Myth: Most burglaries occur at night when nobody can see the intruder.
Fact: Most burglaries occur during the day because criminals know that's the most likely time that people are away at work.
Myth: Most burglaries are random and spontaneous.
Fact: Most burglaries occur after the thief has "cased" a residence and pre-meditated an intrusion and getaway plan.
If a thief has not gotten into your house within four minutes of trying, chances are he'll abandon further attempts. Using multiple layers of protection from intruders will make entry take well over four minutes.
If your neighborhood doesn't have a "watch" program, get one started.
- Get to know your neighbors; they'll be more likely to call the police if they notice someone unfamiliar loitering on your property.
- Post neighborhood watch signs throughout the area.
Secure the exterior of your house.
- Install lights at all entry points including the garage; it's best if they can detect motion.
- Don't allow shrubs to grow above window sill height.
- Don't let tree branches obscure windows.
- Plant thorny shrubs around windows so burglars can't hide in them.
- Lock all gates and fences.
- Keep all potential entry points locked, including basement wells and the door to the attached garage.
- Make the interior always look occupied by never letting the grass get overgrown or snow unshoveled; while traveling arrange for someone to do these tasks.
- Also when traveling put a vacation stop on mail and newspaper deliveries.
- Never leave the garage door open.
And then there is your house's interior:
- Install a security system that includes loud alarms. The sirens really do scare off would-be intruders, plus alert neighbors.
- Use timed lighting systems so that while you're away, it'll appear that the house is occupied. Timers can also be set for TVs.
- If you're gone for a while and especially for travel, set your phone's answering system so that voice mail picks up after only a few rings.
- Consider getting a dog.
- Keep valuables locked in a fire proof safe.
- Doors should have a complete security system that includes top-flight deadbolts.