Simple Ways to Protect Your Home From
Burglaries, Theft, and Home Invasions

protect your home

Burglaries, theft, and home invasions are crimes of opportunity

The FBI states that a nighttime burglar is the most dangerous criminal in America. That person is frequently hoping for a physical confrontation. You want to avoid a physical confrontation at all costs.

Victims of home invasions are frequently severely injured, maimed for life, and sometimes killed.

Remember that a home is only as secure as its weakest entry point. Walk around your house, think like an intruder, and ask yourself, if you had no key, how would you get into your home?

Before I recommend specific actions you should take to reduce your risks and protect yourself, there are some things you should know about criminals.

Why Criminals Target Your Home

  • Most criminals are looking to commit a crime with as little risk to themselves as possible. If you and/or your home appear to create risk for them, they will seek another victim.
  • Time is the enemy of criminals. The longer it takes a criminal to commit a crime, the higher the risk of getting caught or killed. Do everything you can to make committing a crime against you either difficult and/or time consuming. If the time to execute a crime takes too long, a criminal will abandon his/her efforts.
  • Criminals study neighborhoods, people's habits, and individual vehicles and homes. Don't make you, your possessions, or your home look very interesting. In fact, you, your possessions, and your home should look very ordinary to avoid being noticed by society's criminal element.
  • Criminals go where the money is (or where they perceive it to be). If you live in an affluent neighborhood, you are automatically a target.
  • Studies have shown that criminals tend to avoid areas with Neighborhood Watch programs. Talk to your local police department about creating a Neighborhood Watch program. Once established, it takes relatively little time and effort, and there are Federal funds available for signs announcing to people entering your neighborhood that it is a Neighborhood Watch area.
  • Studies of professional criminals show that most of them have very low self-esteem. Their lives are not very valuable to themselves. How valuable do you think they consider your life to be?

8 Common Sense Steps to Prevent Burglaries and Theft

  1. Keep your valuables out of sight, whether they be in your car, your van, or your home.
  2. Don't leave doors open or unlocked, in either your vehicles or your home.
  3. Don't leave windows open or unlocked, in either your vehicles or your home.
  4. Never leave anything of value (for instance, a lawnmower) unattended, not even for a moment.
  5. Don't leave a garage door open more than 4 inches to allow heat to escape during the summer. Mechanical play in the door can allow a person to squeeze under the door. Never leave a garage door open at night, not even the tiniest amount.
  6. Keep hedges and bushes around the house manicured to the point that a person cannot hide behind them.
  7. Place key locking gasoline caps on all vehicles left outside at night.
  8. Think like a thief does. Imagine that you are outside your home and are looking for something that would be quick and easy to steal. What would that be? How would you do it? Solve the obvious ways in which you can avoid having your possessions stolen.

Home Invasions: necessary steps to prevent entry into your home

  • NEVER have an outside key. Intruders routinely look for them. It's an almost silent ticket into your home.
  • Use 3-inch wood screws to secure all door jams and all door hinges. Often, an intruder will attempt to batter a door inward to gain entry to a home. Anything you can do to cause the door to hold fast will prevent entry.
  • Use proper dead bolts. They must intrude a minimum of one inch into the door jam.
  • Place wooden dowels in the bottom runners on your windows that will prevent the windows from being opened, even using force. This will force an intruder to break glass to enter your home making considerable noise.
  • Turn off your garage door opener when you are away from the house and at night. Physically turn off power to the lifting motor. You can use a computer power strip to do this.
  • Have a home security system installed and use it. Have sensors installed on every window and door.

Are there areas in your home configuration that lend themselves to easy entry?

For instance, if you have a door deadbolt that is just a lever, not a keyed deadbolt, and if there is a window nearby or as a component of the door, an intruder can simply break the window and turn the deadbolt lever to gain entry. Stained glass windows can easily be pushed inward to the point of failure and entry.

What to do When the Intruder Is Inside Your Home

If you come home to find that your home appears to have been entered in your absence, do not enter your home. Get away from it and call 911.

If you are in your home and you hear what sounds like a forced entry (broken glass, a crash), or your home alarm system goes off, you are faced with a difficult situation in which seconds matter.

Your 3 options are:

  • Immediately get out of your home and call 911.
  • Prepare to defend yourself.
  • Prepare to submit to the intruder's demands.

Assess your personal home security for the sake yourself and your family. And be careful out there. The world is less safe with every passing day.

DISCLAIMER: This information and ideas presented on personal home security are based on my best knowledge and experiences. I do not represent myself as an expert, nor am I giving expert advice. I am simply providing information that may or may not be useful to others. Any actions that readers might take in response to this information should be made based upon their own best judgement and is their responsibility.

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