The FBI reports that nearly 400,000 burglaries occur during November and December alone. Of those 400,000, single family homes are the most frequent victims and 70% of burglars are amateurs, just looking for easy targets.
Concealment – As far as your valuables are concerned, remember that if it caught your eye at the store, it will catch the crook’s eye as well. Conceal rather than advertise — they hate that. Make sure this approach extends to your yard too. Tools, toys, electrical equipment, and supplies should all be tucked away.
Secrecy – For yourself, it is very true that people you know may be scoping you as a potential target, so only advertise your vacation when you come back — you’ll have great pictures and stories to tell then anyhow.
Stopping Deliveries – For your home, of course you should stop the mail and leave your garbage cans concealed.
Threat – Additionally, if you have some type of security system you should advertise it. Sure, there are professional burglars that laugh at security signs, but remember most are amateurs. All you need to do to give them pause is to advertise your security system. Be careful not to use the stock, faux signs as they are markers to criminals that you don’t have a security system.
Video Cameras – Home surveillance cameras are also a great advertisement to burglars that your house is not the right house. Criminals don’t like to be seen and they don’t like evidence.
Pain – Windows are obviously likely points of entry for burglars. If you’re not open to the idea of installing bars, plant thorny shrubs or bushes beneath the windows. Planting the right thing is effective, inexpensive and will look a lot better than bars. See your local nursery, they’ll know exactly what you need.
Automated Attention – When adding or upgrading outdoor lighting, it’s important to consider motion-activated flood lights. When triggered, the thought that someone inside the house possibly turned on the lights is intimidating. Again, this gives them pause to reconsider.
Possible Activity – The age old trick used to fool a crook of leaving the lights or television on when away is not very effective. A better solution is to use automated timers that will turn on electrical devices at predetermined time. Additionally, some of these devices can be used in conjunction with motion sensors to engage various lights and equipment when motion is detected outside.
Hidden, Locked & Tied Down – Should the crook make it inside, make valuables tough to find. Even if you have a safe, hide the safe itself and if possible, bolt it to a wall or floor. As for electronics such as laptops and televisions, there are many security devices available to help secure them and at minimum, slow the crook down.