When most people think of your typical burglar, an image comes to mind of a man in a balaclava, dressed in black from head to toe who creeps around outside houses carrying a tool-kit ordered from from “Criminals R Us”. They sit in wait for hours and when their target leaves the house they use their lock-picking skills to work their way in, ransack the joint and leave, disappearing into the night.
However, the truth is somewhat different. Your average thief will look just like you or I. They’ll be dressed in normal garb, looking like they’re on the way to work or school and rather than staking out a house for hours, they’ll just notice the window has been left open and leap in.
In fact, according to the US Department of Justice, in 2009, 61 percent of burglaries were forcible entries and 32 percent found an easy way in. Some burglaries happen during the warm summer months when people are at home, simply because they’ve left all the windows open while they enjoy a BBQ in the yard.
So, it pays to make sure you take precautions and you can decrease your chance of being a victim by taking some very simple steps.
On hot days keep ground level windows shut
It’s tempting to save money by keeping the aircon switched off and simply opening the windows throughout the house. However ground floor windows are an easy target, especially if you’re around the back of the house.
Fit window locks
Window locks are inexpensive and easy to fit, these alone will stop many burglars in their tracks
Leave lights on at night
There’s nothing more enticing to a burglar than a house that’s got nobody in it. If you go out for the night, leave lights on in the house. Not only does it indicate to burglars that there’s someone in (and they’re after an easy target), it also means you’ve got a nice light house to walk back into when you get back.
Defending your property against thieves doesn’t need to be expensive, simply take some common sense precautions and you can very quickly make sure your property isn’t an easy target.