Many folks state that if an intruder ever breaks into their home, they will simply shoot them. I don’t know about everyone else, but that sounds like a rather unpleasant experience to me. Therefore, I make a conscious effort to make my home an unappealing target. I take a few thoughtful steps to try and achieve this goal, many of which have been promoted by law enforcement as being effective. My pursuit in taking the following steps is to make my home less appealing than those around me.
Someone looking for a home to break into would prefer not being seen. With that in mind I make it a point to avoid planting shrubbery up against, or close to, my home. Bushes and the like provide something for a possible intruder to hide behind and obscure my home from neighbors and passersby. I also turn on my outdoor lights when evening comes over us and I leave them on all night. Again, most potential intruders wish to remain unnoticed. Having a bright light shining over your doorways will make sure they cannot approach your door without the possibility of being seen.
Another tactic I employ has to do with taking advantage of owning a dog. Not only do “Beware of Dog” signs help warn passersby and visitors that I have a dog on my premises, but they also warn potential ne’er do-wells. According to my research most invaders try to avoid homes with dogs, for obvious reasons. With this in mind I have a “Beware of Dog” sign posted on each gate to my backyard as well as on the doors to my house. I want to make sure anyone thinking naughty thoughts knows my house is patrolled by a canine.
I also like to leave a low light or two on downstairs so that it appears someone may be moving about the home. This could be a nightlight by a window or an under-cabinet light near a window in the kitchen. I am currently looking into purchasing a few timers to use on lamps so that different lights will be on at different times. This would further the illusion that someone is active in the home. Not only does keeping a light on downstairs help deter possible home invaders, but it also makes it easier for me to see around down there if I need to check on a “bump in the night.”
A simple method is locking the storm door. Many break ins occur by someone mule-kicking the front door and breaking the doorjamb. Having a locked storm door in the way forces the invader to have to pull or pry it open, which takes time and is difficult to do without making noise. The noise it would make could very well alert me or my dog to what is going on.
The last deterrent I employ is that of noise. If someone is trying to covertly break into my house through one of my doors, I want them to have to make noise while doing so. Not only will the noise wake me up, as I am a rather light sleeper, but it could very well scare the would-be-intruder away. This would be ideal since I would prefer not be placed in a life or death situation. The way in which I try to ensure the intruder makes noise may sound silly to some, but I assure you it is effective. I hang cowbells from the inside doorknobs. They are both unexpected and loud, as I have experienced many times by mistakenly dropping or bumping them. I am aware that someone trying to sneakily force entry through my door is likely doing so as quietly, and slowly, as possible. However, because I utilize locks and latches that cannot be seen or reached by the intruder, they will inevitably bump the door and cause the bell to toll.
These methods are not 100% effective, no deterrent is, but they are enough to make my home a less desirable target. I want to make my home look less desirable a target than my neighbor’s. It stands to reason that someone looking to burgle a house would rather break into the one that has hiding places, no outside lights on, no inside lights on, no locked storm door, and is easy to sneak into quietly. Even if the methods I undertake are not attractive to you, I encourage you to find your own ways of deterring break ins before they begin.
If you have suggestions on ways to help prevent home invasions, please feel free to leave a comment below.