Former Burglars Weigh In On Where Your Home Is Most Vulnerable
More than one million burglaries happen in the U.S. each year, making your home’s security more important than ever. Who better to learn home safety from than a former burglar? Many want to share where your home is most vulnerable so you can avoid devastating crime.
Through interviews and Reddit threads, many former burglars share their techniques for choosing homes to invade. While almost all former burglars remain anonymous, we were able to collect some of the best advice from interviews and threads to help you keep your house safe.
Here are a few common home features that are especially vulnerable to break-ins.
“Once we made sure no one was home and no one was in visual range, our methods were very unsophisticated. We simply cracked a window.”
One former burglar emphasized something many homeowners may be unsure how to handle — windows. They’re a vital part of your home, but single-pane glass is extremely vulnerable to getting smashed by someone wanting to invade your home.
Double or triple-pane windows are more resistant to breaking, making it harder for a burglar to quickly get into your home. They are more expensive but more panes also add insulation to a home and save on energy costs.
Locking your windows is also an important but often overlooked part of securing your home. Burglars will sometimes check windows before trying a forceful entry. If they are able to crack your window, they can get in and out without leaving any outside evidence.
Ensuring that your windows have a secure seal prevents burglars from popping out your home’s windows.
Locks are meant to serve as protection from any unwanted guests entering your home, but without the right ones, you could have a major problem.
Always change the locks when you buy a home or have your landlord do so if you rent. That way, anyone who made copies of the key for the former lock won’t be able to use it on your door.
To make your home even more secure, consider getting a lock that is harder to pick, such as one with an access code or specialized design. “Make sure your door’s deadbolts go into a double stud around your doors and are AT LEAST an inch long,” one former burglar said.
When you leave your home, double-check to ensure you lock your doors. In a rush to leave, it is sometimes easy to forget, but you don’t want one mistake to end up in a burglary.
Your garage is an excellent place to store your car and other items that you want to be secure but not in the main portion of your home. However, being careless with your garage could invite burglars in.
A former burglar had this to say: “People work in their garage all the time with the door wide open. [That] makes for an easy case. I can walk or drive by and see you have a couple of dirt bikes, some nice tools on the wall and other miscellaneous goodies.” The burglar will wait for you to leave and return your belongings.
Replacing your garage door before it gets too old or weak can deter burglars from trying to enter when you’re gone. Many new doors come equipped with safety features that make them harder to break into. Roller and sectional doors are among the most secure options on the market.
Having a privacy fence around your yard can be advantageous. You can create your own oasis without seeing your neighbors’ homes. However, some burglars see this as an advantage for them as well.
“As for neighbors, I tried to only hit houses with enclosed backyards,” a former burglar said. “That beautiful wood fence you have up? Those lovely tall bushes? That ivy-covered fence? Congrats, you’ve just ensured that your neighbors will probably never see me.”
Placing security lights and cameras around your privacy fence could be a deterrent to burglars. Another thing you can do is place signs outside of the fence, advertising security systems or dogs inside. They won’t be able to tell if you have one or not but research shows that the signs alone can keep some intruders away.
Yard sheds need protection just as your house does. They are easy targets for burglars who don’t even have to enter your home to get some nice items:
“Your shed. Seriously. LOCK YOUR SHED. Even if your house is well-locked, if your shed isn’t, I likely have access to a plethora of tools I can use to gain access.”
Lawn and yard equipment can be a valuable asset for someone looking to sell your items for a quick buck. Even things like flower pots and kiddie pools could contribute to a burglar’s income. Placing a lock or camera on your shed is an excellent way to show burglars that you will not make it easy for them to steal your outdoor items.
Protecting Your Home from Burglars
Addressing your home’s most vulnerable areas is important to prevent potential crime. Thanks to these former burglars, it’s easier than ever to keep your home secure.