It is a sad fact that most people seem to think that their house will never experience a break-in. Very few actually take the risk of thieves breaking and entering into their home and stealing their possessions seriously to take the necessary precautions. This obviously gives thieves exactly what they want – an easy target. Which is why you should take as many preventative steps to stopping them accessing your property as you can.Not only do burglaries obviously leave victims without valuables and items of personal value; but they can also cause costly damages to the property itself. Furthermore though, and in some ways more serious than the physical losses, they can leave victims emotionally and mentally scarred.Hollywood has a habit of portraying burglaries as these daring, exciting and meticulously planned crimes, when in actual fact most of them are carried out in very simple and quick ways.So how do you stop thieves from getting in?
It is best to first understand the weakest points of your home – that is, where the thieves are most likely to break in to gain access. From there, you can assess how secure these points of entry are and whether you need to improve the level of security protecting them.Although all thieves are different, in terms of their level of experience and motivation to steal – the highly experienced criminals most commonly enter properties via the areas highlighted in the article below.
This may be shocking and somewhat hard to believe, because thieves are always considered to be sneaky, that anyone would have the guts to just break into a home through the front door – it is actually a commonly used entry point. It makes sense that an unlocked door provides a burglar with an easy way in, but even doors that are locked are not too much hassle for a thief with a reasonable amount of experience.Do you have a hiding place for that spare key you have, in case something happens to your original copy? Is it underneath that ornament in your garden, a flowerpot or maybe your doormat? You might want to change your hiding place or completely forget about having a hiding place altogether because these are the places that many thieves will check first. If they can access your property without having to actually break in, it makes the whole thing easier for them.Even if you have been sensible and do not have spare keys hidden in plain sight or a thief decides not to mess around trying to find one – there are still easy ways for them to get in through the front door. Most accomplished thieves have a selection of tools that negate the need for an actual key. And the ones that don’t mind making a little mess will simply smash a glass panel on the door or kick the door down to break-in.Preventative TipsTo stop a thief from breaking in through the front door or at least to make it hard for
him or her, you could:
- Lock the front door at all times, even when you are actually at home (especially if you know break-ins are common in your area)
- Have a deadbolt lock installed as they give your property an extra layer of protection
- Replace your front door, particularly if it is a cheap one with a high quality and very robust entry door
- Use your deadbolt every night you go to bed without fail and consider investing also in a door chain as well.
- Install lights with motion sensors around your property to light it up whenever an intruder gets close.
- Give serious consideration to investing in a high quality alarm and security system
Most Common Break-In Sites
Patio Doors And Back Doors
By far, the second entry point that is most commonly used by burglars to break-in to a property is the back door or patio door. The reason being is that they can do what they need to do with less chance of anyone seeing them. Additionally, it is interesting but the back door is more likely to be left unsecured, particularly if the owner is still in the property. Sliding doors are especially problematic as they are usually secured with fairly simple and old-fashioned locking mechanisms and can be easily smashed. There are even sliding doors that, whether they are locked or not, can be lifted off the track they run along giving a would-be thief an easy way to break-in.
- First and foremost and it can’t be emphasized enough – always lock your doors
- Replace inferior and cheap locks with robust and better quality ones
- Put a dowel on the sliding door track to prevent them from being opened
- Install bolt into sliding doors to make it more difficult for them to be lifted up and off the tracks
- Install lights activated by motion sensors
- Install a CCTV camera system
One of the very most fragile points of entry to your home are the windows. But surely people would hear windows smashing? The sad and unfortunate thing is though that breaking glass does not tend to attract the attention of neighbors or anyone walking by. When people hear a noise, they will often disregard it – especially if it only happens once.In many cases, burglars don’t actually even have to smash windows to break-in. Particularly as many aren’t properly secured, latched or locked. Even the ones that are locked often do not have good quality locks.
- Install robust and high quality locks and make sure you use them at all times
- Neatly trim any large shrubbery you have – not only will this keep the outside of your property looking good, it will not provide thieves with hiding places
- Install lights activated by motion sensors
- Install a high quality security alarm and system and make use of it
Gates and Fences
Interestingly, though gates are generally easy for thieves to climb over, many are left propped open or unlocked by homeowners. As is the case with doors and windows though, even if gates and fences have locks, they are usually of inferior quality and can be easily picked or broken. Gates and fences also provide great cover for thieves after they have got into the garden or yard of a home.
- Avoid leaving any rubbish bins, garden furniture or other items next to a gate or fence that could make it easier for a burglar to climb over and break-in
- Install high quality padlocks and bolts to gates on fences and always make sure you use them. Always it may seem like a lot of hassle to check and lock your gate regularly, but it is less hassle than dealing with a break-in.
- Install lights activated by motion sensors
- Install a high quality burglar system and alarm and make sure you use them
Another common entry point that many burglars use to break-in to properties is garage doors. In particular, the doors on garages that are attached to houses. Why are these so vulnerable? It mainly has to do with the fact that most people think that closing and locking their garage door is enough to secure their home. So they neglect to, forget to or just don’t see the point in closing or locking the door that leads into their house from the garage.It is sobering to learn then, if you didn’t already know, that although garage doors may look impervious to break-ins and difficult to shift if closed and locked, the reality is that they aren’t. The worst thing is that once they have gained access, and most professional or at least experienced thieves will know how to, they can roam around easily throughout your home and take what they want. As an added bonus, once they are in the garage, they are completely concealed from the outside world – so no-one will actually know what is going on until it is too late.Another reason why many burglars may attempt to gain entry to your home via your garage doors is because there is often some high ticket items stored in garages. Think about it – what do you have in your garage right now? A car? Maybe a motorbike or even a mountain bike or two? Even if you don’t have any vehicles in your garage or you are out when they gain access to it, there may still be power tools, pricey sports and home gym equipment among many other items. All just sitting there, waiting to be taken and re-homed and sold.
- Install strong and high quality locks on the garage doors themselves, as well as any internal doors there may be
- If you already have locks that have seen better days or are cheap and inferior, replace them as soon as you can
- Garage doors ideally should be made from robust and durable materials such as hardwood or metal. Therefore, if yours is not, consider investing in replacements.
- Avoid leaving your garage door open for all to see for extended periods, even if you are working in close proximity to it. You really don’t know who might be watching and taking note of what valuable items you have lying around in your garage. They may be doing this if they are planning a break-in.
We understand that this may be a lot to take in and although it may seem like it, this post is in no way, shape or form designed to scare you or give you nightmares and panic. It is however, designed as a wake-up call – as a warning and guide for you to do more to provide protection for your property, valuables and love ones.Although we have gone into great amounts of detail, the actual basics of keep your home safe and protecting it from break-ins is straight-forward and actually just comes down to common sense.By following some of the great precautionary tips we have listed alongside each of the most common entry points, you will not only make it harder for a burglar to gain entry, but could possibly stop them from doing so all together and deter them from making any attempt in the future.Invest in high quality locks, CCTV, motion sensor lights, security systems and alarms. Assess the doors and windows of your property and consider replacing any that are weaker than they could be.Preventing a break-in from happening is always going to be better than having to go through the ordeal and suffer the anxiety of coming home or waking up in the morning to find that your home has been ransacked and all your valuables have been taken.