In this article, I’m going to teach you the top 7 strategies I used to burglar proof my home, after I learned my lesson the hard way.
After a break-in to my apartment a few years back, I was stunned and thought “where did I go wrong?”. And after a thorough investigation with the help of a security expert, I found weaknesses in my security plan and decided to do something about it.
The possibility of your home being robbed of your valuable possessions is a reality no matter what state the world is in. In fact, there are 2 million home burglaries reported in the U.S. every year. That is why, no matter who you are or where you live, you need to burglar-proof your home.
However, if you prepare for a disaster, emergencies, or the collapse of society, you will have even more to defend than your regular household electronics, money, jewelry, and other common valuables. You’ll have your preps to defend – and you will likely have to defend them at some point, especially if society goes south.
In fact, gathering what you need to burglar-proof your home is something that should be part of your preps. There are certain things that will make the defense of your home and property much easier and more effective, even in our current society. These items will help deter many people from ever trying to break into your home, and they will help you defend your home against those people who do try.
With that in mind, here are the top seven items you must have to burglar-proof your home. Each one is broken down where appropriate.
Table of Contents
#1) Set up a Multi-faceted Security System
Having a security system goes without saying. This is one of the most important investments you will ever make to burglar-proof your home. You can choose to invest in a system that is monitored by a security company, either traditional or online, or you can build your own security system. Here are the parts of a security system you should have:
Every home security system should include the basics, starting with lighting. Even if you cannot get a home security system right away, motion-sensor lights should still be installed around the exterior of your home, as well as on any other buildings on your property, such as the garage, shed, guest house, or pool house.
The more lighting you have on your property, the less inclined a burglar will be to try to break in. Burglars like to work in the dark, concealed so they don’t bring attention to themselves. With proper exterior lighting, this makes it very difficult for them to do.
Make sure the lights are bright and that they stay on for a few minutes when activated. If for some reason you cannot run the wiring you need for exterior lighting, you can install solar-powered motion-sensor lights.
Security cameras should be placed throughout the inside of the home and around the exterior. Make sure there is a security camera at each entrance to your home, both inside and outside the door. You need to have high-quality cameras and one of the best is the Arlo Pro 2 wireless camera. It offers crisp HD images, motion and sound detection, two-way audio, and night vision.
If you have a detached garage or other type of outbuilding, you can extend the wireless range of the Arlo Pro 2 by using the Orbi Router by NETGEAR. I have personally done this, and the Wifi signal was extended by 500 meters.
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Sure, you probably already have a doorbell, but what about a doorbell that is smart. One fabulous product for a home security doorbell is the Ring Video Doorbell V2. This doorbell has a built-in video camera that provides an HD video feed. It also communicates with Alexa, so you have added voice features.
The advantages of a doorbell like this are many. First, you will get a video feed of anyone who rings your doorbell or triggers the built-in motion sensor. You can also have a conversation with anyone who comes to your door, making it possible to determine whether they are a threat. Finally, you can monitor your home remotely, even if you are offsite.
Your home security system should include an alarm. If any of the sensors get tripped at a door or a window or any other potential entry point, an alarm should sound. This will generally act as a deterrent, scaring a burglar away before they have the opportunity to rob your home.
Have at least one sign for your property that is highly visible and lets people know you have a security system. Again, this will act as a deterrent to would-be burglars and go a long way towards burglar proofing your home.
You should have a lawn sign, although it is good to remember that these can easily be stolen. With that in mind, have some extras in case you need to replace your sign. You can also use window decals. However, they are generally not as visible as lawn signs, so don’t rely on these alone to help protect your property.
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#2) Burglar Proof your Landscaping
Landscaping is critical when you want to burglar proof your home. If you have a lot of bushes and trees on your property, burglars can easily move around without being noticed.
With that in mind, you should minimize and strategically place any bushes and trees you have, making sure there is nowhere for a burglar to hide. Here are a couple of must-haves when landscaping:
Low Plants and Shrubs
If you really want a beautifully landscaped property, stick with gardens that contain low plants and shrubs, such as flowers and small bushes. These are not the types of plants that can conceal a person.
Ideally, you should have no large or tall bushes next to your house. However, if you do use them, the best place to put them is right below any ground floor windows.
The key is to make these plants prickly. Here I’m talking about planting things like rose bushes and raspberry bushes or any other type of thorny bush. They make a great deterrent because it is extremely difficult for a burglar to get to the window without scratching themselves on the bushes.
#3) Get a Guard Dog
A large dog with a loud bark is a great deterrent when you want to burglar proof your home. This will make any burglar think twice before going anywhere near your home. A barking dog is sort of like an alarm – but it’s more sensitive and can cause injury. Since burglars want to avoid drawing attention and getting injured, this is a definite plus.
If you have a dog, be sure to have at least one Beware of Dog sign on your property. This will cover your behind legally should anyone be injured by your dog. And if you don’t have a guard dog, put up the signs anyway. Sometimes, just seeing the sign is enough to deter a would-be burglar.
#4) Fortify Entry Points
The weak points in any home are the entry points – the doors and the windows. When it comes to burglaries in the U.S., 34% enter through the front door, 22% enter through the back door, and 23% enter through a first-floor window. That means that 79% of burglars use a first-floor door or window to get into the house.
In order to burglar proof your home, you are going to need a number of things to make sure these entry points are as fortified as possible
This is one of the easiest things you can do to burglar proof your home. Buying and installing a deadbolt lock in every door will help keep criminals out of your home. Make sure that the deadbolt you get has at least a 1-inch throw bolt.
One of the most highly recommended locks is the Mul-T-Lock. These locks are virtually unpickable and will go a long way to helping protect your home.
It is wise to replace all your exterior doors with either solid wood or solid steel doors. These doors are much more difficult to break down or through.
If you have sliding doors in your home, consider replacing them with a regular wood or steel door. If you don’t want to or cannot do this, replace the regular glass with plexiglass and use a dowel or other piece of wood in the track of the door to prevent it from being slid open.
If you can afford it, it is wise to replace all your wooden door frames with steel door frames. If you can’t replace the entire frame, then make sure each door has steel supports. The very best brand is Door Armor MAX, a three-piece door reinforcement kit that significantly strengthens even the average door. This makes it much more difficult to kick a door in or break it down.
Proper Door Hardware
All door hardware should be heavy-duty and a minimum of 3 inches in length. This includes the lock strike. You should also have a high-quality knob-in-lock set that has a dead-latch mechanism for each of your doors.
Here is a great video that shows you how you can fortify your exterior doors.
The garage door is another weak spot in your home. If a burglar gains access through your garage, they can steal what you have stored in there, including your vehicle. They also have easy entry into your house from the garage.
One great product is Garage Door Armor. It’s inexpensive, easy to install, and will stop burglars from using the 6-second break-in method – a method burglars use to easily and quickly open your garage door from the outside, so they can slip right in and take what they want.
If you are able to, replace all your first-floor windows with plexiglass, so they are shatterproof. This will prevent burglars from breaking your windows to get into your home.
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Make sure all your windows have a solid lock, rather than just a latch – and use it! It is very easy for unlocked and unlatched windows to be opened from the outside.
While they may be unsightly, window bars do help protect your home. If you can work window bars into your window design, that’s great. If not, consider at least using them in basement windows.
#5) Get Weapons
Weapons in the home can be a touchy subject. Many people, even those preparing for disaster, are not comfortable with firearms in their homes. However, there is no guaranteed way to keep burglars out, so having weapons to defend yourself or deter burglars is a good thing.
Just remember that no matter the types of weapons you choose to have on hand, you need to have proper training and practice before using them. Here are some options:
If you do have firearms, they should always be locked up safe and sound, and your guns should never be stored with the ammo loaded. Just remember that if your firearms and ammo are stored in an out-of-the-way place, like your garage or basement, you probably won’t be able to reach them after the burglars are in your home.
If you can safely keep a handgun and ammo in a locked place in your bedroom, that is ideal. You can get a small gun safe for this purpose. That way, if someone breaks into your home, your protection is with you from the beginning.
Some weapons are legal for kids and teens.
Kids and teens can legally carry tactical pens, pepper spray, kubatons, sling shots, stun guns, and tactical flashlights. Schools and some other facilities have policies prohibiting these items for kids and teens so although they are legal, you still need to abide by any other rules and regulations relevant to your area.
This is a great alternative to a firearm. You do have to get close enough to use it, but if you can stun a burglar, you will incapacitate them. This will give you time to call the police.
A crossbow is another option, although it can be awkward to use in a house. If you choose this type of weapon, get a smaller one that is easier to use indoors.
Pepper spray is a great weapon against intruders. You can easily conceal it on your person, and when you spray it, you don’t have to be concerned about the wind factor.
Not your typical weapon of choice, but if you are skilled, this can be effective because you can throw them from a distance, such as from the top of the stairs. However, remember that the burglar can use the knives against you if they can retrieve the ones you throw.
#6) Buy a Safe
This one is pretty straightforward. You should have a fireproof safe in which to store your valuables. A large safe that is too heavy to carry is preferable. The best ones are from American Security and Hollon. If you do use a smaller safe, then secure it to a permanent fixture so a burglar can’t carry it away.
By “illusory” I mean things that make it look like you’re home when you’re not. When you have gadgets like these in use, that alarm system might never be tripped (although you should still have it just in case).
One of the best and most popular types of gadgets has always been a timer you can use to have your lights come on in the evening when you aren’t home. This timer can turn lights, a radio, or your television on. Another great gadget is a special light that from the outside makes it look like a TV is on in the house.
If you have a smart house, then you can control all these aspects of your home from a distance. This means you can program lights, TV, and appliances to go on and off at specific times.
Window security film can turn your windows into one way glass. Not only does window security film prevent windows from shattering into sharp shards on impact, some types will make your windows so that you can see out but people on the outside cannot see in. This makes it harder for thieves to determine if you are home or not.
Finally, get on good terms with your neighbors. This way, you have an extra set of eyes on your house when you’re not at home. If you work together, you can help protect each other’s homes.
Burglaries often happen on weekdays when residents are at work or school.
Burglars look for a variety of features when scouting out a house. If your house is on the edge of a neighborhood and the traffic is low, it is less likely anyone will see a crime being committed. Nicer and well maintained homes point to wealth and valuables within. Vacant or vacation homes are other favorite targets of burglars.
A wired security system is not an option but there are plenty of wireless security system that can provide protection to your apartment when you are away. A wireless system can be taken with you if you move to another apartment so it is a good option for those that do not plan on buying a home in the near future. Check out this article for some proven wireless security options for renters.
When you want to burglar-proof your home, it’s all about planning ahead. You have to look at your house and determine where the weaknesses are. Then you can start to make the necessary changes.
The goal here is to protect not only you and your family but your property, as well. This is best accomplished if the burglars never get inside your home in the first place. Getting the items listed above and using them properly will help ensure your home is as safe as possible from burglars.
If you have any other ideas of items required to burglar-proof your home, please let us know in the comments section below!