If you’re looking for home security tips, who better to ask than reformed burglars? Thankfully, there have been several surveys done through the years, including this one by a Portland TV station.
They sent a questionnaire to 86 convicted burglars, and summarized the results on their website. I’ve used these insights to write this article.
In this article we’ll discuss what burglars look for in a target, how they enter the homes, when they do it, what they do in your home, and what scares them off.
What They Look For and How They Get In
They look for a way to hide while looking for a way to break in. For instance, they like to see big fences that no one can see through, as well as overgrown trees and bushes.
Most people think burglars operate at night, but according to this and other surveys, most of them actually break and enter during the day. This is because most people aren’t home during the day.
They approach your house and look for an easy way in, such as an open window or door or a doggy door. One burglar said that many people have a doggy door on the door to the garage, and then leave the door in the garage to the house unlocked. This is an invitation for someone to rob you.
If they can’t find an open door, they’ll try to force open a window or door. Obviously, you want to make sure your doors and windows are strong enough.
What They Do Once Inside
Once they’re inside, they’ll go immediately to the main bedroom. This is because this is where most people keep their valuables.
They’ll look for a small safe or lockbox. Something that they can carry away with them that will probably contain valuables.
If the safe is too large and heavy, they’ll probably not bother with it. This is because they don’t want to spend too much time inside and it’ll take too long to break into the safe unless they know for sure there’s something valuable inside.
They’ll also check the rest of the house if they have time, but most burglars claim they go to the main bedroom first. So if you are going to hide valuables in your house, it’s probably best not to put them in your main bedroom.
What Will Scare Them Off
The burglars in the survey mentioned several things you can have that might make them think twice about breaking into your home.
One thing is an alarm system. Of course, the burglar isn’t going to be able to see your alarm from outside your house, so make sure you have your alarm company’s sign and stickers.
Another thing that gives them pause is a dog, especially a big, loud one. Most of the burglars said that they wouldn’t rob a house with a dog, but others said that a dog wouldn’t stop them.
Outdoor cameras seem to be a mixed signal. Some burglars wouldn’t enter a house with security cameras, while others said they would because the cameras show that the house probably has something inside worth protecting.
Signs of occupancy also keep them away. For instance, most of the burglars said that they wouldn’t enter a house if they heard a radio or TV inside. They also checked for a vehicle in the driveway.
Finally, most of the burglars said they would knock on the front door before trying to enter. So it’s worth investing in a video doorbell.
This will sense motion and alert you that someone is at your front door. This will give you an opportunity to confront the person. They probably won’t enter your house if they think you might be home.