Fall is upon us, which means that the bad guys are back to trying to plan their next theft. We’re going to give you some tips so you won’t be an easy target.
1) Fall is the perfect time to check your security lighting and alarm system. Are all the motion lights working? Burglars hate motion lights! If you have motion-activated cameras, do they all work? Get someone to help you test them if you need to. While you’re out there, make sure your night lighting is adequate.
2) Is it time to trim back the bushes that have overgrown areas around doors and windows? These are great hiding places for burglars, who want to keep away from the view of neighbors and police. If you have a tree the burglar can climb to get to the second floor or roof, consider cutting that back, too.
3) Walk around your house and peer in all the windows; look in between the curtains and half-closed shades. No, really. Most people never do this. If you can see valuable things inside your home, readjust your shades or look into better window coverings.
4) If you have a window big and private enough for you to consider it a break-and-entering weakness, consider planting some sticker-producing plants beneath it. Not everyone is a fan of cholla cactus or cat claw acacia, but consider some pyracantha, bougainvillea, roses other sticker-bearing plants.
5) While you’re doing that, look around your windows for rocks or other heavy objects which can easily be thrown through the window to gain entrance. You’re not going to make this easy for them, are you?
6) Is your back gate in good repair and locked? Burglars hate it when it’s hard for them to get in—or out—of your property from multiple directions.
7) Do you have a dog? Wait--I’m not suggesting you buy one! But, some people find it helpful to have a recording of a barking dog, available here for a dollar. There are several for free on You Tube, although those have commercials. There is also a motion-activated device which has had mixed ratings.
8) If you go out of town, have a neighbor keep an eye on your house, bring in the mail, and watch for things like fallen branches and flyers left on the door. A couple of lamps can be put on timers so someone appears to be home. If you ask, the police are happy to do a courtesy drive-by when they're in your neighborhood.
9) If a stranger knocks on your door, don’t answer. If you don’t have a peephole, they're easy to install. One excellent security option you might consider is a motion-activated security doorbell, such as the Ring or Skybell (About $200). Both of these have the advantage in that, not only are they motion-activated, but you can see who is at the door and speak to them, even if you aren’t home.
Be safe, everybody!