Talking with police
can help in learning methods most commonly used by
burglars in your area. Pretend you are a burglar and
examine your home for weak points. Then fortify
them. For example, can a window mounted air
conditioner be stolen easily or pushed in to gain
entrance? Install it more securely. Consider what
you own that may attract burglars and make those
possessions less conspicuous.
Burglars often cruise in pairs. Upon seeing an empty
garage or a car pulling out of a driveway, they ring
the doorbell. If someone answers, they ask an
innocent question and leave. If there is no
response, they try to enter the house in the
The most common means of access is an unlocked door.
If doors are secured with simple locks, burglars can
break the locks or use force until the screws burst
out of the wood or the frame gives way. Or they can
break a cellar window.
If you have any hollow wooden doors or flimsy door
frames leading to the outside or to the garage,
replace them with solid wooden or steel doors and
firm frames. Install 180 degree peepholes and stout
dead bolt locks in the outside doors and mount
attractive grillwork over all of your lower windows.
Trim shrubbery to eliminate hiding places. For added
protection, install outdoor floodlights, a fence and
gate, and electronic alarm systems.
Don't put your name on the mailbox. Burglars will
phone to determine if you are home. If they get the
answering machine, they know too much.
Encourage neighbors to keep an eye on your place
when you are away and you can do the same for them
alerting each other when strangers are observed.
Before leaving town, arrange to have your home look
occupied. Ask a friend or relative to come by daily,
but at different times, to park a car in the
driveway, put lut the garbage on pickup days, take
in the mail and newspapers, shovel the snow or mow
the grass, and alter the draperies and automatic
Avoid attracting attention. Some of it may prove
unwelcome. If a new stereo or home computer arrives,
don't upt the labeled carton in the trash without
flattening it inside out. On the other hand, it is
wise to etch your social security number on your
Don't keep cash around, travelers' checks are safer.
If you hide valuables, keep a map of their locations
in a safe deposit box or with an attorney. Burglars
know where people generally keep valuables, and they
will look in those places first. In picking places
to hide valuables, remember that the kitchen is most
often used and that toilet tanks are favorite spots.
Leave some money and less-expensive valuables in the
open and hope a burglar will overlook the gem
collection in the bottom of the goldfish tank.