Under normal conditions, there are a number of factors that home invaders weigh when deciding which houses to hit and which ones to skip. The more expensive a house is, the more likely it will contain the types of valuables that thieves look for. But the most expensive houses may also possess the most elaborate security systems, so a home’s value is not the only factor they consider. A home invader is more likely to target a residence that looks like it will provide easy entry and a quick getaway.
Once a disaster has occurred, you can throw all of the “home invasion logic” out the window. Thieves will go where they can find food, and if you are known in your neighborhood as someone who has prepared for emergencies, your home could be a target. There are many techniques you can use to turn your home into an invader-proof fortress, and we’ll get to my top 10 list in a moment. But something to think about in the meantime is that you or a family member might be the weakest link in your home’s defense, both prior to and following a disaster. Let me explain.
Many home invasions don’t begin when someone busts open a front door or crawls through a window. Rather, they happen because naive homeowners believe stories about a delivery, a charity collection, a gas leak, a cable or telephone problem, or a person in distress who asks to use a phone or bathroom. If you let someone into your house that easily, you might as well hold the flashlight for them as they rummage through your cash and jewelry.
Take a look at the “Home Invasion” article from realhomesafety.com (see link below) and think about what you will do next time someone rings your doorbell and says they have a delivery for you and need a signature. Meet you on the other side.
My Top 10 Home Fortress Techniques
- Make sure your front door has a peep hole that gives you a good view of anyone on your porch.
- Don’t let anyone in your home until you are certain that you trust them. Make sure that a delivery person shows you an ID, and call the company if you have any doubts about them.
- Always keep your doors and widows locked, whether you are home or away. Install solid wood or metal-clad doors and secure windows, and upgrade your locks.
- Install a security system with a loud alarm and advertise that system with signs on your property.
- Keep the inside of your house well lit at night. Put your inside lights on a timer when you are away.
- Install motion sensor lights on your property.
- Whether or not you own a barking dog, plant a “Beware of Dog” sign near your house’s entrances.
- Keep your shrubbery trimmed in order to reduce the number of hiding places on your property.
- Assess all of the potential breach points in your home and secure them.
- Keep tools that could be used to break into a home (ladders, crowbars, etc.) away from open view.
Is there anything I’ve missed here? Let me know in the comments.