Burglary Prevention 101: 22 Tips to Prevent a Home Burglary

burglary prevention

Burglary prevention isn’t something I think about every day – or even every month for that matter. But I got an email-forward (don’t we all love these?) ;) from a friend that I am actually glad I read. It was actually full of great tips and advice on how to prevent a home burglary.

The reality is that if someone really wants to get in your home, they will probably find a way, but if you think like a burglar for a few minutes, wouldn’t you rather choose an easy target over a difficult one? Wouldn’t you rather avoid a face-to-face confrontation if at all possible?

So, even if you can’t completely bulglary-proof your home, you will likely get some ideas from the list below that will at least make your home a little less of a burglary target.

(added 5-25-10: I have since learned that these were originally published in Reader’s digest a while back… To read the full articles click the links below…)

burglary prevention13 Things Your Burglar Won’t Tell You

“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. A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system. If you’re reluctant to leave your TV on while you’re out of town, you can buy a $27 device that works on a timer and simulates the flickering glow of a real television.”

8 More Burglary Prevention Tips from a Former Burglar

Sources: Convicted burglars in North Carolina, Oregon, California, and Kentucky; security consultant Chris McGoey, who runs crimedoctor.com; and Richard T. Wright, a criminology professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, who interviewed 105 burglars for his book Burglars on the Job.

Photo By Johnny Grim

Got any other burglary prevention tips or suggestions?

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21 Comments
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  1. Creepy….but the not announcing vacations on facebook needs to be on bold! That’s all that I was seeing on facebook, people announcing their vacation plans. Be warned people! Not everyone on your friend list is a “friend”.

  2. great post, never expected something like this on a PF blog but its useful information so thank you!

  3. That is some scary stuff! I always let neighbors know when I’m leaving town and they keep an eye on the place for me.

    It doesn’t hurt to stop newspaper delivery and mail delivery when you leave town.

  4. If I’m going to be gone more than a couple of days, I always give a friend a key and have them check my mail/do a walk-around of my house. This way my mail/paper doesn’t pile up, my plants get watered, the house is occupied (at least for a short while), and if anything did happen, it would be noticed sooner rather than later.

  5. For windows at ground level, never plant big shrubs in front of them that a burglar can hide behind while he’s jimmying the window open, out of the site of everyone.

  6. Great tips. I always stop my mail and set a light on a timer before I go on vacation, but I hadn’t thought of most of your other poitnts.

    I’m going to make my wife read this next!

  7. Great tips! I never understood why people announced vacations on Facebook and Twitter! There was actually a website that compiled every vacation/business trip announcement from social networks and posted them!

  8. Mike D.

    Good topic. I just wrote a paper on physical security for a class I was taking and found that the most common way a burglar gains entry to a house is by an unlocked door or window. Don’t forget to lock up.

  9. Great tips. I really would be careful with twitter and facebook leaving announcements. But having great neighbors can make a huge difference. We have to be diligent, but never over do it. If we start to look at everybody as a burglar we’ll loose the joy of life and we’ll be unable to trust people.

  10. Great post! Thanks for sharing.

  11. @ Work In Progress Bible Community, great point about distrusting everyone and losing your joy! I’ve been guilty of this in the past!

  12. Courtney

    This was published in Reader’s Digest magazine last fall…I’m pretty sure it’s copyrighted…
    http://www.rd.com/your-america-inspiring-people-and-stories/13-things-a-burglar-wont-tell-you/article156709.html

    • Thanks Courtney, I missed that – I will make the necessary adjustments…

  13. Olivia

    The two narrow escapes we experienced went like this.
    1) Someone targeted our neighborhood. He obtained a reverse telephone directory and called everyone on our street over the course of several weeks to find out their work schedules. He would call and if someone answered he’d hang up or say sorry wrong number. My sister was home sick for most of that time and answered the phone all day wile I was at work. He gave up on us. An elderly neighbor on our street was robbed. And we found others on neighboring blocks were as well.
    2) Someone rings your front doorbell late at night. While you go to answer their partner gains access through a cellar window. The person on the porch runs off and you think it’s a prank. After you go back to bed the guy in the cellar comes up your stairs and into your home, looking for anything on the first floor. Our cellar windows were locked so after a failed attempt, they hit our neighbor across the alley way stealing $50 grocery money from her purse in the living room. That same night they also broke into a garage about a block away and took a case of beer.
    3) To add credence to your suggestions. You don’t have to own alot of valuables to be robbed. When I was a child we lived in an apartment house with a balcony spanning the entire floor. Fire escapes on either end. My parents kept the balcony windows cracked open that night as it was summer. The theives sliced through a screen, opened the window all the way, and stole a record collection.

  14. not sure if this is scary or good advice.

    it is important to have a strong neighborhood watch unit that you can trust while you are out of town.

    nothing worse than going on vacation and worrying the whole time about someone going through all your stuff.

  15. Courtney

    No problem :-)

  16. very good tips , good topics cheers for sharing , you can never be too careful

  17. IvanR

    My brother works in law enforcement. When I bought my LCD TV he told me to cut the box up in smaller pieces and throw it out a bit at a time so it would not be obvious that I had just purchased it when everyone see’s a huge box at the curb. I took it a step further and brought my TV home at night and backed my van up really close to the door so it would be less conspicuous what I was bringing into the house.

  18. the tips are worth reading as due to bad economic times and joblessness, the thefts and home burgleries are on the rise and we should all be careful enough to secure our houses and make sure we and our families are protected.. you can never be too careful or underestimate thiefs

  19. Getting robbed is an awful feeling and makes you think that you could have done more to prevent it. Only after, you start to consider that security is more than a simple issue. It is a big one.
    Talking security takes more than locking doors and windows when you leave home. There are lots of other things to consider like back and front yard, inside and outside lightning, alarms and safes.
    Last summer I lost my laptop and was told by law enforcement officers that I would have to bid on my own laptop at auction unless I could prove the item belonged to me. Luckily my brother in law got me a Ghostprint kit for my birthday and my laptop was one of the first items I marked.
    http://secure-your-valuables.com/
    I hope it will be useful
    The officers returned my laptop after providing them with the details of my invisible Ghostprint mark, saving me potentially having to buy my own laptop again!

  20. JohnRichardson

    Light timers and Fake TV are excellent solutions to deter burglars. Also playing anti-theft home occupancy sounds MP3 or a CD (sells on Amazon) is great to trick burglar that someone is home.

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