Over 50 percent of all break-ins are simply crimes of opportunity. These are situations where intruders are virtually invited in by unlocked windows and doors.
Beyond issuing an open invitation to intruders by leaving things unlocked, some homeowners often make things even more inviting by providing shrubbery to conceal actions and the cover of darkness to work within. These homeowners should be listed as accomplices to the crimes that befall their homes since they do everything possible to assist in the crime.
In contrast, a few simple guidelines can make your home as tight as the proverbial bug in a rug, affording you greater safety while you're home and when you're away:
- Check all window and door locks to make sure that they are operating properly. Install backup or secondary security locks and latches at vulnerable locations. Then use these simple protections-always.
- Add a heavy-duty security storm door to outside doors and toughen up sliding patio doors with pin-locks and crossbars to deter forced opening.
- Trim back any thin shrubbery and bushes near windows and doors that might provide cover for a burglar's work-in-process.
- Add outdoor security lighting with a motion detector on/off control.
- Add metal security bars over windows and doors in high-risk areas, such as basement windows. Make sure that these bars have quick-release safety latches for easy emergency escape for those inside.
- Never hide a house key in an obvious location. Even amateurs know most favorites, like under mats, in flower pots, and inside fake rocks.
- Close drapes and shades when you're out to prevent looky-loo's.
- Always watch for unusual activity and new faces near your home.