Prevention is often better than cure. In order to prevent a burglary, you need to think like a burglar.
Here are 50 things burglars do that if you knew, you’d be better equipped to avoid a break-in. From where they look and what they are looking for, to what tactics they use and who they are most likely to target. Think like a thief and thwart the theft:
1) They Knock
No, it’s not a sign of common decency or good manners; they knock to see if you’re home. If no one answers then they know they could be on to something.
2) They Check Whether or Not Doors are Unlocked
Nobody home? They may as well try their luck simply opening the door. With 1 in 5 people admitting to leaving their door unlocked when they are out, it would seem they could be in with a good chance of hitting the jackpot!
3) They Check the Back Door
A burglar never forgets the back door, so neither should you.
4) They Look for Spare Keys Around a Property
Leaving a spare key under a rock, under the matt or under a garden gnome is nothing more than a cliché that crooks are not only on to, but taking full advantage of.
And remember if they find your key and let themselves in, your insurance company won’t pay out!
5) They Have a Look Through the Window
What valuables you have, where they are and what weaknesses there might be in your home security. All of this and more can be sussed out simply by looking through the window. Plus it’s a sure way to see whether or not you are home.
You aren’t safe in the evening either. When homes are lit up at night and with your blinds or curtains open while you relax and watch TV, a potential thief can simply look in at your home from across the road and see everything they need to in plain sight.
6) They Notice Closed Curtains
It’s a lose-lose situation in many ways. You don’t want them looking in while you are out; but you don’t want them knowing you that you are out either. It could make it very obvious no ones in if curtains or blinds are closed completely.
The best option is to keep all valuables out of sight and all security devices in plain sight. Perhaps use frosted windows or partially close blinds.
7) They Check Out your Garden
You have a gravelly path that’s loud to walk over? Nice trimmed bushes leaving a clear view of windows, doors and every crook of your lawn? A well-lit perimeter with motion detector lights coming on and off with every slight movement? Then your home is probably not an ideal target, with too much opportunity of getting caught.
On the other hand, your garden has many dark corners and overgrown bushes? Then there are plenty of places for a burglar to hide away and go undetected.
8) They Check Out What you Throw Out
Nice big TV box in the recycling, receipt for a brand new laptop in the paper bin. What’s on the outside of your home can say a lot about what’s on the inside, and it is a good place for a burglar to start.
9) They Read your Post
That’s right. Your mail is a direct way to find out important information about you, as well as your personal details for identity theft. You might have a letter from the doctors which could tell a thief you are vulnerable and might not be able to fight back if they were to intrude; or an old bank statement could tell them how well off you are.
Throwing your old letters out can be dangerous, but there is a simple solution – buy a shredder.
10) They Look for Open Windows
Open windows are not only an easy in, but they indicate you’re probably quite careless in general with home security.
11) They Keep an Eye Out for Piled up Newspapers and Letters
Piled up papers probably mean you’re away.
12) They Leave Flyers or Litter on your Driveway or Outside your Door
A simple test. Unless you’re away, you’re likely to move this kind of thing.
13) They Look for Lights
Lights on could mean you’re home or that they could be spotted if they broke in. Lamp timers are a simple but wonderful thing.
14) They Look for Empty Driveways
This is another indicator no one is home. Especially if in the evenings and at weekends you have 3 cars and a bike outside.
15) They Make the Most of Snow
Heavy snow and not a footprint or sign of a shovel in sight? It could well mean you’re away. Remember, burglars don’t take a snow day!
16) They Check Social Media
You’re off on holiday – of course you tell your Facebook friends list. You buy a new TV – of course you have to tweet about it. It’s not hard for a thief to know every detail of your life; including what kind of goodies you have in your home and when you won’t be there at all.
In fact 78% of burglars are now using social media to target homes.
17) They Watch You
If you’re leaving and coming home at the same time every day, it won’t be too difficult for a crook to suss out when is best to strike.
18) They Cold Call
If you’re landline telephone is connected, it’s probably not too difficult for someone to get hold of your number. If you don’t answer it’s possible you aren’t home. But did you know you can actually forward calls to your mobile?
19) They Look for Security, Such as Cameras and Alarms
They don’t want to get caught, so this is something they look out for. Not in your price range? Fake ones can be just as much of a deterrent.
20) They Test your Alarm
You have a fancy alarm or security system – you don’t bother to turn it on. Burglars know this. It’s not unheard of for a prospective intruder to throw something through a letterbox or hit a door or window with force, just to see if your alarm is actually on and working.
Use it if you have too much to lose.
21) They Look for Codes Next to the Alarm
Does someone in your house have the memory of a goldfish? Always forgetting the code? Don’t write it down right by the alarm, especially if a thief could just peer through a window to see it.
22) They Make the Most of the Time of Year
Winter brings dark nights and plenty of opportunity to go unseen. Unsurprisingly, it also brought a 25% rise in burglary claims last winter.
23) They Take Advantage of Bad Weather
People don’t like to walk around in the rain, so there is less chance of a criminal being caught doing something they shouldn’t be doing when the weather is bad. Plus while you’re fumbling around with your umbrella or shooting out of the door to your car, you’re much more likely to forget to lock it behind you.
24) They Take Advantage of Ladders and Tools Left Out
A ladder is a great way to get up to a less secure second floor window and leaving things lying around usually indicates carelessness. Perhaps you’ve also been careless enough to leave a window open or your house alarm off?
25) They Listen Out
For a dog bark, a TV on and even for chatty neighbours who could catch them out.
26) They Smash Windows
Single glazing is an easy target and windows in doors could create access to an inside lock.
27) They will Lever your Window Sash
A tactic used by many. But, extra security can be purchased to protect the window.
Click here for Window Security
28) They Attack the Lock
Statistically speaking, the door is the most tried route of entry into a property and the lock is usually the weakest part. Picking, drilling and bumping are just a few techniques used.
How to prevent this? Get a new lock with a BSi Kitemark and proven defence against lock breaking techniques.
29) They Take Advantage of Overhanging Locks
You’re lock might be great, but if it doesn’t fit your door you could have a problem. Overhanging locks can be snapped in seconds and can be seen by any intruder who gets close to your door.
30) They Kick Down Doors
If they can get away with it they will do it. Make sure your door can put up a fight.
31) They Target Patio Doors
Thieves love patio doors. They can be easily lifted and taken out. Make sure your patio doors are reinforced with a bar in the sliding mechanism.
32) They Key Fish
Keys kept by the door? All it takes is an undefended letterbox and a long hook for a thief to swipe those keys; whether it’s your car keys or the doors keys so they can come back and let themselves in later.
33) They Barge Past You
You should never answer the door unless you know who is on the other side. Unfortunately if you do, and then have no protection, it won’t take much for someone to then forcefully enter your home.
34) They Make Niceties
They might be asking if you want your gutters cleaning or simply asking for directions. They stop, they chat and they play nice. But, what they are actually doing is buttering you up. Next thing they are asking to use your phone or the bathroom and they are helping themselves to what’s not there’s.
35) They Open up your Home to Them
They don’t call it getting a foot in the door for nothing! Whilst in your home, they might not take anything, but they might just open or unlock a window so they can slip back later.
36) They Scope you Out
Next doors ‘workman’ might just happen to be interested in your new alarm system and what’s its pros and cons are. The local delivery driver might take extra interest in where and when you’re off on holiday and the guy dropping off your new fridge might really take particular interest in your new flat screen TV. Or, they could be scoping you out. Finding out when you’re home and what’s in your home, and pretending to be whoever they have to to do so.
37) They Play the Part
A charity worker, someone taking a metre reading or a checking the boiler. They will be whoever they need to be to get in.
38) They Take Advantage of Authority Figures
If a policeman comes knocking you will probably let them in. But crooks come in all shapes and sizes.
39) They Gain your Trust
Remember, it’s not always strangers who are potential thieves. Some people you willingly and trustingly let into your home may not be trustworthy at all – from family to friends, neighbours or workmen.
40) They Use Scouts
Speaking of people you trust. A burglar might not be able to get close to your home, but they could use the people who can to do so for them. Maybe a babysitter, gardener or maid you hire. They use the people who have access to your home to scout out your property and even leave doors unlocked for the thief to come back later on.
41) They do Mark your Property
Find a mysterious mark on your fence or door? You might have been marked out by a scout as a potential target.
42) They Look the Part
They have got in, and now they need to get out with your things. But, would someone question a man in a high vis vest taking your TV to their removal van? Possibly not.
43) They Check the Sock Draw
So try and be a bit more original with your hiding places.
44) They Take the Safe with Them
They might not have time to crack it when they are there, but they will do later. Bolt it down.
45) They Check your Shed and Garage
If you’re house is unattainable, your shed might not be.
46) They Help Themselves
Anything left out in the garden or around the house is fair game to an opportunist.
47) They Climb
Fences, walls, gates, anything they can to breach a perimeter.
48) They Target Students
Student areas see high burglary rates, and for good reason. Often, but not always students are more careless with their security, leaving doors unlocked and valuables lying around. Landlords are also usually reluctant to add expensive home security measures in homes for students.
49) They Target the Vulnerable and Elderly
No surprises here. If you have a friend, neighbour or family member who falls into this category and lives alone, its a good idea to check their home security measures and also pop round on a regular basis – so anyone watching knows they have someone looking out for them.
50) They Strike More then Once
‘A string of burglaries in a local area,’ ‘5 houses on the same street targeted by thieves.’ You here these things time and time again. It’s too easy to assume lightening won’t strike twice in the same place, but when burglars get away with it once, they do it again.
Now you know how burglars behave you can ensure you are always one step ahead!
Securing your home is more than just about having adequate defence against intruders on the outside. it’s also about ensuring the safety of yourself and your family on the inside. Here are our top products to help you stay both safe inside your home and secure from those outside of it: 1. A Good Multi-Point Lock…
» Read more
Movies do many things. They thrill us, entertain us, have us laughing, have us crying, they even have us screaming in fear – but that’s not all movies do. It is not uncommon to be sat watching a film, good or bad, and saying to ourselves: ‘why on earth did they do that?’ and ‘what … Continue reading 25…
» Read more
Prevention is often better than cure. In order to prevent a burglary, you need to think like a burglar. Here are 50 things burglars do that if you knew, you’d be better equipped to avoid a break-in. From where they look and what they are looking for, to what tactics they use and who they are … Continue reading…
» Read more
Leaving a key under a matt outside, leaving ladders by your outdoor windows and leaving valuables out for everyone to see is just as inviting to a burglar as leaving a mince pie and some sherry out for dear old Santa. Make sure the only person you’re inviting to stop by this Christmas is good old … Continue…
» Read more
On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me… a state-of-the-art home security system! Not on the cards? If all you want for Christmas is to ensure the safety and security of your loved ones, but still want a little left over to spoil them too – then you need to be … Continue reading 35 Products…
» Read more