When I read advice about home security offered by convicted burglars, I always feel better knowing that these perps were eventually caught and served some time for their misdeeds. A recent online article making the rounds contains some great security tips from the intruder’s point of view. It appears that a couple of security consultants took it upon themselves to pick the brains (yes, I did say brains!) of burglars to see how our homes look to a potential intruder. While you can find several of these lists on the web, I like this one enough to pass it on. Plus, it’s always good to know how the bad guys see the world.
Security consultant Chris McGoey and Professor Richard Wright interviewed 105 convicted burglars who gave several points of what they looked for before breaking into a home. It apparently was posted on the Internet and one of our readers forwarded it for everyone’s benefit. The article was titled “Thirteen Secrets Your Burglar Won’t Tell You.”
1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters or delivering your new refrigerator.
2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.
3. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste. And taste means there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.
4. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flier in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it.
5. If it snows while you’re out of town, get a neighbor to create car and foot tracks into the house. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway.
6. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don’t let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it’s set. That makes it too easy.
7. A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom — and your jewelry. It’s not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too.
8. It’s raining, you’re fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door — understandable. But understand this: I don’t take a day off because of bad weather.
9. I always knock first. If you answer, I’ll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters (Don’t take me up on it).
10. Do you really think I won’t look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table and the medicine cabinet.
11. Here’s a helpful hint: I almost never go into kids’ rooms.
12. You’re right: I won’t have enough time to break into that safe where you keep your valuables. But if it’s not bolted down, I’ll take it with me.
13. A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system.
As one might expect, I have a small problem with this last one! Most home intrusions happen during the day, and if the burglar is going to knock anyway to see if you are home (see #9) then the radio or TV as a simple noisemaker may not be much help. And when the burglar does break in, only a monitored alarm system has the potential to result in the police being dispatched to your home.
The last “secret” above also ignores several clear advantages of today’s fully featured system: round-the-clock fire and environmental monitoring, remote control of arming and disarming, text and email notifications, free mobile apps, video services, and even remote control of lights, locks, and thermostats. Companies like FrontPoint that sell the latest technology along with peace of mind have evolved way beyond the standard intrusion protection referenced above.
That being said, with a burglary taking place every 14 seconds in the US, we really do need to start with intrusion protection, provided by a monitored home alarm system – especially one with safer cellular monitoring. FrontPoint specializes in these systems: as the leader in wireless home security, and the #1 ranked alarm company in the US, that’s our commitment. You can even set up your FrontPoint system yourself, in about half an hour, and move it when you move. FrontPoint systems are safer, smarter, simpler, more affordable, and virtually impossible to defeat – even for the most experienced burglar.