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7 burglary myths debunked

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Big dogs, burglar bars on the windows and not leaving post to pile up are some of the common myths we believe about deterring and fooling criminals. But that’s all they are: myths.http://hometimes.co.za/advertise-with-hometimes/

With petty theft, and break ins specifically, following the wrong advice can leave you and your home vulnerable to thieves and other criminals. We’ve put together this security article together with our friends at LockLatch to give you better peace of mind. Here’s our list of 7 common burglary myths debunked.

Myth 1: Windows are the most popular point of entry for burglarsbreaking in through window

Surprisingly, research tells us that a lot of criminals would choose to use doors over windows to gain access to homes. Couple this with the fact so many burglaries are said to happen while people are actually at home, even if you’re in a gated community, leaving your doors unlocked when home is a big security risk. Make sure your windows are barred, but also ensure your security gate is locked and secure at all times.

Myth 2: Big dogs deter burglarscute little dog

What deters would-be criminals is not the size of your dog, but the size of the bark. The dog’s bark, how much it barks and the pitch, is what alerts criminals to the presence of a dog which is a big security threat deterrent. Smaller dogs are actually much better barkers than larger dogs and therefore possibly better at alerting you to an intruder so that you can act accordingly, such as call for help, push the panic button or run to your safe room.

Myth 3: Burglars can’t find your hidden valuables

Burglars are masters at what they do and chances are that secret hiding place you put your documents and valuables into, isn’t so secret after all. This is because most people hide their stuff in the same places. The best thing to do is to think of the most unusual place, like your freezer or the pantry and spread your valuables around these different areas. Alternatively a secure safe, which cannot be removed, will ensure your valuables are safe in the event of a burglary.

Myth 4: Burglars need time to break infast robber

Thieves go for opportunity and quickly scope out their area for easy targets. Homes that are poorly secured, empty or have no security companies mean they can take their gap quickly. They know that it can take security companies a few minutes to arrive and more than 20 minutes for the police to arrive, so even if someone does see them and alert the authorities, they have time to get what they came for and leave. A professional criminal doesn’t need 20 minutes; research says they can be in and out in minutes. So whether you’re popping into the shop or going for a walk – lock those doors!

Myth 5: Your home is most vulnerable to burglars at night

It’s natural for us to feel our homes are more vulnerable at night when we’re out as a lot of break-ins do occur in the dark and this gives burglars added camouflage from being seen. However, with so many people leaving their homes unattended from morning to night when the family is at work or school, daylight break ins are becoming easier to pull off and more and more prominent. Get to know your neighbourhood and your neighbours!

Myth 6: No mail is better than some mailpost box

We learned from our Holiday Home Security Checklist article that letting the mail and flyers pile up alerts criminals that you’re away. However, not having anything delivered at all could also be a sign to someone who’s watching your home that you’ve gone away. The best thing would be to get a friend or a neighbour to collect mail while you’re on vacation to give the impression you’re still at the property.

Myth 7: Having an alarm is enough of a deterrent for burglars

A lot of us tend to put alarm decals on our property to show which security system and company we are using. For those pro burglars, that’s just the info they need to research the company and find ways around it. Instead, keep them guessing: put generic signage up or varied signage to help keep your home and your valuables secure.

Knowing security myths can ensure you don’t have a false sense of security and make your home much safer from break ins. If you’re looking for more security and safety tips, check out Home alone? Follow these 12 safety tips.


Have burglary security tips of your own? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below or contact us via email at david@hometimes.co.za

Who is Steve Pearce?

Steve Pearce, MD of LockLatch.

Steve Pearce, MD of LockLatch.

Steve Pearce is the MD of Lock Latch Retail SA and Lock Latch International.



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