BURGLAR PROOF YOURSELF AGAINST INTRUDERS

Do you know how to burglar proof yourself against intruders?  How about locking up your things? You can worry about a home innovation or a “Hot Prowl” burglar and you may have your gun at the ready, but really I would prefer that they did not get in, in the first place. I am saying this as a person who has been a victim of a burglary and I am still pretty careless. So I am going to clean up my act, I’d like to encourage you to do the same.

We all live in different circumstances from apartments to ranches, so not all the same physical circumstances apply to all of us. We can only use what applies to us. I will run down what is recommended to burglar proof yourself against intruders.

Who are the burglars? They fall into to general categories that often over lap. The most active burglar is the drug addict that requires at least $20 or more per day for his or her habit plus living expenses. A burglar in a major city will have committed 300 or more burglaries before getting arrested and many if not most burglars never get arrested. Whether an addict or not they are in fact “professionals” they have the skills and experience to do their job well enough to get your things. Burglars sell your things for pennies on the dollar, they have to steal a lot to make their “nut”. Who cares who they are or why they do what they do, we just don’t want them in our homes. Basic principle # 1 is if your home is harder to get into than the home next door, they are going next door.

IT IS EASY TO BURGLAR PROOF YOURSELF AGAINST INTRUDERS:

Start with the “perimeter security”, if possible make them climb over a securely locked fence. This does not prevent them from getting in, but if they intend on stealing a lot of your valuables, like your TV and sound systems it would be hard for them to get it all back over that fence, so they will pick the unfenced house next door. Note if the gate is unlocked, they like the idea of being concealed from view from say the street or sidewalk.

Dogs are good, medium to large dogs that bark. For obvious reasons burglars avoid homes with dogs. If your items are really valued by a determined burglar they can throw a poisoned meat ball over the fence. There is a big difference between a trained watch dog and a pet. A trained dog will only eat food given to them by their handler.  Will not bark incessantly, but only when someone enters or nears the area they are protecting. Will attack on command and stop an attack on command. Does not show signs of aggression when out and about with handler. Does interact appropriately with the family and friends. Note a dog that has been raised to be aggressive and cannot be controlled, is not a watch dog, it is an insurance liability. (I know this is a bad example, but the pit-bulls owned by hoodlums is an example of what not to own.) I would love to own a well trained watch/attack dog, but they do cost a lot of money, thousands$$.

The burglar is over the fence and at your door. He does not have to be a master a picking locks, he just put a pair of vice-grip pliers on the door handle and twists it off and/or kicks the door in. If he needs to be more stealthy a peace of plastic cut from a bleach bottle can be slid into the door to slide the lock back. Here motion controlled lights work will to discourage intruders, keep in mind that most, 99% of all burglars, occur during the day when most people are at work. A good video system may be helpful. I say good because on numerous occasions I have viewed video of people perpetrating crimes and the quality of the video was too poor to identify anyone. Set up the video system, take some sample videos to make sure you can identify the subjects videoed. Adjustment in lighting, focus and/or point of view is often necessary. You can now view your home video system on your phone. If your alarm goes off you can view what is happening at home and advise your alarm company or the police if there is a need to respond.

We need a solid doors with good dead bolts. A door that cannot be easily kicked in or a lock that is not easily defeated. I have seen the pictures of New York apartments with multiple locks and a steel bar that braces the door shut. Those people are serious about keeping burglars out, unfortunately for good reason. If the burglar steps around to your window he should be faces with a securely locked window. I have often driven through neighbours with bars on every window. People don’t put bars on windows unless there is a good reason to do so. It is usually after one or more burglaries. If you put bars on your windows you MUST be able to easily open those bars form the inside in order to escape from a fire. Sadly many people have been trapped and died inside burglar proof home with no way out. I put these deaths squarely on the shoulders of burglars who led people to live in such hazardous conditions.

If you have a two story home, at night you could have a motion sensor downstair while you sleep or a pressure sensor on the stairs. If the alarm goes off all the lights could come on, hopefully scaring off any intruder. Some of us live in circumstance where none of this is possible, but what we can do is hide our valuable, our jewellery, money, valuable papers. There are some clever hiding devices, some you can buy or make for yourself, such as common household cleaning containers that have secrecy compartments. Or how about putting your valuables in that box of soap? Prisoners are people with absolutely no freedom to control their environment, but they still find cleaver ways to hide their stuff. So can you.

Final line of defence is a weapon, flashlight that can be used as a blinding light or a bat, a knife, mace/pepper spray, and/or a gun. In the application of weapons we are taking about a “hot prowl” burglar, this is one scary person who gets a thrill out of entering a house where he knows there is a residence present or likely to be. People with no experience with burglary would be over the top nervous entering a building to commit a theft, to purposely enter a building where there were people would be unthinkable. We must have a flashlight handy at all times, if the lights go out or are out you need to have command of the dark. A long D-cell light that puts out a blinding light and can also be used as a club, if need be. This is not a light that you could easily read by, you may want another light for that, a pin light or your cell phone. Speaking of phones, a pre-setup speed dial to emergency numbers, police/fire/ambulance, would be helpful. Circumstances will determine if you should investigate who may be in your home. This is so dangerous and will be address in detail on a separate blog.