4 Secrets Burglars Don’t Want You to Know

Home4 Secrets Burglars Don’t Want You to Know


Alina Bradford

Senior Writer, Safety & Security Expert

March 30, 2023Share Article

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Don’t think you’ll get robbed? In 2021, around 19 people in 1,000 on average were affected by property crime. To thwart a burglar, you need to think like a burglar. And while you may think you know what burglars look for when they’re casing your home you’re probably doing things every day that unknowingly make your house more of a target.
We’ve paired research from our security experts with real-life experience to give you practical advice to deter burglars. 

4 Secrets burglars don’t want you to knowYour front door is too enticingYour home isn’t scary enoughYour yard is an easy targetYou’re leaving your second floor vulnerable

Image: Victoria Akvarel, Pexels

What To Do After a Home Burglary | How To Recover From a Break-In
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1. Your front door is too enticing
Image: Victoria Akvarel, PexelsThink the front door is too obvious of a point to attack. Not so! Over one-third of burglars enter the house through the front door. After knocking to confirm no one is home, they’ll test the door to see if it’s unlocked. An alarming number of times, they’ll discover they’ve hit the jackpot and walk right in.
Keep your doors locked, even if you’re just running the kids to school, walking the dog, or lounging in the backyard.
If you’re worried you or your kids will be locked out, don’t go for the obvious key-under-a-fake-rock route. Get a smart door lock with a keypad for keyless entry.

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Once you have the lock situation handled, you need to know when that door comes open, no matter if you’re home or not. Your best option is to invest in a home security system with door sensors. Our top pick is Vivint home security systems.
Once this system is set up, you’ll get alerts to your phone when the front door, or any entry point is opened, no matter how far away you are.

2. Your home isn’t scary enough
Okay, we’re not suggesting you turn your home into a high-security prison, but you need to make it look as intimidating as possible to a burglar. 
See, they watch your home before they plan a break-in. They take notes. Here’s some things they look for:

Is there any sign of a security system?
Does the lighting around the house suck?
Do the people that live in this house have regular windows in their schedule like driving the kids to school or leaving for work? 
Do they have a dog?

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To deter criminals right away, get yourself a security system sign. When asked, 60% of burglars said that if they were casing a potential target they would be deterred by an alarm system. Don’t use those fake security system signs, though. Theives can easily Google to see if it is a real security company. 
Your best bet is to install a real security system and post their stickers and signs around your house. One of the most intimidating systems is ADT. Thieves know the name since it is one of the oldest security systems in the game.

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Another good deterrent is a blast of bright light to the face at night. Burglars want to be stealthy, and they can’t do that if a motion sensor light turns on every time they try to tiptoe into the yard. 
Ring has a great lineup of floodlights that are bright and have motion sensors that can be adjusted. Our favorite is the Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro because it has a built-in security camera.

Next, when at all possible, vary your schedule. When that’s not possible, keep a television or radio on or use smart plugs to turn lights on and off so it looks like someone is home, even when they aren’t.
Should you get a dog to add to your home security, as well? Nope. Getting a living creature just for home security isn’t terribly humane. On the other hand, if you want a dog to love and scare off intruders, go for it. In our Safest Cities survey, many folks said they used a pet as a way to secure their homes. If you’re not ready for commitment, just post a “Beware of Dog” sign.

3. Your yard is an easy target
Image: David DukyNot all burglars need to get into your home to get away with some big ticket items. Your yard is probably full of awesome stuff to steal, like your kid’s bikes, tools, or even your car. Here are some ways to secure your yard.
Our expert advisor, criminal justice and theft expert Dr. Ben Stickle says that one of the best ways to protect your goodies is to keep them out of sight. If you can’t stash them in a garage or storage building, consider getting a privacy fence or adding privacy screens to chainlink fences.

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Next, make sure to lock your vehicles. Criminals like an easy steal, they usually don’t want to take the time to break a car window.
Finally, don’t forget about security cameras. Posting cameras around your home can not only deter baddies, it can also catch the ones that ignore your cameras. We recommend the Reolink Argus 3 Pro with Solar Panel because it has all of the great features of other big names, but for a lower price. Plus, it’s solar powered.

Don’t forget about that expensive barbequeChain your barbeque to your fence or a pole set in concrete. If that’s not possible, at least make sure it’s not visible from the street.

4. You’re leaving your second floor vulnerable

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Don’t be fooled; the second floor of your home isn’t burglar proof. The ladder you left out last weekend could be used to access your home’s second-floor windows with ease.
Keep all windows closed and locked, lock up your ladders, and be sure windows are outfitted with window alarm sensors. Should a burglar attempt to enter, you’ll know right away. Don’t overlook securing small windows, like those commonly found in basements and bathrooms.

Don’t forget to arm the alarmIf you have a home security system, activate the alarm each and every time you leave your home. If you don’t have a home security system, now is the time to get one. Our review of the best home security systems is a great place to start.

Related articles on SafeWise

8 Surprising Home Burglary Facts and Stats
What To Do When a Burglary Occurs in Your Neighborhood
How Your Family Can Recover After a Burglary
Burglary vs. Robbery
How to Give Your Home a Security Makeover
11 Simple Ways to Secure Your New Home

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Written by

Alina Bradford

Alina is a safety and security expert that has contributed her insights to CNET, CBS, Digital Trends, MTV, Top Ten Reviews, and many others. Her goal is to make safety and security gadgets less mystifying one article at a time. In the early 2000s, Alina worked as a volunteer firefighter, earning her first responder certification and paving the way to her current career.
Her activities aren’t nearly as dangerous today. Her hobbies include fixing up her 100-year-old house, doing artsy stuff, and going to the lake with her family.

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