Burglars use more than brute force to break into homes. In fact, they’re often very crafty and sneaky when devising their plans.

Below are some of the ways they find the most vulnerable targets and gain entry – as well as some tips to foil them!

Burglars are always looking for signs that you are not home

  • Multiple newspapers on your front door – Uncollected mail and papers signal that nobody’s home. Have your delivery halted if you will be away, or have a neighbour move them to a more discrete location.
  • Uncut lawn – A shaggy lawn is like uncollected mail. Ask or hire a trusted friend or neighbour to tend to it while you are gone.
  • Uncleared Snow – Undisturbed snow is the winter version of an uncut lawn. Having a snowy driveway or a walkway with no footprints indicates a lack of action on the property.
  • Lights never turn on or off – Use a timer to automatically turn your lights on and off in the evening.
  • Phone ringing without answer – Although a lot of people are opting to forgo their home phones these days, this is still an issue for those who do have them. Consider forwarding your landline to your mobile phone while you are gone.
  • The driveway has a car that never leaves, or no additional cars have come and gone – Invite a neighbour to park in your driveway once in a while.
  • Social media posts about being out of town – Wait until you get back to post all your vacation pictures!

Testing to see if you are home

  • Leaving flyers in the mailbox – A burglar might leave flyers and see how long it takes to clear them
  • Finding your landline phone number and calling – They don’t need to wait for your phone to ring if they have the number themselves. Our above tip of forwarding your home phone number is especially important if you have a number listed online or in the phonebook.

Looking for weaknesses in security

  • Is the alarm control panel visible from the window? Is it armed? – Always arm your system, and keep the control panel out of view from the outside, just in case.
  • Is the door locked? – You would be surprised how often burglars just walk in through the unlocked front door. Always lock up when you go out!
  • Are windows above hedges and on the second floor alarmed as well? – Just because a window is harder to access doesn’t mean a burglar won’t try to use it.

Creating and uncovering weaknesses

  • If you have work on your houses like gardening, appliance installation, or maintenance, beware – These workers might be studying your house for weaknesses, so keep an eye on where they go.
  • Asking to use the washroom, then unlocking the window while in there – Avoid letting strangers use the washroom. If they do, check the window after they leave.

Looking for valuables

  • Appliance and electronics boxes out with the recycling – A big HD TV box on the curb advertises to every passer-by that you have some new and expensive electronics inside.
  • Expensive items visible from the windows – Avoid having expensive items easily visible from the outside.
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Allan Baum
Security Industry veteran with over 30+ years in the industry. Founded family owned and operated Protection Plus in 1994 with his wife and has overseen its growth since. In addition to working with his wife and son, Allan has assigned the role of Chief Canine Officer to his trusted dog Waub, who joins him at the office every day.