A break-in is one of the worst things that a homeowner can imagine. The criminals who carry out burglaries and home invasions prey on calm, quiet neighborhoods just as often as crime-ridden ones; nobody is immune. Fortunately, there are several steps homeowners can take that will make their home an unappealing target for criminals. Most of them are very easy to implement and not prohibitively expensive.
Avoid Obscuring Entryways and Downstairs Windows
Criminals prefer to enter the homes of their victims discreetly so as not to attract the attention of neighbors or law enforcement. A house with dark entryways and obscured windows is an invitation to break in. If any entryways are located in alcoves, take steps to illuminate them. Motion sensor lights are a great fix for this problem; they can turn on when movement is detected and possibly scare off any prowling thieves. The lights should be positioned so that anyone in the entryway is clearly visible from the street. Also remember to keep any greenery around the windows trimmed. Trees, bushes, and hedges provide concealment for burglars when they are overgrown and obfuscate the view of first floor windows.
Eliminate Access to Upstairs Windows
Access to upstairs windows is another way criminals enter homes. They know that some homeowners neglect to lock their upstairs windows because they don’t foresee a criminal climbing up to the second story. First and foremost, upstairs windows should always be closed and locked if you are not at home. Secondly, access to these windows must be eliminated. Criminals do not typically carry ladders, so they rely on tall trees and fences to gain access. Any large tree branches that are close enough to a window to permit human access should be cut off. If your home has a fence, check and see if it is providing a place for criminals to stand when trying to break in through an upstairs window. If so, it may be necessary to relocate that section of the fence.
Reinforce Your Doors
If criminals cannot gain access to your home stealthily, they may resort to brute force. One of the most common burglary tactics is to simply kick down the door. Kicking down a standard door is not particularly difficult; most door jambs are made of fragile wood. Many companies produce metal door jambs that bolt into the studs. Doors that have been fortified with these upgraded jambs are nearly impossible to breach without special equipment.
No homeowner has to live in fear of a home invasion or burglary. These simple changes can dramatically reduce the chances of a criminal entering the home. Implement a few of these steps to improve your home’s security and give yourself peace of mind.