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…
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!
Never ever put that key under a flowerpot or ‘welcome’ mat outside. These are the first places a burglar looks!
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!
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Speaking of furry friends, let’s see How To Make A Happy Home For Your Cat.