Having been a home security expert for years, I am always amazed at how dumb criminals could be, but there's always a homeowner they can outwit, such as in the case below:
A man burglarized two houses in Marshalltown, Iowa, and then sold the loot on Facebook, says a story in the online Times-Republican. The genius busted in when the homeowners were on a holiday trip, making off with several TVs, DVDs, clothes, even small kitchen appliances.
Here are ways to protect your home from burglars dumb and smart, skittish and determined:
- Secure the garage. Many burglars gain entry via the garage. Make sure your automatic garage door opener, if in your car, is hidden from view. Always keep the door locked that joins your garage to your home. Often, this door goes unlocked, creating a weak link in home security.
- Have strong doors and locks. Exterior doors should not be hollow-core, but made of metal such as steel, or solid wood. Use a deadbolt lock, and never forget to lock all doors and windows when you leave and also when you go to bed.
- Don't hide keys outside the house; even a dumb criminal will know to look under the flower pot or doormat. Leave a spare set of house keys with a trusted person when you're on vacation.
- Use a home security monitoring system. The screaming alarm is a superb deterrent should a burglar penetrate a portal. All exterior doors should have detectors and motion sensors. This system should be linked to a monitoring center so that trained professionals can promptly send out help.
- Don't advertise your vacation. A would-be burglar can learn you're away by reading your Facebook page's posts about your vacation plans. Crooks do indeed peruse social media sites for these kinds of posts. Keep your vacation plans as secret as possible. Put a hold on your mail or have a trusted person collect it. Put a vacation hold on newspaper delivery.
Follow these guidelines and they'll make a big difference in the protection of your home from intruders.