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By Richard Armen
Today, there is a lot of discussion about how to tell if your home security system would actually keep out a burglar. After all, how do you know, unless a burglar has actually tried to get inside? Many homeowners are trying a new tactic of evaluating their home like a criminal might. While you’ll never be able to fully explore your home through the mind of a burglar, you can at least imagine how you would go about robbing your own house. Combined with home burglary statistics from across the country, this technique will give you some valuable feedback about how effective your home security plans will be.
First, approach your home from the front, as a stranger coming up the driveway. After all, this is the way most burglars will begin to evaluate your home. In fact, about half of all burglaries happen through the front door. If your door is unlocked, or the key is hidden under a flower pot or doormat, you’re essentially inviting these criminals inside your home. The most secure front door combines a sturdy door and lock with outdoor lighting, security alarms, and surveillance cameras.
Burglaries also happen from the back or side doors, and these should not be overlooked. By strengthening the defenses around your front door, you might be prompting potential burglars to check out other potential entry points. Make sure that burglars don’t find an easy entrance through an unlocked door or window, or one that’s poorly lit and shielded by overgrown bushes.
Now, try to determine if anyone is home. Most burglars prefer a home that is unoccupied; this is why most burglars enter a home during the daytime, while the residents are at work, rather than at night, when they are in bed. Does it look like someone is home? Even when you’re on a long summer vacation, make an effort to make your home appear lived-in. Use a dog bark alarm, stop the newspaper and mail delivery, and hire someone to mow the lawn. Light and TV timers can also confuse burglars about your whereabouts.
Is there any way for the burglar to know that you have a home alarm installed? These alarms don’t just function to alert you to someone breaking in. They can also stop criminals from breaking in in the first place, but only if they know the doors and windows are alarmed. Even if you don’t have a security system, you can purchase signs to place in the window and in your yard telling passerby that an alarm monitoring company is watching over your home. These signs are one of the most effective aspects of a home security alarm system.
Finally, try to get into your car. If you park on the street or in your driveway, are the doors to your vehicle securely locked? Are all windows, including the sunroof, closed? If you park in your garage, investigate how easy it might be to break in. Many homes’ weakest link when it comes to security is actually the garage door, as homeowners forget that their garage often contains valuable possessions and links directly to the main house. Can you enter the garage without much of a barrier and without an alarm sounding? If so, expect that any criminal who is interested will quickly learn this about your home.
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