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These 3 things could lead to your home being burgled, this is how to avoid it

burglar at home entrance

Do you know the three things that will most likely lead to your home being burgled? The perfect storm of opportunity for serious criminals to enter your home and get in and out quick and clean within about 10 minutes?

According to research and interviews with career criminals your home is most likely to be burgled mid-morning on a weekday when everyone is at work, and if you have a glass sliding door (guaranteeing easy access) with no dogs or other major noise-makers present. Don’t rest easy though if your home does not fit these criteria; most experts agree that career burglars are violent and will use force to enter a home to get your valuables, especially if they know you have items such as jewellery, firearms or a large sum of cash on the property.

Be smart about it

Home security

So knowing this, what should you be doing to keep your family and home as safe as possible? A dog really is a great deterrent; the noisier the better and, counter to intuition, the smaller the better it may also be. If the dog sleeps with you inside at night even better; your pet is then more likely to alert you and is less likely to be poisoned.

Top tip: You should not put a sign up alerting the criminals to which alarm company you are using. Some experts argue that this may give experienced burglars enough information off the bat to know how to disable your alarm.

The next step is to make it as difficult as possible for any burglars to gain access to your home. Get rid of overgrown shrubs or bushes that may provide coverage and definitely do not have excessive coverage around your doors or windows.

And finally, do not display your valuables. Criminals study their target before they act; they know the neighbourhood, street and home very well. Your best defence is to try and vary your daily and weekly routine occasionally and to use blinds or curtains in areas where valuables are kept in your home.


Homes in green neighbourhood

All of this is easy enough when you are settled in a home and neighbourhood for a long time. Your security measures are in place and you know your neighbours, but your home and valuables are at increased risk the first couple of weeks after you’ve moved and are still finding your feet.

Naturally you would want to get your basic security measures up to scratch as soon as possible so you will treat that as a priority; a good practice is to even get what you can sorted before you move in.

Bookmark these security forget-me-nots

In addition to sorting the “hard” things like getting your alarm system installed and changing locks on all the doors, there are also some other steps you should be taking those first few days and weeks in a new home. Here are four things you should work on within days of moving in:

  1. Get to know your neighbours – your neighbours can’t help you and be your first line of defence if they don’t know you. Make an effort to get to know your neighbours and you’ll be in the know when something is going on in your street.
  2. Eliminate hiding places – this is particularly relevant if you’ve moved into a property that may have a slightly overgrown garden. Get a landscaper, and even a tree feller if necessary, in as soon as possible to ensure that all hiding spots in your garden are eliminated.
  3. Provide proper lighting in your garden – Check what security lighting there is currently and if not up to scratch invest in some lights that use motion-sensors. A good tip is to drive past your new home at night before you move in. This will give you better insight into the street lighting situation as well as obvious hiding places.
  4. Come up with your emergency home invasion plan. Unpleasant as it is, each member of your family should know exactly what to do in case of an invasion. You should have an emergency panic room in your new home, with an exit plan if safe, ideally with a panic button installed.

We are, unfortunately, always vulnerable to nefarious elements, and even more so when moving homes or during the weeks settling into a new home. There are, thankfully, many steps we can take to help secure our security.


Mariette Steynberg is a qualified economist with a post-graduate diploma in financial planning. She has enjoyed working on holistic financial plans for clients in various stages of life, as well as a development economist assessing the socioeconomic impacts of new developments. When she is not working, Mariette enjoys parenting her quirky, delightful toddler girl. Cloth diapering, Eskimo kisses and the importance of reading to your child are all causes close to her heart. Mariette is passionate about financial education and hopes to use the experience she has gained to share knowledge with HomeTimes’ readership. Her goal is to provide information that is implementable by everyone.

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