How to Make Your Home More Secure: Think Like a Thief

For both people who own their own houses and those who live in rooms to rent, security is a major concern. While Ghana is made of some safe and some not-so-safe areas, bad things can happen in any spot. Learning how to think like a thief is important to keeping your family and possessions safe.

Opportunistic Crimes
When you want to think like a thief, the first step is to understand the reasons why one property is selected over another. Whether you’re living in apartments or houses, thieves often want to get into the easiest spot possible. Generally, home break-ins are thought of as crimes of opportunity. Look around your property and assess whether you’re making the space too attractive to a criminal or too easy to get into. By building up a fort around your living space and possessions, you can work to effectively keep unwanted individuals out.

Start with The Basics
Having high-tech security systems in flats and homes is one way to secure your property, but you also want to make sure you’re addressing the basics. Check the locks on your doors. You should absolutely have a deadbolt installed, and more than one lock on each door is a virtual necessity. Keep storm doors locked as well when possible. Inspect your windows to ensure that they are sturdy as well, and keep them closed and locked. Letting in fresh air while you are home is okay depending on the area, but you never want them open and/or unlocked when you are out or asleep.

Install Window Bars
On top of keeping windows closed and locked, you also want to put bars on them for ultimate security. This may not be necessary for first or second floor windows. However, considering them for the basement windows is smart. These windows are much easier to kick in than ones that tower over peoples’ heads. Coupled with an alarm system, you are creating a powerful barrier against criminals. Some people install bars on the doors or choose screen doors with bars as well. Always consider fire safety when you put bars on any of the exits.

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Don’t Display Your Purchases
When thieves come into a house, they often want to grab what they want and get out quickly. Do not make a display of items that a thief might want to grab. For example, if you recently bought an expensive new laptop, don’t leave the box it came in out on the porch. Don’t have the curtains open to the extent that a thief could see your expensive new television set, and don’t advertise that you have a certain type of purebred dog that sells for a lot of money. Overall, don’t make anything in your living accommodation look worth stealing.

Install a Security System
Once you have thought about basic safety, you must consider the benefits of a security system. If someone does break into the house, an alarm will be sent out to the company and then to the police. This works to ensure that help arrives to your home. Furthermore, when you get a security system, you should put signs around your house and on the windows and doors that let people know you have it. This warning can hopefully deter individuals from trying to break into your house. Installing security cameras, as well as signs alerting passersby to their presence, is smart too.

Make A Lot of Noise
The fact that security systems make a lot of noise is another benefit to having one installed in your house. Thieves, in general, do not like to draw attention to themselves when they are robbing a house. Owning a dog that barks is also helpful. If the dog barks when someone comes up to the property, thieves may be more likely to stay away. You can also look into devices that will blast a shrill noise if anyone opens up a window or a door to scare away criminals too.

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When You’re at Home: Use Noise Too
You can also take certain steps to protect yourself when you are at-home with noise. For example, some alarm systems come with a panic device. Keep the device with you at all times when you are home and next to you when you are asleep. If you hear someone trying to break into the house, you can press that button. You can do the same with a car alarm. Even though the car alarm isn’t connected to your home alarm system, it still makes a lot of noise and calls the attention of neighbors to your property.

Outdoor Lights
When the outside of your house is dimly lit or has no lights at all, you may be at a greater risk of a robbery. As you’re looking for a new property, consider one that is in a well-lit area. Whether it is or is not, you should have lights around the perimeter of your home or the entrance to your apartment or flat. Many of these lights are motion-sensor-activated, so they will shine as soon as someone steps onto the property. This tool puts a spotlight on the criminal and also prevents you from walking into a house or apartment in the dark.

Tips for Vacation Time
Going away on vacation creates a sense of anxiety in many homeowners and renters. They feel that their properties are more susceptible to robberies. The trip here is to make it seem as though someone is home. Leaving a car out front or in the driveway gives the illusion that not all family members have gone away. Don’t stop mail delivery; instead, have someone come to your house to pick it up. You can put lights on timers, but you need to watch for fire safety. Having someone come over to put on the television and switch on the lights for awhile is the smarter idea.

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Vary Your Routine
For some people, breaking out of a routine is difficult because of work and school obligations. However, if someone is watching your home or apartment to rob it, this person is probably trying to figure out when you come and go. Trying to add a bit of mystery into your routine can help. For example, one day you might stop back at home between getting your children from school and going to the local market. You could also leave a bit later on some days when traffic won’t be as heavy on your way to work.

Watch Your Words
Thieves might also be eavesdropping to find out when you are going to be away or when you are leaving to go out at night. Talking about your vacation plans if people outside can hear is not a smart idea. Some walls are rather thin, and even your neighbors could be suspects. Quietly discuss your plans, or do so when you have absolute privacy. Also, watch your social media accounts. You should never post when you are away from your home, especially if you’re on vacation.

As you can see, thinking like a thief lets you get into the mind of criminals and to understand what they are looking for when they rob a house. Let this perspective guide you to stronger security at home.

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