Shut Down Home Intruders With These 7 Safety Strategies

Dated: October 4 2021

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Shut Down Home Intruders With These 7 Safety Strategies

Accordingto the FBI, more than one million burglaries are committed in theUnited States each year, with victims suffering an estimated $3billion in combined property losses.1 Fortunately, thereare some proven tactics you can use to decrease your likelihood of ahome invasion.

Mostburglars won’t go to extreme lengths to enter a residence. They arelooking for easy access with minimal risk. A monitored securitysystem can be an effective deterrent—homes without one are 300%more likely to be burglarized—but it isn’t the only way toprotect your property.2 The strategies below can help tomaximize your home’s security and minimize your chances of beingtargeted by intruders.

Thinkingabout listing your home? We have some additional recommendationsfor you. Contact us to find out the procedures we use to keep ourclients and their property safe and secure during the buying andselling process.

    Check Your Doors and Windows

Accordingto home security company ADT, the most common entry point for aburglar is an unlocked front door (34%) followed by a first-floorwindow (23%) or back door (22%).3 So securing these pointsof entry is essential.

    Evaluate the condition of your doors and locks.

Asteel door is generally considered the strongest, but many homeownersprefer the look of wood. Whatever material you choose, make sure ithas a solid core and pair it with a Grade 1 or 2 deadbolt lock with areinforced strike plate.4

    Add window locks and security film.

Aftermarketwindow locks are an easy and inexpensive upgrade that can provide anadditional layer of protection for your home. Choose a lock that iscompatible with your window frame material and a style that isappropriate for the window type. And consider using a specialty filmon windows that are adjacent to a door. Security film holds shatteredglass in place, making the windows more difficult to penetrate.5

    Landscape for Security

Whenit comes to outdoor landscaping, many of us think about maintenanceand curb appeal. But the choices we make can impact our home’ssecurity, as well. Thieves target homes that they can enter and exitwithout being detected. Here are a few tweaks that can make yourproperty less appealing to potential intruders.

    Increase visibility from the street.

Aprivacy hedge may keep out nosy neighbors, but it can also welcomethieves—so trim overgrown trees and shrubs that obstruct the viewof your property. According to police officers, they offer an idealenvironment for criminals to hide.6

    Place thorny bushes and noisy gravel below windows.

Don’teliminate shrubbery altogether, though. Certain hedges can actuallyoffer a deterrent to robbers. Plant thorny rose bushes orsharp-leaved holly beneath your first-story windows for both beautyand protection. Add some loose gravel that crunches when disturbed.

    Light Your Exterior

Whenit’s dark outside, criminals don’t need to rely on overgrownshrubbery to hide. Luckily, a well-designed outdoor lighting systemcan make your home both safer and more attractive.

    Install landscape lighting.

Eliminatepockets of darkness around your yard and home’s perimeter withstrategically placed outdoor lights. Use a combination of flood,spot, well, and pathway lights to add interest and highlight naturaland architectural details.

    Use motion-activated security lights to startle intruders.

Thesoft glow of landscape lighting isn’t always enough to dissuade adetermined intruder. But a motion-activated security light may stophim in his tracks. And if you choose a Wi-Fi connected smartversion, you can receive notifications on your phone when there’smovement on your property.

    Make It Look Like You’re Home

Motion-activatedlights aren’t the only way to make an intruder think you’re athome. New technology has made it increasingly possible to monitoryour home while you’re away. This is especially important sincemost burglaries take place on weekdays between 10 am and 3 pm, whenmany of us are at work or school.2

    Turn on your TV and leave a car in the driveway.

Asurvey of convicted burglars revealed that the majority avoidbreaking into homes if they can hear a television or if there’s avehicle parked in the driveway.7 If you’re away fromhome, try connecting your TV to a timer or smart plug. And when youtravel, leave your car out or ask a neighbor to park theirs in yourdriveway.

    Install a video doorbell.

Inthat same survey, every respondent said they would knock or ring thedoorbell before breaking into a home. A video doorbell not onlyalerts you to the presence of a visitor, it also enables you to see,hear, and talk with them remotely from your smartphone—so they’llnever know you’re gone.

    Keep Valuables Out of Sight

Fewhome invasions are conducted by criminal masterminds. In fact, asurvey of convicted offenders found that only 12% planned theirrobberies in advance, while the majority acted spontaneously.8That’s one of the reasons security experts caution against placingvaluables where they are visible from the outside.9

    Check sightlines from your doors and windows.

Don’ttempt robbers with a clear view of the most commonly stolen items,which are cash (think purses and wallets), jewelry, electronics,firearms, and drugs (both illegal and prescription).6 Takea walk around your property to make sure none of these items areeasily visible.

    Secure valuables in a safe.

Considerthe possessions that are on display inside your home, as well. It’salways a good idea to lock up firearms, sensitive documents, andexpensive or irreplaceable items when you have housekeepers or otherservice providers on your property.

    Highlight Your Security Measures

Whileit’s prudent to hide your valuables, it’s equally important toadvertise your home’s security features. In surveys, convictedburglars admit to avoiding homes with obvious protective measures inplace.7,8

    Install outdoor cameras.

Securitycameras are the most common home protection device and for goodreason.10 Not only do they help prevent crime (burglarsare known to avoid them), they can offer peace of mind for homeownerswho want to sneak a peek at their property while away.11And if you do experience a break-in, security camera footage can helppolice identify your intruder.

    Post warning signs.

Securitysystem placards and beware-of-dog signs are also shown to beeffective deterrents.8 Of course, you should back up yourthreats with a noisy alarm and loud barking dog for maximum impact.

    Limit What You Share on Social Media

Socialmedia platforms can be a great way to stay connected with friends andfamily, but it’s easy to reveal more than you’ve intended. Bethoughtful about what you’re posting—and who has access.

    Delay posting photos or travel updates.

Itcan be tempting to upload a concert selfie or pictures from yourbeach vacation. But these types of photos scream: “My house isunoccupied!” Try to wait until you’ve returned home to share thephotos on social media.

    Set privacy restrictions on your accounts.

Thinktwice about connecting with strangers or casual acquaintances onsocial media. If you enjoy sharing family updates and personalphotos, it’s safer to limit your followers to those you truly knowand trust.


Wetake home security seriously. That’s why we have screeningprocedures in place to keep our clients and their homes safe whenthey are for sale. We also remind our buyers to change the locksbefore they move into their new homes and provide referrals tolocksmiths and home security companies that can help. To learn moreabout our procedures and how you can stay safe during the buying andselling process, contact us to schedule a free consultation!


    Federal Bureau ofInvestigation-



    National Crime PreventionCouncil-

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Otniel Gil

Otniel Gil has been a top agent in Treasure Island, FL real estate for over 10 years. Prior to entering the real estate business, he was in the insurance & wealth management industry and his backg....

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