There are many steps a homeowner can take to prevent a home break-in. However, some are more effective than others.
KGW News in Portland wanted to find out exactly which home security techniques work, and which ones don’t. So they decided to ask the people who would know best: convicted burglars.
KGW sent out interview questionnaires to 86 Oregon inmates who are currently serving time for burglary charges. Here are their tips on preventing home burglaries.
1. Leave a Radio or TV On
One of the best ways to prevent a home break-in is to make it seem like someone is at home. As such, the majority of burglars said they avoided houses that had radios or TVs on.
Home Security Tips: If you want to avoid high energy bills, you can consider plugging your TV or radio into a timer. A few companies also sell mobile-connected plug adapters, which let you use your phone or tablet to remotely turn on or off whatever is plugged into the adapter.
At the very least, have them turned on during the morning or early afternoon, which are peak times for break-ins (more on this later).
2. Have a Car in the Driveway
This is another great way to make it seem like you’re at home while you’re away. For most of the burglars that were interviewed, a car in the driveway stopped them in their tracks.
Home Security Tips: Buying a car just to have it sit in your driveway is probably out of the question. But if you have a car that sits all day in your garage, take it out in the morning and leave it in the driveway; it may just stop a burglar from breaking in.
3. Eliminate Hiding Spots
One of the main goals of a burglar is to be hidden from plain sight. Because of this, burglars are most likely to target homes that are either located away from main roads or are shielded by fences, shrubs, trees, etc.
Home Security Tips: If possible, make sure your yard is always trimmed and fully visible from the street, and try to eliminate any other hiding spots for burglars.
4. Secure Your Front Door
When given the choice between breaking a window or kicking down a door, the majority of burglars preferred to kick down doors. Burglars want to be quiet, and they don’t want to cut themselves on broken glass, so focus on securing your doors before you secure other aspects of your home.
Home Security Tips: If you have any exterior doors that are hollow wood, replace them as soon as possible. A door made of metal or solid wood will be much more difficult to kick down, which could delay a burglar from breaking in.
5. Monitor Your Front Door
Every burglar interviewed by KGW said they either knocked on the door or rang the doorbell before they broke into homes. As such, one of the best ways to stop a burglar is by answering the door whenever they come knocking.
Home Security Tips: We’re admittedly a little biased, but Ring Video Doorbell is a great way to monitor your home and answer the door while you’re away. Ring sends you instant alerts whenever anyone presses your Doorbell or triggers its built-in motion sensors. You can then see, hear and speak to visitors at your door from your smartphone, tablet or PC.
6. Get a Surveillance Camera
Surveillance cameras are a great deterrent for burglars. For most of the convicts that were interviewed, a security camera that was visible from the outside made them think twice before breaking in.
Home Security Tips: While Ring Video Doorbell provides surveillance for your front door, Ring Stick Up Cam lets you monitor your entire property. Just like the Video Doorbell, Stick Up Cam sends you alerts when visitors trigger its built-in motion sensors, so you can see, hear and speak to anyone on your property from your smartphone, tablet or PC.
7. Get a Guard Dog
Not surprisingly, the fear of getting mauled by a guard dog was one of the biggest deterrents for burglars. While smaller dogs did little to prevent break-ins, all burglars said they avoided homes with big, loud dogs.
Home Security Tips: If you’re allergic or just can’t get a dog, there are alternatives. For example, if you have a Ring Chime connected to your Ring Video Doorbell, you can customize your device to play the sound of loud dogs barking every time someone presses your Doorbell or triggers the motion sensors.
8. Stay Alert During the Day
Finally, KGW asked the burglars if there was a certain time of day that they preferred to break-in, and they all agreed: early morning or afternoon were the best times, especially between 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. Why? Because that’s when most people are at work or school.
Home Security Tips: You can’t be at home all the time, but you can create the illusion that you’re home, which can be just as effective. By following the tips above and by implementing home security devices like Ring Video Doorbell, Stick Up Cam and more, you can make it seem like you’re always home and stop break-ins before they happen.