We are excited to continue the series of guest blogs by Peter Rogers, Co-Founder & Senior Advisor, of FrontPoint Security Solutions. Peter has more than 20 years of home security experience, including leadership positions at some of the country’s most prominent alarm companies.
Wireless Home Security Update – Top 10 Things Burglars Avoid
We’ve seen that as many types of crime are decreasing across the country, burglary statistics remain stubbornly high: in some areas the incidence of home intrusion has even spiked. The FBI reports that there is now a burglary every 14 seconds somewhere in the US. Homeowners are asking what they can do for greater security – and greater peace of mind. I came across this great list that provides some timely advice about what burglars don’t like to find, as they case a house or neighborhood. And as you might guess, item #2 is my favorite!
Burglars invade homes every single day. There is nothing more threatening to an apartment dweller or homeowner than the idea of a burglar forcing his way into their home and stealing their valuables. Not only does this leave the victim angry and shaken, but it also makes the victim feel as if their life and sanctuary have been viciously invaded. More than likely, the typical burglar is not the high-tech professional you may have seen in movies. In reality, most burglars are amateurs who will use crude methods of gaining access to your house, including breaking windows and kicking in doors. Here are some things that burglars tend to avoid.
1) Strong Doors
Many people when purchasing a home, renting an apartment or building a new home can tend to get skimpy on details like the quality of exterior doors. Some people feel that a door is a door so there’s no use in worrying about it. Not so. If possible, invest in solid hardwood or metal clad exterior doors. If renting an apartment, invest in deadbolts.
I couldn’t agree more. In fact, here a link to my blog on Where Burglars Break In – and you’ll see that it’s the front or back door almost 60% of the time!
2) Security Systems
If at all possible, invest in a high-quality, trusted and monitored security system. As you may notice with car alarms that have frequent false alarms, most people will walk right by a car with a screaming alarm without even giving it a second glance. Having a monitored security system will alert police once your home has been breached. You can also put a sign on your yard or decals on your windows that show that your house has a security system. If a burglar is scouting the area, more than likely he will go to the house that does not have a security system to avoid the hassle.
Studies show that a home with a monitored alarm system is actually one third less likely to be burglarized than the unprotected home next door. And when you are shopping for wireless home security, be sure to ask for safer wireless monitoring: no vulnerable phone or Internet line required, and no physical connection for a burglar to cut with that $3 pair of wire cutters.
A barking dog, even if it is a small dog with an annoying yap, is a definite deterrent for a burglar. If you do not have a dog, post a “Beware of Dog” sign on your gate or near your front and back doors. Burglars will avoid having to deal with a barking and growling animal any day.
4) Well-lit Areas
If there is one thing a burglar loves, it is working in the dark, away from seeing eyes. Burglars are knowledgeable when it comes to jimmying open a door or breaking a window and unlocking a door in the dark. Keep the area around your house well lit and invest in motion detector lights for those darker corners of your home’s exterior.
5) Security Cameras
This is not an inexpensive investment, but installing a security camera near your front and back door will definitely keep a burglar away. Many burglars will knock on the front door to see if anybody is home before deciding to break in. Even if the burglar successfully invades your home, you will have video footage of your burglar’s identity.
6) Corner Homes
Burglars love to do their criminal business unseen. Corner homes, thus, are not easy targets as they offer more of a public view.
7 & 8) Two Story Homes & Apartments on High Floors
Most burglars do not risk stealing the larger items like wide-screen televisions and electronic equipment. They usually stick to jewelry and cash, items that they can easily carry. For this reason, burglars usually avoid two story homes, since these items will more than likely be upstairs in the master bedroom and burglars like to minimize the time they stay in a home. For this same reason, burglars usually avoid apartments located on the higher floors. First floor apartments are easier to scout and escape from.
9) Closed Drapes or Shutters
Many people love to have the sunlight stream through their windows, but this gives potential burglars a chance to glimpse into your homes and see what types of items you may have laying around that they may want to steal. Keep your drapes and shutters closed when you can, especially at night.
10) Irregular Routines
Burglars simply LOVE routines. Many burglaries are not random. Burglars like to scout out their potential victims and see what time of day is best to invade. If they know that every day, like clockwork, you leave the house at 7:30 in the morning and usually do not return until 8:00 at night, they know they have a large window of opportunity to strike. But if you (or someone you designate) can be in and out of the house at all times of the day, frequently changing your routine, burglars will more than likely avoid your home.
What you want most is for these random intruders to move on to the next house – and again, it’s been shown that the best deterrent to intrusion is a monitored home alarm system. And while you’re shopping, make sure you also look into the advanced interactive features that many alarm companies now offer: remote arm/disarm, text & email notifications even on non-alarm events, mobile apps, on-demand and motion-activated video services, and even remote control of lights, locks and thermostats. You won’t have to pay a lot for the latest technology, and you’ll love the convenience of many of these features. Be safe!