Most any law-enforcement professional would agree that avoidance and awareness strategies are more preferred method to ward burglars away than to involve yourself in an actual self-defense situation.  There are definitely some things we can be doing at our homes to keep burglars away.  These are simple methods that are proven to work.  

Security system or signage of security system

Burglars are people who use a  combination of utilizing opportunity, and often times planning, to steal the things they want.  This means that despite what is depicted on TV and movies, most burglars will do some sort of reconnaissance of an area before attempting to break in.  One of the things that they do is drive through an area and look for those places that provide the best opportunity.  As they are driving by they will often note places that have security systems and those that do not.  A house without a security system is a more preferred place than one that does.  Therefore you can avoid some of these types of burglars by installing a system in your home and also placing a conspicuous sign saying so prominently on your property.  Even if you do not want a system due to cost or similar reasoning, you can still get signage from online suppliers or home improvement stores.  This sort of signage is key to the security system.  If the perpetrator breaks in and hears the alarm they will often times leave, sometimes they won’t.  There is a common adage that my law enforcement friends like to share, which is, “when seconds matter, officers are minutes away”.   Help avoid them coming in the first place and place signage up.

Beware of Dogs

The presence, or lack, of dogs works in much the same way as a security system.  At their root, burglars do not want to bring unwanted attention to themselves.  Therefore if they are looking for places to rob they will also avoid places where there are dogs.  This includes both solid well-trained guard dogs as well as un-trained toy dogs.  Dogs have a tendency to bark at strangers.  This serves to bring attention to a location.  Therefore a burglar will avoid places that have them or signage indicating they are there.  So again, even if you do not have a dog get a sign indicating you do.  These also are readily available.  You can even increase the ability of the signage to have effect by including one that states a person must “Enter at their own risk, guard dog on duty” or similar.  K9 Officers are effective for good reason and people know it.  If a burglar things there is a protective dog on the other side of the door, they will often move on to homes without such problems.

Know who is on the other side of the door

Never, I repeat never open the door for someone you do not know.  I live in a rural portion of the country and it used to not be like this.  I wish it was not this way.  Times have changed.  I saw a video this week of a burglar dressed as a UPS driver, came to the door and gained entry after a door was opened for him.  Know who your normal delivery driver is, ask them through the door to show you some identification.  Ask the mail or other delivery drivers to leave the package and watch them drive away.  Then go outside and pick up the package.  

Lighting

Although many burglars are brazen enough to rob a house during daylight hours. Many will watch patterns or absence in your home, or look for similar opportunities and attempt a break-in at dark. If you light both the front and back of your home it is one more way to assist in avoiding such activity.

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