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The top 10 ways burglars get into your home (and how to stop them!)

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Waterkloof by Gorgeous Gardens Modern
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Nobody’s keen on opening their home to unwanted visitors, and we don’t mean the rude kind that nitpicks your choice in décor, but rather the ones who show up announced, take what they want and then just disappear – how rude, right?

Burglary is nothing new, yet it becomes that much scarier when we realise that little things we do in and around our houses can actually make it easier for thieves to get in.

Things like what? Glad you asked…

1. You have a flimsy lock on your door

Make sure your front door looks like it’s there to protect you, not just look pretty. Show off that deadlock and flaunt that security gate!

2. You leave your keys outside

Never ever put that key under a flowerpot or ‘welcome’ mat outside. These are the first places a burglar looks!

3. You don’t have any fencing

SCREEN ABOVE WALL WITH LADDERS Modern houses by Oxford Trellis Modern
Oxford Trellis


Oxford Trellis

Fencing and prickly hedges are major deterrents to burglars, who want to get in and out of your home as quickly as possible. Add a trellis on top of that fence to make it extra harder for them!

4. You leave your door wide open

Bi folding door and fixed aluminum windows Modern windows & doors by ROCOCO Modern

Bi folding door and fixed aluminum windows


We know South Africa gets pretty hot in summer, but please don’t leave that door (even the back one) wide open for some fresh air. Rather invest in a fan or air-con, or open a few windows (if they have burglar bars, obviously).

5. Your house is pitch black

Elevation Country style house by homify Country



Going out? Invest in timers that turn lights and radios on at regular intervals. Don’t think that switching on a bathroom light will do it, as many burglars feel confident enough to enter if they think the owner is showering or bathing.

6. Your back yard invites a burglary

We know you love your new patio furniture, but do you know who else will appreciate them? A burglar who can stand on those chairs and tables to climb through a window! 

Rather store these items in the garage or attic/basement when not in use.

7. You have a cheap alarm system

Salida del Sol Morningside Modern houses by Flaneur Architects Modern
Flaneur Architects

Salida del Sol Morningside

Flaneur Architects

Burglars know all too well how to sidestep cheap alarm systems, and they are put off by brands that actually work. 

Even if a burglar does get into your house, he won’t stick around for long if an alarm starts sounding.

8. You don’t have any webcam security systems

Invest in web-connected cameras and make sure you display them proudly, even outside – someone walking by your house should immediately be informed that you are serious about keeping intruders out.

9. You don’t trim your hedges

Entrances shielded by trees and shrubs provide a very nice hiding spot for a burglar fiddling with a lock. Keep those bushes as short as possible and make sure they don’t eclipse doors or windows.

And if you really need to have them in your yard, pick a thorny version.

10. You advertise your love for cats

Meow by Pixers Eclectic

Huh? Yes, it sounds curious, but it’s true – if your car or window shows off a decal that you have a cat, burglars may assume that you leave your windows open so kitty can get in and out.

On that same note, don’t assume that a huge dog will keep you safe either. Apparently the little “yappy” dogs are better at preventing theft, as they bark and make the most noise at the first sign of an intrusion. 

Keep safe! 

Speaking of furry friends, let’s see How To Make A Happy Home For Your Cat.

What other tips do you have to keep a house safer from burglary?
Modern houses by Casas inHAUS Modern

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