The first step in a calculated effort to break into your home starts with surveillance. Crooks learn your habits and watch the home, looking for weaknesses and places around your home to break in without being seen by you or neighbors. Be vigilant about keeping trees and shrubs near your house trimmed back so there are fewer places to hide while attempting to invade your property. No invader wants to be discovered while either casing your home or while taking the time to pry or break open a lock. If all of your windows and doors are free of lurking spots, they will often decide that the risk of being caught is too great to even attempt.
Admit it. You’ve ‘hidden’ a key for a friend or relative to give them access to your home to feed the cat while you’re away or in case you lose your own key. Even if you haven’t done this yourself you know someone who has. If we all know about this little ‘secret’ don’t you think that even a half-witted thief would know about this trend too?
Don’t do it! An intruder would much rather have quiet and easy access, possibly not even raising suspicion with the neighbors if they are seen, as opposed to having to break a window or pry open a door. The first place any crook worth their salt will check will be under your doormat, nearby rocks, around heating or cooling units, tucked in bushes or in mailboxes. If the key can be found it WILL be.
Luckily, once you have your Protect Your Home system installed an easy upgrade to ADT Pulse + Home Automation allows you to provide each and every person who you DO want in your home with their own access code via a SmartLock or simply unlock the door via the ADT Pulse app from virtually anywhere in the world.
Not many things that are portrayed in movies and on TV are ever quite as easy to do in real life as they appear on the screen. Unfortunately, kicking in a door with a properly placed foot is truly as easy to do as it looks in the movies if you know what you’re doing. When you lock your door with a traditional lock there is only a half inch or so of metal inserted into your doorframe by the lock, leaving room for brute force entry.
Installing and using a deadbolt in every entrance door makes this seemingly superhuman feat virtually impossible. A deadbolt sticks into your doorframe usually about 2-3 inches or more, meaning that even if ample force is applied to the lock area and the door flexes at all you are still protected from intruders. Just remember, a deadbolt only works if you actually use it and make sure to lock it every time you’re leaving the home.
Often times burglaries are crimes of opportunity instead of pre-planned efforts. Criminals will prowl a neighborhood and simply test all the doors and windows they come across, hoping to find easy prey. Don’t give these opportunists easy access to your loved ones or belongings. Before leaving your home each day take a few seconds to make sure all of your windows and all of your doors are locked and bolted. If it helps, establish a routine to remind yourself every day. As you leave each room on your way towards the front door get in the habit of ensuring the windows are fully shut and locked. Done with your morning shower? Check the window. Finished making your morning coffee? Test that window over the sink as you rinse out the coffee pot.
If you’re not someone who remembers these sorts of things easily your Protect Your Home security system with an Upgrade to ADT Pulse + Home Automation helps you skip this step altogether. Preset your doors and windows to automatically lock when leaving the home and arming your system. You can also check your door and window sensors via the ADT Pulse app anywhere in the world to ensure all entry points are locked and lock them remotely if left open.
Electronic purchases are super exciting and we know all you’re thinking about in that moment is getting it unwrapped, set up and running, ready to watch, play or listen. As you are reveling in the excitement of your new toy you haphazardly discard the boxes next to your trash can for trash. While those boxes are designed to advertise to customers the cool gadgets that used to be in that package, what they are now doing is advertising to thieves the cool new gadgets that are inside your home.
Burglars drive up and down residential streets and use these packages as enticing reasons to canvas your home and look for weaknesses so that your new toys can now be theirs. Instead of leaving what equates to a flashing neon sign on your curb, break down boxes completely and fold them into your recycling or trash cans. If they do not fit, store them inside your home or garage until trash day, only setting them out at the last minute.
We already talked about how home invaders don’t want to be seen and will be drawn to homes with hiding places around them. During the day these are often behind overgrown bushes and trees. At night this is any shadowy corner. Outdoor lighting is for more than just getting you up and down the driveway safely or lighting up the patio for parties.
A well-illuminated perimeter gives thieves less incentive to target your home since there is no place for them to not be seen. Anything from a traditional outdoor light turned on with a switch by the door to motion-triggered lighting like those available through Protect Your Home make evil-doers flee and look for easier prey elsewhere. Be sure to replace burned-out lightbulbs as soon as they are noticed to maintain your lit perimeter.
The key to a truly safe home is vigilance. The moment you become lax with your safety practices is the moment that will criminals strike. Stay alert to your surroundings and what your daily habits tell onlookers about your home and its weaknesses. Something that may seem convenient or easiest for you is oftentimes providing that same ease to burglars. Keep an eye out, make a few small changes in your daily routine and you can eliminate common temptations and prevent home invasion.