Residential breaking and entering is occurring at a truly alarming rate, and all indications are that the situation will not improve within the near future. What can you do to properly protect your home against the very real threat of break-in ? Fortunately, there are a significant number of very simple and effective ways to add protection to your home without going to great expense - none of which are foolproof, of course - but collectively, all of which will significantly decrease your odds of being one of the growing number of victims who now wish they had taken preventative measures before they were robbed!
Today, there are certain minimum steps which must be taken to ensure
you don't get broken into, and these will be outlined in order of
The first step in really attacking this problem is to understand the profile of the typical housebreaker. There appear to be two distinct types of thieves. The first is young, most often male, and often relatively inexperienced in his approach to entering a premises - the simple "street thug". Typically he carries few tools, and relies more on brute strength, or the carelessness of the homeowner, to gain access. Burglary to these thieves is a "crime of convenience", often to finance a drug habit. The second and less common type of thief is what I call the "revolving door" thief. Typically older, in his twenties, he is somewhat more "professional". He has been doing this for many years, and has come to view thievery as his "job". A picture of his operational lifestyle would be as follows:
"Steal a car, burglarize a home, do this as many times as he can before getting caught. Once caught, get out as soon as possible, start using drugs again and repeat the procedure many times over, while living well on the proceeds gained from selling hot goods on the black market, all the while continuing to pursue his 'career' of break and enter".
Regardless of the type of thief involved, there are three things that typically discourage them - time, noise and light ! By this, I mean they will not normally spend an inordinate length of time to gain entry; they will make as little noise as possible in doing so, and will avoid being seen !! So, it falls on you - the homeowner - to ensure that everything you do measurably increases these risks for them, and in so doing, decreases the risk for you.
There are three levels of security that can be applied to any residential situation. Make no mistake, they are all important, and must be considered if you are to ensure that you have done everything reasonable in your power to guard against break-in.!
The first is what I call "basic security". You begin by developing a security conscious state of mind. The key here is to become "intelligently cautious" by habit , and not allow yourself to become paranoid or paralyzed by fear, as so often happens following a break-in.
Guard your keys well ! Be able to account for all copies, and if there is any doubt they have been "compromised", simply have the locks re-keyed. This is not an expensive proposition , and is a "must do " anytime you move into a new premises. Also, never include your address or phone number on the key ring. This gives anyone finding your lost keys easy access into your home.
Develop the habit of doing a walk around the inside of your home prior to leaving to ensure all doors and windows are closed and locked. Then religiously follow this routine! (One third of break-ins are through unlocked doors and windows)
Ensure that you do not allow Telemex and water bills to pile up in front of the house. This is a dead giveaway for thieves, and, in some high risk neighborhoods almost guarantees you will be hit.
Do not discard packing containers for such electronic items as computers, VCR's, televisions, camcorders etc, without first cutting them up. Left on the curb for garbage pickup, they are an obvious advertisement for thieves, who do watch for them.
Have your driveway cleaned, and your lawn cut during the summer months.
Have a neighbor park his second car in your driveway when you will be absent. Have that person change the position of drapes and blinds to ensure the house looks "lived in".
Trim any shrubbery that would provide cover for someone attempting to break into your home. Be particularly vigilant if your yard borders common areas such as schoolyards, paths, or vacant lots - places where youth often congregate or walk.
Lock any gates that provide access into the rear of your home.
Ensure that your garage door is down and locked. The garage can be a source of expensive articles of all kinds. Remember also, that once inside a garage, a thief has all the time and concealment in the world to work on the inside door to your home. No normal door - no matter how strongly barricaded- can resist physical assault for long (especially if you have left tools in the garage that will assist him in breaking in !!!) Another simple option is to drill a hole through the track where the garage door wheels slide and clip a long shank padlock through the track on the inside. This ensures the door will not open from either side (Be sure to turn the power off to your electronic door opener to prevent the motor from burning out if it should be triggered accidentally by someone else's door opener)
The key is to ensure you have taken all reasonable steps to ensure your home maintains that "lived in" look, especially when you are away for extended periods. Additional steps such as putting strategically placed lights on automatic timers, leaving radios playing, and installing security lighting are all useful steps.
The single most effective deterrent is the Cyberco signs and decals that are installed with our equipment. Even the "dumbest" of thieves doesn't want to be caught in your home.
When a system is installed in your home we will know when the power goes off, if you have armed the system but left a door or window open, etc. Each modern day alarm also provides access control. This means that I can tell you who came in your home and at what time.
We strongly recommend that you have our cellular backup module to report all conditions, whether or not your Telmex phone is working.