Protecting your home from burglars

Reinforced doors to prevent burglars from entering a house.
One woman upon returning from work was shocked to find the lock of her door broken and the rooms a shambles. Drawers had been emptied on the floor and everything pulled out of the closet. Watches, jewelry and money were gone."

This experience is quite common in some big cities and their suburbs around the world.

Working people who are away all day have become favorite targets of daylight burglar.

Since most of these thieves are drug addicts, they take anything they can, clothes, television set, radios cameras, and so forth.

However, professional burglars usually concentrate on businesses and homes of wealthy people.

Indeed burglary is such a great problem that many homes now have high walls around them with fierce dogs running loose in the yard.

Usually it not safe nowadays to go out without leaving someone at home to keep thieves away.

It is not an easy matter to keep burglars out of your home, but it is possible to make the burglarizing of it so difficult that they will choose to go somewhere else.

 So, how can you then safeguard your home from burglars?

Locking your door


The first thing a thief is likely to do is to try the door. There is a good chance he will find it unlocked." 

One burglar confessed that some doors in an apartment house he tried on one occasion, some to his surprise were left unlocked.

Hence, it is importance to double check before you leave to ensure that your door is locked.

Doors opening onto a garage, balcony or into a basement are usually left or inadequately locked, giving the thief easy entrance to the house.

For example, once a burglar probably can crawl through the basement window and get into the basement; he will have free access to the rest of the house through the basement door.

So how is your garage or basement door? Is it locked? And if it is, is the lock very weak or the wood around it in deteriorated condition?

Now would a good time to rectify the problem, before a burglar exploits this weakness.

Locks and door conditions


A door is only as good as its lock. A lock door commonly used on the front doors in some homes is the spring lock with a triangular latch." 

It is a simple matter for a thief to open a door having this type of lock.

With nothing more than a plastic card or a piece of Venetian blind that can be worked the crack of the door, a burglar can push the latch back and cause the door to swing open.

A better lock would be a rectangular or circular dead bolt that is not held in place by spring tension.

However, if the wood in the door frame is soft or rotted from age, the door will offer little resistance to a burglar even if it does have a strong lock.

All a burglar has to do is press his shoulder against the door or pry with a small crowbar and it will likely fly open. The same thing can happen if the screws used to hold a lock in place are too short.

So, do not overlook the other side of the door where the hinges are. If they are exposed to outside a thief can remove the pins and swing the door open despite you locks.

The hinges need to be concealed or be on the inside, and the screws holding them should be long and in firm wood.

If they are not, pressure from a small crowbar can easily separate the hinges from the door frame.

It is recommended that you have at least two locks on a door.

The more difficult you can make things for a thief the better chance you have of discouraging him so he will go elsewhere.

 A burglar does not like being delayed very long, as these increases the chances of being seen.

Safeguard your windows


Are the windows of your home able to keep out a burglar? Are they always locked when you go away? But even locked window may not be very secure."

One having upper and lower sections that move, usually has a lock that swings into position to hold the two closed, but a knife blade inserted between them can oftentimes swing the lock around to the open position.

Furthermore a burglar may choose to break a window so he can reach in and undo the lock. He has ways of doing this with very little noise.

A window lock that requires a key to unlock it or strong bars (grills) can prevent the burglar from having easy access to your home.

The window may also be secured in manner that it can open a few inches to let in air, but cannot open farther to allow the burglar to crawl in.

When a door has small windows a thief can break one and reach in to unlock the door.

Tempered glass can be used in such plane so they cannot be easily broken or a lock might be installed that requires a key to open it from inside as well as outside.

Safeguard your keys


If the burglar finds the door to your home locked, he will probably look for the door key in the traditional hiding places, such as the ledges over or near the door, under the welcome mat and in the mailbox."

If you have the practice of hiding a key in these places, you make it easy for the burglar to rob you.

However, a burglar will be wasting his valuable time searching for the keys if it is not kept in the usual hiding places.

What if a member of the family loses his or her house key or if it is stolen when a purse is snatched?

There is no difficulty in having a duplicate key made, but remember that a thief may now be having a key to your home and can get in whenever he pleases.

It would be more wise to get the tumbler units in your locks changed promptly so different keys are needed to open them.

This might also be applicable whenever a person moves into another apartment or house that someone else had occupied. It may be the only way to be certain that no one else has a key to it.

A woman can avoid the risk of losing her key by carrying it in a small pocket that in her coat or dress.

The pocket can be closed by a zipper or snap. Then if her pulse is stolen the thief will not get her house key.

When away


Instead of advertising that no one is home by turning out all the lights when you go out, leave one on in the bathroom with the door open a crack so it spills into the hall." 

Even if no one answers the doorbell, a burglar cannot be certain that no one is in the bathroom. 

Leaving a light on in a room where a burglar can look will not be effective, as he can see that no one is there.

If the lights continue burning during the daytime, it will be obvious that no one is as at home. Here a timer is very useful when you go out for a few days.

It can be set to turn a light on and off at certain times. The radio can be also used using the same principal.

Permitting newspapers, bottle of milk and mail to accumulate while you are away on a vacation is an invitation to burglars to help themselves to your possessions.

Your absence is also indicated by an uncut lawn and an accumulation of advertising matter at the front door as well as windblown trash in front of the garage door.

When one burglar found a note telling the milkman to discontinue milk deliveries because the family would be away for two weeks, he was able to clean out all the valuables in the house at his leisure. He even sold the furniture to a furniture company.When a neighbor came over to see what was going on when the furniture was being moved out, the burglar pretended to be a nephew of the family and claimed that they decided to move to another town. The neighbor was not suspicious, because the family had not told her of their plans."

This demonstrates why it is wise to let your neighbors know where you are going and how long you intend to be away.

They are probably your best protection against burglary. In area where burglary is rampant a dog can also be helpful by drawing attention to a prowler.

When to do if burglarized


Supposed you return home and find it broken into. What should you do? It is not wise to rush into as the burglar may be still in the house and you could put yourself in jeopardy."

Remember he is a criminal and can be very dangerous, especially when cornered. It is prudent to call the police and await their arrival before entering the house.

It may be that a thief will enter one’s home at night while one is sleeping. Instead of grasping a club or other weapons to confront the burglar, it is better to call police.

Sometimes if one turns on a light, alarm or makes some noise the burglar may flee.

But if he does not or armed with a gun, then it more prudent to comply with his demands and give what he wants. Life is far more valuable than the money and jewels that the burglar wants.

Conclusion


There undoubtedly are weak spots in your house that are inviting to a burglar. Find them and strengthen them.

To safeguard your possessions it is only sensible to lock all the outside doors when you leave the house.

Locks of good quality on the doors and on the windows will give you good protection.

By doing everything possible to make it difficult for burglars to get into your home, you have a better chance of keeping the things you have.

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