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Man trying to break into a residential home using a crowbar

How Vulnerable Are You to Home Break-Ins?

Did you know that in 2019 alone, more than 1.1 million homes were broken into in the United States? Home break-ins are on the rise nationwide, and it’s important to stay vigilant about protecting your home and family.

Home burglaries can amount to devastating financial loss for a homeowner. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice, the average dollar loss per incident in the United States is $2,661! In addition to that, the crime can also negatively impact a victim’s mental and emotional well-being.

What’s even more frightening is how crafty robbers can be in home break-ins. From picking locks to using hidden entryways, a burglar can get into your house undetected in countless methods.

In this blog post, we will explore a number of common tactics along with tips to help your safeguard against unwanted intruders.

10 Sneaky Ways Burglars Can Break into Your House

1. Unlocked Front and Back Doors

Surprisingly, most home burglaries occur during the day, typically between 10 AM and 3 PM. Each burglary takes approximately eight to ten minutes. Therefore, for property crime, easy entry and exit are crucial, and statistics prove that.

According to data, an overwhelming majority of looters enter homes through unlocked doors and windows. While 34% use the front door, 22% utilize the back door, and 32% get in through first-floor windows.

Clearly, unlocked doors are an obvious way for a burglar to commit a property crime without making too much noise.

If you want to keep your home safe from burglars, be sure to lock all doors, even when you’re home.

2. A Secluded Backyard Is a Burglar’s Dream

A secluded backyard offers the perfect opportunity for home break-ins. A burglar can quickly enter through an unlocked door or window if your property is not well-lit and no neighbors are nearby.

Make sure to keep your property well-lit and trim any bushes or trees that can serve as cover for potential intruders. You should also install motion-sensor lights around your perimeter to deter burglars and make it easier for you to see someone approaching your home.

It’s a good idea to stay updated with the local news and maintain a cordial relationship with your neighbors. They can keep an eye on your house and report any suspicious activity to the authorities. As a result, close-knit neighborhoods tend to experience fewer burglary cases because of this reason.

3. Burglars Climb Fences

Climbing a fence is one of the most popular ways for home break-ins. Fences provide a physical barrier that can be difficult to scale. However, there is a wide variety of fence-topping measures available. You can:

  • Insert anti-climbing spikes,
  • Fix timber trellis with thorns or prickly plants, or
  • Apply anti-climb paint that blends with the design of your home.

Think about installing a security camera or motion detector with an illumination sensor near your fence to deter burglary and other crimes.

4. Pet Doors

While kitty and doggy doors can add convenience to your life, they seriously compromise your house’s security.

Robbers can easily crawl through the ones designed for medium and large-size pets to reach the interior door locks. If possible, we recommend you install a pet door that’s only as wide as your pet’s shoulder width.

Other methods to make your pet’s door a less attractive entry point for home break-ins include:

  • Installing home security systems and/or motion device
  • Getting a high-tech door chime
  • Setting up a video camera, or
  • Hanging a “Beware of Dog” sign.

You should also keep your pet inside and the door locked at all times, especially when you’re not home. It can minimize the risk of burglary and other forms of crime.

5. Burglars Find Your Home’s Weaknesses

You need more than a sturdy door to prevent home burglaries. Burglars are experts at finding the weaknesses in your home’s security, and will take their time to scout the neighborhood for a “scapegoat.”

They will look for:

  • Weak locks,
  • Easy-to-reach windows,
  • A lack of a home security system,
  • Poor illumination, and
  • Vulnerable entry points like garages and basement windows.

Once they find a weakness, they will exploit it to gain entry into your home.

Secure Your Home’s Vulnerable Areas

Here are some ways to safeguard these vulnerable areas of your home:

  • Fix deadbolt locks on all exterior doors.
  • Check all doors to ensure they are solid and in good condition: no flimsy locks or weak door frames. Make sure external doors can’t be forced open and don’t have glass panels. Those are simple to tear down, thus gaining access to the lock from the inside.
  • If you have a garage, ensure the door is tight, and the opener is installed correctly.
  • Consider adding security film to glass doors and windows to make them harder to tear down.
  • Keep valuables out of sight and away from windows and doors to not attract unnecessary attention. It’s a good idea to open your curtains or blinders and walk around your house to see what may be visible to potential burglars. While closed blinds or curtains won’t stop a burglar, they’ll be less likely to target your home if they believe the reward is low.
  • Make a plan to utilize simple deterrents when you go on a holiday. You can leave security timers and a battery-powered radio on, and ask a friend to help. They can help empty your mailbox and stay in their car for some time, creating an impression of activity.
6. Burglars Have the Right Tools

Burglars are always looking for new ways to rob homes. So, they are constantly testing different types of tools to see what works best. Some of the tools burglars use to unlock your doors and windows include slim jims, lock picks, glass cutters, crowbars, and sledgehammers.

While some use credit cards to slip through locks, other more skilled thieves have taken online locksmith courses to get past deadbolts. If all fails, a power drill will do the job.

The best solutions would be installing strong window sills, doors, security cameras, and alarms.

7. Through the Chimney

Some clever burglars have found a way to attack your house by coming down the chimney. This method is especially effective during the holiday season when many people have their vents in use.

The thief uses a special device called a chimney rake which allows them to reach into the chimney and grab anything blocking the flue. Once they have cleared the flue, they can ransack the place for valuables.

To prevent this, ensure your chimney is adequately covered with a screen or grate, or even install alarm systems.

8. Ringing the Doorbell and Pretending to Be Someone Else

One of the latest trends is pretending to be someone else to gain entry into a house. In such cases, they may ring the doorbell and claim to be a delivery person or someone from the utility company.

This can be very effective because people often hesitate to turn away someone who seems legitimate. While the burglar is unlikely to steal anything at that moment, it gives them the perfect opportunity to inspect your property and its weaknesses.

If you’re not expecting anyone, you must be extra cautious. If you don’t feel comfortable answering the door, don’t hesitate to report to the police or the emergency service.

9. Using a Key Hidden Outside

Do you keep your house keys under a doormat or in a flowerpot? If yes, chances are a burglar knows about it and can use it to unlock your front door.

We recommend you leave them in a hiding place inside your house, such as a locked drawer or cabinet where burglars cannot find them. Alternatively, consider investing in a home security system. This will deter burglars, keep your house safe, and give you peace of mind.

10. Burglars Are Embracing Technology

Oversharing personal information and content on social media pages increases the chances of burglary. Posting pictures of expensive items or announcing upcoming vacations gives robbers a heads-up on an available time slot for property crime.

Burglars also use satellite images and street view, giving them a good idea of a property’s layout. 

Another way that burglars are using technology is by tracking people’s movements through GPS. This allows them to see when someone is away from home for an extended period of time, making it the perfect opportunity to strike. GPS tracking can also monitor police activity in an area so that burglars can avoid any potential patrols.

Let’s Prevent Home Break-Ins

We hope this article has provided a number of valuable tips on securing your home and ensuring home break-ins don’t happen. By making yourself aware of the common tricks criminals use, you can take steps to protect your family and property from theft or worse.

Remember: prevention is always better than cure when it comes to safety and security.

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