Simple Ways To Discourage Residential Break-Ins
Home is where you feel most secure, but a break-in could ruin that sense of security and lead to long-term anxiety and loss of property. Prevent a break-in before they happen by following our simple guide.
Although it’s tempting to brag and show off your new purchases, to prevent thieves, you’ll want to limit your knowledge to the public. This does not just include near you home, but also online. Resist the urge to post about your newest purchase on Facebook or other social media. Also keep your purchases out of view from your street. Do not have valuables viewed from your windows, and do not throw away the boxes or containers from large purchases outside of the trashcan. Viewing boxes of TVs and other electronic devices on the street might become an incentive for thieves to target your home.
Secure Windows and Sliding Doors
Although you may think your windows and sliding doors are secure, you may be mistaken. Older sliding doors can easily be broken into by taking them off their frame—even when they are locked. Similarly, windows can be pried open by a crowbar. To prevent break-ins the best method is to replace your older windows and sliding doors. However, if you cannot you can put a dowel into the groove of your sliding doors and a nail into the groove of your windows. You won’t be able to prevent a thief from opening your window or door, but you may be able to prevent them from entering.
No Spare Keys
It may seem convenient to leave a spare key outside your home for the occasional neighbor to check on your plants or cat, but a hidden key is not hidden for professional thieves. Burglars can either find the spare key by knowing what typical hide-a-keys looks like (we all have amazon), or by watching your neighbor retrieve the key.
The ideal is to not have a key at all, but instead remoteless entry. This could be as sophisticated as a biometric ID, or as simple as a 4-digit code. Some digit code locks allow you to change the code remotely from your phone and create temporary codes for your occasional neighbor or dog-walker. Remoteless entry gives you security but also allows you to carry one less key. You’ll never be locked out of your home because you forgot or lost your key.
Smart Landscaping & Lighting
Your first thought when landscaping your home is probably beauty, as it should be. However, overgrown bushes give burglars a safe place to hide, and tall trees and vines give them access to the second floor.
Lighting can safeguard your home and trick potential intruders. Lights illuminating your home and the areas surrounding it can discourage potential intruders. But you can also you use lighting to trick intruders. Motion activated lights can discourage anyone approaching, and automated lights that are meant to mimic your home’s everyday life can help discourage when you are away. Automated lights are a step above timed lights. Instead of a specific time, which can become predictable, automated lights can be set a random or pre-set intervals for added security.
Beware of Familiar Strangers
Just because you recognize someone doesn’t mean they’re not a threat to your home. Burglars will often case out neighborhoods as maintenance crew or salespeople. Someone who cleaned your carpet or offered you a package on solar panels a week ago, may have case out your home. They may even compromise your security while they were in your home by unscrewing an outdoor light or unlatching a window. Continually be vigilant of people you do not know well. As an added deterrent, if you see someone in your neighborhood that you do not know and you’re leaving, loudly pretend to say goodbye to someone in the home. Burglars are far less likely to burglarize a home they believe to be occupied.
Thieves want to get in and out of your home as quickly as possible but also want to leave with something valuable. Get them out as soon as they’re in by creating a burglar decoy. A good decoy would be a lock-box (unlocked) filled with costume jewelry, papers, and cash. You can even buy realistic looking cash online to include in your burglar decoy. Put your decoy in a commonly searched area, like the sock drawer in the master bedroom. But do not put other valuables in the same set of drawers. Professional burglars open drawers bottom-to-top to save time having to close drawers.
Once your burglar has what they believe to be tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of valuables in hand, they are not likely to search through the rest of the home for a few hundred dollars’ worth of items.
Whether you have a custom Ilcor Builders built home, or not, Ilcor Builders wants all our neighbors to feel safe and secure.
Ilcor Builders has been building out custom homes in Austin, Texas and the surrounding areas since 1963. We are a family owned business with over 50 years’ experience building custom homes. We would love the opportunity to discuss your custom home goals in our design studio in North Austin or in the comfort of your home. Please contact us at 512-476-7568 or request a free consultation.