Have you ever wondered what factors a burglar considers when deciding which homes to target? Some of these things may surprise you. This list comes from a Texas based security company that is taking steps to educate its customers. The list takes a humorous approach to giving end users some insight into the diverse and sometimes surprising forms a burglar can take, the indicators of wealth burglars pick up on, and how they know no one is home, among others.
The list highlights the importance of supplementing a dependable security system with a deeper awareness of seemingly harmless visitors and how a residence or business can attract a burglar’s attention. Hopefully, it will give you some tips to avoid being a victim of theft or something worse.
In addition to having a good security system, you may want to consider adding surveillance cameras to the outside of your home. There are also cameras that use motion detection which then turns on a flood light. A burglar is not going to go past this first line of defense. If a flood light comes on, they will run. Personally, I want to stop anyone from even attempting to breach my home security system. I know that with some home systems, if a door or window is opened when the system is armed, the panel box “beeps” for sixty seconds before alarms are set off. Then, you receive a call from the security company, and if you don’t answer, they call your back-up number. If no one answers at the back-up number, it is only then that the police are notified. Therefore, it could take 10-15 minutes at best before the police are at your door.
I accidentally set off my alarm in the middle of the night one time and punched in my code once to turn it off. I was actually supposed to punch in my code twice if the alarm is accidentally set off. I didn’t have my phone turned on, was in a sleepy stupor and returned to bed. The police showed up an hour later. I did not find that experience to be very comforting and even sixty seconds seems like a long time to me before alarms are set off. An intruder can do a lot of harm to you in that short amount of time if they aren’t scared off by your beeping sound. Many home invasions are committed by people on drugs who are not thinking logically – like they should run when they hear your alarm box beeping.
Here is that list:
1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.
2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.
3. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste, and taste means there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.
4. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it.
5. If it snows while you’re out of town, get a neighbor to create car and foot tracks into the house. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway.
6. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don’t let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it’s set. That makes it too easy.
7. A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom (and your jewelry). It’s not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too.
8. It’s raining, you’re fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door – understandable. But understand this: I don’t take a day off because of bad weather.
9. I always knock first. If you answer, I’ll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. (Don’t take me up on it.)
10. Do you really think I won’t look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet.
11. Here’s a helpful hint: I almost never go into kid’s rooms.
12. You’re right, I won’t have enough time to break into that safe where you keep your valuables. But if it’s not bolted down, I’ll take it with me.
13. A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system.
14. If you’re reluctant to leave your TV on while you’re out of town, you can buy a $35 device that works on a timer and simulates the flickering glow of a real television. (Find it at www.faketv.com.)
15. Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and carry a rake. I do my best to never, ever look like a crook.
16. The two things I hate most are loud dogs and nosy neighbors.
17. I’ll break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise. If your neighbor hears one loud sound, he’ll stop what he’s doing and wait to hear it again. If he doesn’t hear it again, he’ll just go back to what he was doing. It’s human nature.
18. I’m not complaining, but why would you pay all that money for a fancy alarm system and leave your house without setting it?
19. I love looking in your windows. I’m looking for signs that you’re home and for flat screen TVs or gaming systems. I’ll drive or walk through your neighborhood at night, before you close the blinds, just to pick my targets.
20. Avoid announcing your vacation on your FaceBook page. It’s easier than you think to look up your address.
21. To you, leaving that window open just a crack during the day is a way to let in a little fresh air. To me, it’s an invitation.
22. If you don’t answer when I knock, I try the door. Occasionally, I hit the jackpot and walk right in.