door, not the front. This and the other home security ideas below will help prevent your home from becoming a target for burglars.
Speaking of displaying that you have a home security system, Shaw suggests not only displaying the fact, but actually arming them – at all times, even when you’re at home. Just because you’re home, doesn’t mean a burglar won’t still try to rob you.
3. Daylight creates a sense of security
If someone was trying to break into your home in broad daylight, surely someone would see or hear them, right? Wrong. Shaw explains that daylight can give you a false sense of security when in reality, daylight hours during the week is when houses are most likely to be empty. People are working or running errands and kids are at school or at school activities which leaves your home unoccupied. He also points out that most burglars can get into a home within 30 seconds with little to no noise or ruckus so make sure to use these security tips for your home.
4. Ensure your doorbell is functional
Some burglars even pose as solicitors in order to stand at your door and ring the doorbell without creating a suspicious scene. Ringing your doorbell is one way burglars will try to see what time of day you are and aren’t home. If the doorbell doesn’t work, you won’t hear them ringing it even if you are home, which could leave you with an unwelcome visitor.
5. Catch burglars in the act with surveillance cameras
Hollywood movies might have you believing that burglars and criminals all wear masks while pulling a job but according to Shaw, burglars and criminals are arrogant. They aren’t worries about your neighbor being able to give an adequate description to police even if they do see anything. With today’s technology however, burglars don’t have any way around home surveillance systems. Not only do they not know where cleverly hidden cameras are placed, but the feed could be captured offsite so they have no way of keeping the footage from being recorded.
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6. Man’s best friend is a burglar’s worst enemy
You don’t need a notoriously ferocious pooch to deter burglars. In fact, Shaw says “Little yappy dogs are a huge turnoff.” He explains that the little yappers won’t quit barking and are easily heard by neighbors and homeowners.
7. Keep valuables in your kitchen
According to Shaw, the kitchen is the last place a burglar is going to look because there are simply too many places to look. He suggests keeping valuables out of the master bedroom which is the first place burglars typically look and keep them inside cereal boxes and fake soup cans instead.
8. Clues found in your garbage
Although it is convenient to set the garbage out the night before your scheduled pick up, this gives burglars an ample chance to see what kind of belongings you’ve purchased lately (receipts, packaging, etc.) and a place to find personal information (bills, credit card statements, etc.). Shaw suggests having the delivery company take all boxes and packaging for big purchases such as a new, high-end washer. These items that are often tossed out with little thought, can put you at risk for attracting burglars and criminals to steal your belongings or identity.
9. Take control
There are little things you can do too, such as trimming your bushes and having a neighbor pick up your mail when you’re gone for an extended period of time. Overgrown bushes are prime real estate for burglar hiding spots and an overflowing mailbox tells them you’re not home. “Robbers love it when homeowners forget to do the easy little things that make their job easy,” Shaw says.
10. Home security systems
Not only do home security systems alert you and authorities when someone has entered your home, but they also monitor fire, flood and carbon monoxide levels. Plus home automation even enables you to control your lights, thermostat and even electronics remotely from your mobile devices.
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