Everything Home Security: Tips from Burglars

Posted by , , at 1:31 pm

When seeking advice, it’s best to hear it from the experts. This holds true when you’re looking for tips to keep your home safe. Burglars offer the best advice, despite their less-than-admirable profession.

Over the years, convicted burglars have offered sound advice to homeowners on how to protect your home. Here are some of the best tips we’ve collected:

1)    A ‘Beware of Dog’ sign is a great deterrent. The mere presence of the sign is usually an automatic no-no for burglars, and a good way to deter them.

2)    Trim your trees and bushes. Large trees and bushes make a burglar’s job easier; the same privacy that homeowners enjoy from large trees and shrubs will only aid a burglar.

3)    Collect your mail and packages. Burglars keep an eye out for a full mailbox, pile of newspapers or packages on the doorstep, as they’re an indicator that the home may have been empty for a few days. If you’re heading out of town, either stop your mail or make arrangements for someone (like a neighbor) to collect it.

4)    Remove fliers and stickers from your door. Burglars may mark a target home with a pizza flyer or sticker to see how long it takes for the homeowners to remove it.

5)    Avoid announcing your location on social media. Burglars use social media too, and they’re looking at your announcements about a vacation or a night out as an opportunity to break into your home.

6)    Be wary of window air conditioning units. No matter how you screw or bolt them in, they can be removed or pushed in with little effort.

7)    Do not leave any home repair equipment – especially ladders – lying around. Securely store your equipment away as soon as you’re finished. Burglars can use ladders to reach the upper windows that often have less security.

8)    Store your valuables in a safe. Burglars are looking to get in and get out, and a safe takes too much time to break into for it to be worth it. Make sure the safe is bolted down.

9)    Do not confront a burglar. Burglars want to avoid confrontation as much as you do, but they’re also very unpredictable. Don’t risk your safety and well-being for replaceable items.

10)  Get a home alarm system and use it. Burglars are wary of homes that are protected, but have found that many homeowners neglect to arm their alarm systems.

We hope you find these tips useful and please feel free to share your own safety tips with others!

Comments (17)

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  1. Stevek

    When away from home for a several days is it better to leave curtains open or closed?

    • Jamie Botzer

      Hi Stevek, if you can easily spot your control panel through the window, it’d be best to close the curtains if you’re away for an extended period of time. Otherwise, it’s more of a personal preference and I think that decision would depend on a lot of factors.

      For me, I’d be inclined to leave some open and close others, depending on how accessible the window is from the outside. If there was a large rose bush immediately in front of the window, for instance, I would feel more comfortable leaving it open while away than say if it was right next to the patio. Perhaps some other commentators can weigh in? I hope this helps.

  2. Pam

    I, too, would be interested in suggestions where to put main unit. We have it in living room, conveniently located between the two main entrances. That puts it within easy reach upon entering the house…and easy view of everyone. Never thought about putting it out of sight.

    • Jamie Botzer

      Hi Pam, the living room is one of the locations we’d recommend. It’s not necessary to hide the Control Panel, just keep it so it wouldn’t be able to locate if someone (like a burglar) was casing your home or peeking through your windows.

  3. Bonnie

    I was wondering where to put the main control system so it’s out of sight..

    • Jamie Botzer

      Hi Bonnie, we recommend putting it in a central location in your home — like the living room. By “out of sight” we don’t mean, hidden.. as hiding it can cause interference. Just be thoughtful about where it’s placed, so someone who is unfamiliar with your home (like a burglar) would have to look around for it.

  4. Sydney

    Would you recommend leaving the blinds open, closed, or half while you’re away from the house. If open, it lets neighbors see inside to see if something’s wrong, but also lets others scope out the place for items of interest. If closed, nothing can be scoped out, but then neighbors can’t help.

    • Gilbert Cho

      Hey Sydney, this is a tricky question to answer because so many factors can come into play, such as the accessibility of your windows and what rooms they belong to. As Jamie stated in a comment to a question similar to yours, it comes down to personal preference.

      Personally, for any rooms with TVs or computers, I’d close the blinds (or just stick a window decal on there to let everyone know you’re protected!). However, I’d leave any blinds facing your neighbor’s home open so they can take a quick glance throughout the day.

  5. Jim

    Recently while visiting family in Southern France I noticed that our son had not reset the system after leaving the house. Using an I Pad I was able to reset the alarm and ensure that our cats had been fed. Great system!

  6. Gary Spivey

    What kind of out of sight, not easily accessible to a burglar area would you suggest that the owner can get to within the allowed 30 seconds of coming in the door ( and depositing the things you have in your arms)? And an area with a nearby electrical outlet?

    • Gilbert Cho

      Hi Gary, that’s a great question! A great area to place your Control Panel would be somewhere like the dining or living room – any central area, really.

      By “out of sight”, we’re referring to areas that are away from the front door and windows. We’d like to prevent any situation where a burglar could quickly peek into your window and pinpoint the panel’s location, so a cabinet/bookshelf in the far corner of your living room would be a great place to put it.

      Hope this helps, let us know if you have further questions!

      • Chuck Finley

        I have a drawer that I drilled a hole through the back of so the wires could go through that my panel is stored in. It is in my living room and tucked inside a side table with a lamp, coasters, and what not on it. You can’t see the wires headed to the electrical outlet but even if you could, it wouldn’t matter. Who would look for cords coming out of an end table when they were inside? As long as you close the drawer after you arm it, it’s all good.

  7. Nat

    Thanks once again Frontpoint for caring about your customers and educating us on what’s important to keep us safe. It’s greatly appreciated and it’s what makes us want to refer Frontpoint to others.

  8. Mary smith

    Frontpoint has always been exceptionally helpful to us. We feel very cared for and safe. Thanks, Frontpoint

  9. Andrew

    I read from my Insurance company to not place sercurity company stickers on your windows because a burglar may find a way to defeat them. What do you think of that perception?

    • Gilbert Cho

      Hey Andrew, that’s a great question! It comes down to personal preference. However, we believe that displaying window decals (and yard signs) strongly benefits homeowners. A study from Rutgers University in 2009 concluded that the presence of a home alarm system decreased the chance of a burglary. And there’s no better way to announce to a burglar that your home is guarded by a system than with a sticker or sign.

      Of course, some burglars may just choose to ignore the warnings (or are just dense), so it’s important to make sure keep your alarm system out of sight and in an area where wouldn’t be easily accessible by an intruder.

      Let us know if you have any other questions!

    • Barry

      I personally have them on every window and door of my home. I think the same rule as a “Beware of Dog” sign applies here. Plus with my Frontpoint system being all wireless, the only way they’re going to defeat the system is if they have some kind of cellular jamming device with them, which I’m fairly certain isn’t going to be the case for 999 out of 1,000 burglars. I didn’t have a good location to hide my control panel; it’s easily visible from the back sliding glass door. But again, with FP’s crash and smash protection, what difference does it make? They’re notified right away before the bad guy can trash the panel. Love my FP system!