Burglars don’t usually do much advance planning for specific break-ins.If closer examination reveals that your home is not an easy target, they just move on.
By: James Strobes
Why should you bother with preventive home security measures? Because of one simple fact — most home break-ins are crimes of opportunity.
Burglars don’t usually do much advance planning for specific break-ins. They pick out any target that seems to be easy. If closer examination reveals that your home is not an easy target, they just move on.
Here are eight things you can do to prevent your home from looking like a soft target:
1. All doors and windows should be plainly visible from the street and to your neighbors. Large shrubs and hedges which hamper visibility make it easy for burglars to do their job.
That’s why any bushes and shrubs that are within four feet of sidewalks, driveways, doors, etc should be kept under a couple of feet high. Those within four to eight feet should be trimmed to not more than four feet high.
2. Do you place plants under window sills? If so, trim them to a foot lower than the window sill level.
3. Trees should not hamper visibility to your house. Also ensure that burglars can’t use trees to gain access to your second floor windows and doors. Trim trees so that the lowest branches are seven feet or more above the ground.
4. Large gauge gravel causes noise when burglars walk on it. Placing it under windows is a good psychological deterrent.
5. Use fencing around your house and keep gates locked (even when you are at home, if possible). This sounds elementary, but locked gates prevent burglars from making off easily with large items!
In other words, ensure that there are no quick exits from the house.
6. Grow thorny plants under windows and along fences. They are very discouraging to burglars. Fencing using thorny plants is as good as barbed wire fencing and looks a whole lot better.
7. Ensure that street numbers are clearly visible from the street. This helps anyone responding to emergency calls to reach your home faster.
House numbers placed on your house should be six inches high and made of reflective material. Alternatively, use black on white lettering. The numbers should be illuminated at night.
Paint your house number on the curb in front of your driveway, using black lettering on white background.
8. Don’t leave ladders and tools lying around. They should be locked away in a in a storage area or garage.
Get these eight things right and you will have enhanced your home security to a level that will make many potential burglars uneasy about targeting your home.
About the Author:
James Strobes is a home and office security consultant.