A few years back, we created a post detailing Smart Security System Design. In that post, we explain the choices that we walk our customers through while designing their alarm system. For example, we can use wireless or hardwired security contacts — or both. We can also use a few different types of equipment to monitor our customers’ alarms. However, we did not go into much detail on how we determine which types of sensors go where, or how our customers use non-alarm security tips to add home security. In this post, we share the actual “nuts and bolts” of both overall security planning and burglar alarm design. In order to do so, we will explain the process of thinking like a burglar as a means of finding and addressing your home’s most pressing security challenges.

First, we’ll look at finding “weak spots” on your home’s exterior. For example, many homes have glaringly easy means of entry. Additionally, many properties also provide burglars with easy cover to commit crimes. Therefore, addressing these issues will go a long way towards beefing up your security. Then, we’ll examine some ways you can add interior security to your home. You can lessen the blow caused by a break-in by following some smart security tips. In this section, we will provide you with these tips and suggestions. Now, let’s begin with a look at addressing vulnerable areas on the exterior of your home.

Identifying Weak Spots

Before committing their crimes, burglars generally scope out their victims’ homes for a couple different things. For starters, criminals like to “map out” their entrance into your home so that they have a plan in place before springing into action. This involves finding your home’s most vulnerable entry points. From there, thieves also like to anticipate their potential for approaching your property and staying “covered” while determining the timing of their attacks. In this section, we address these topics so that you can help prevent burglars from putting a “target” on your home. Let’s get started with a look at securing your most vulnerable points of entry.

Addressing Unsecured Doors and Windows

We surprise many homeowners by pointing out obvious deficiencies in their door and window security. For example, many homes have exterior doors without deadbolts. Burglars can easily thwart these doors through common lock-picking methods. Moreover, a little blunt force often defeats standard door locks entirely. Furthermore, many windows have old and ineffective locks. Cheap plastic or decaying metal locks almost provide a “dare” for burglars to breach a window and gain entry.

For this reason, we recommend working with a locksmith, such as ourselves, to address this issue. We install high-qulaity lock hardware, such as Medeco deadbolts, for maximum door security. Additionally, we can secure doors with added security devices, such as hinge-side pins that make blunt force attacks on doors far less effective. We can also help identify windows that deserve either new locks or added security hardware. In many cases, we can install secondary locks that make outside entry into your windows far less likely. Having us visit your property and diagnose these issues can ultimately help keep burglars away. Let’s now shift our focus to making your yard a less enviable hideout for thieves.

A house behind a fence and high shrubbery.

Homeowners value features that add privacy to their yards such as fences and shrubbery. Unfortunately, burglars value these features as much as homeowners.

Eliminating “Hidden” Areas of Your Property

Unsurprisingly, individuals considering breaking into a home prefer doing so with some cover in place. Therefore, creating a well-lit and highly visible yard can create a nightmare scenario for those looking to burglarize your home. Outdoor flood lights and motion-activated exterior lighting goes a long way towards creating this security. Additionally, consider keeping any plants around your home cut low so that they do not create a safe haven for anyone you wouldn’t want coming inside. Finally, make careful choices when designing and installing fencing around your yard. Chain-link and wrought-iron fences can keep pests out without creating a security wall for burglars.

If you want to make a truly sound security decision, consider installing home surveillance on the outside of your house. Doing so adds a couple different layers of security. For starters, the presence of cameras can deter crime. After all, in thinking like a burglar, you realize that seeing a visible surveillance presence would encourage you to find another target. Of course, if anyone does attempt a crime, you now have the ability to see what happened after the fact. The combination of deterrence and captured video make cameras one of our most popular home security offerings. Now, let’s turn our attention to securing the interior of your home against the loss and damage caused by break-ins.

Securing the Interior of Your Home Against Burglars

Of course, nobody wants to think about uninvited “guests” roaming their homes looking for valuables. However, we strongly suggest taking steps to alleviate the damage caused by this worst-case scenario. Many of our customers have used the tips found here to lessen the blow caused by burglaries. In this section, we share how to create this security. We’ll begin by explaining how smart burglar alarm design can “shoe” burglars away as quickly as possible. From there, we’ll see how you can keep valuables out of the hands of burglars who have entered your home. Let’s dive in with a look at effective alarm design.

Designing a Burglar Alarm to Fit Your Needs

When we design a burglar alarm, we have a couple ways to provide you with additional interior security. For starters, we prefer installing alarm contacts that create an alarm response before burglars enter your home. While they certainly have their uses, standard motion detectors used in many alarms do not activate your security system until a burglar is already in the house. At this point, your home has already been compromised and potentially scoped out. Instead, we prefer installing security equipment that detects a threat before a burglar enters your home.

For example, window sensors and glass break detectors can both activate your alarm before a breach ever occurs. If you’re thinking like a burglar, you can likley imagine how this immediate, pre-entry alarm could spook you. In many cases, the siren response causes the burglar to abandon the attempt altogether. At the very least, it usually limits the amount of time a thief will stay in your home.

Additionally, we also have the ability keep some of your alarm’s sensors armed at all times. This comes in especially useful if you have sensors on particularly important areas of your home. For example, we recommend installing sensors on safe doors, liquor cabinets, and doors of rooms that contain weapons or valuables. Doing so can help you secure your home’s most sensitive areas even when your alarm is disarmed! Now, let’s look at how you can keep your invaluable items out of sight and out of mind of crooks.

A safe with a mechanical lock

Locking up your valuables in a safe can help you keep your most prized possessions out of the wrong hands.

Keeping Your Most Valuable Possessions Out of the Wrong Hands

One of the most important facets of thinking like a burglar lies in considering what types of items burglars prize most. Thieves like to make off with easy-to-handle valuables. Cash, credit cards, and jewelry make great targets for crime. Therefore, keeping these items secure can go a long way towards minimizing the damage caused by a burglary. In order to do so, we recommend that our customer purchase and install safes to help secure — and even hide — your valuables.

Keeping your most important documents, jewelry, and other irreplaceable possessions in a locked and well-hidden safe can help ensure that burglars do not gain access to them. This rings especially true when combined with the security tips outlined above. With a blaring siren and the police on the way, finding and cracking a safe will be a very difficult task for any burglar. For this reason, we highly suggest consideiring installing a safe in your own home.

Thinking Like a Burglar and Thwarting Potential Attacks on Your Home

We hope that this post helps you see how thinking like a burglar can positively affect your home security. Additionally, we encourage you to contact us with any questions you may have about the material presented here. We will happily answer any questions you may have about creating and maintaining a complete home security plan. Furthermore, we encourage you to take advantage of our free site survey program. We offer complimentary security audits and equipment quotes to both new and existing customers alike. During our visit, we can examine and help address any areas of concern around your home. Moreover, we can make recommendations based on our own observations while on site. Together, we can create a complete plan to keep you, your home, and your family as safe and secure as possible!