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How to Protect Your House From Break ins

February 4, 2024

Burglaries can violate your home and leave you feeling unsafe. This article will provide actionable tactics to secure entry points, deter criminals, and safeguard your family and valuables. You’ll learn layered physical, technological and community-based strategies tailored to your unique risks. Arm yourself with practical insights to create an impenetrable fortress and regain peace of mind.

Quick Answer: Install security cameras, alarms linked to sensors on doors/windows. Join Neighborhood Watch, know neighbors, watch for unfamiliar people and vehicles. Immediately report suspicious activity to police. Fortify doors, windows with multipoint locks, impact-resistant materials. Eliminate hiding spots with lighting and trimming vegetation.

Assessing Home Security Vulnerabilities

Identifying Entry Points

The first step in securing your home is to identify potential entry points that a burglar could exploit. Start by examining all exterior doors, including front and back doors, patio doors, garage doors and any doors leading into a conservatory or outbuilding. Check that the doors are solid hardwood or metal and fit tightly in their frames. Make sure they have sturdy locks with no visible screws, and consider installing extra security measures like chains, bolts and door jammers. Replace any doors that are damaged or have glass panels, which can easily be broken.

Next, scrutinise all downstairs windows, even small bathroom windows, to see if they can be jimmied open from the outside. Ensure every window has a working lock and cannot be lifted up in the frame. Install snug-fitting acrylic glazing strips to windows that rattle or have gaps around the edges. Consider security film or reinforced glass for more protection. Keep hedges and plants well-trimmed below the height of the windows so they don't provide cover.

Check fences thoroughly for damaged areas or missing panels that could create an easy climb-over point into your garden. Use solid fencing materials like treated timber, metal or brick rather than panels that could be kicked through. Ensure any gates are locked and in good repair. Gravel or crushed stone along the base of fences can also help deter intruders.

Identifying these prime entry spots - and strengthening them - makes it much harder for a burglar to actually get into your home.

Home Entry Point Security Checklist:

Entry PointSecurity MeasuresAdditional Tips
Front & Back DoorsBS3621 deadbolts, 3-4 inch hinge screws, Strike platesConsider smart locks, Install a door viewer
Patio & Sliding DoorsMulti-point locking system, Anti-lift devices, Top and bottom locksUse security bars or charlie bars
WindowsKey-operated locks, Security film or reinforced glass, Acrylic glazing stripsInstall window alarms, Use window grilles for basement windows
ConservatoriesMulti-point locks, Impact-resistant materialsSecure roof panels and skylights
Garage DoorsGood quality locks, Ground anchors for extra securityInstall a garage door defender
Fences & GatesSolid materials (metal/timber), Anti-climb measures (spikes/roller bars)Use gravel for noise alert, Secure hinge pins

Locating Hiding Spots

Burglars often spend time hiding and watching a property to assess security and look for an opportunity to break in unseen. Overgrown or unmaintained gardens provide perfect concealment for them to lurk unnoticed. Trim back trees, hedges and bushes so there are no dense areas where someone could hide around vulnerable spots like doors or windows. Clear ivy, creepers and overhanging branches away from the house exterior. Remove any unnecessary structures like disused sheds or lean-tos against fences that could shield a criminal.

However, avoid removing all vegetation, as a completely bare and exposed garden may deter legitimate visitors as well as burglars. Use motion-activated lighting and gravel or paving to eliminate shadowy areas at night instead of stripping all greenery. Prune plants thoughtfully to increase sight lines and eliminate hiding places without turning your garden into a barren landscape.

Also check for any nooks around exterior walls, staircases, balconies or entranceways that could potentially conceal an intruder preparing to force entry or lying in wait. Install lighting to illuminate these spots and consider wall-mounted mirrors or reflective surfaces to eliminate blind spots. Removing hiding places forces burglars into full view and exposure before attempting to break in.

Evaluating Overall Risks

After identifying and addressing individual entry points and hiding spots, step back and look at your home's overall vulnerability. Factors like having many ground floor windows or doors, surrounding vegetation or structures, and a poorly lit or hidden facade can rate you at higher risk even if the individual entry points are secured. Consider how the parts combine to create an inviting target.

Research crime rates in your area to determine if break-ins are common. A higher number of burglaries nearby puts you at elevated risk. You may need to take extra precautions like installing an alarm system or exterior CCTV cameras. Or the location itself may be impossible to fully secure, in which case moving may be the only surefire way to gain peace of mind.

In the end, reducing your home's susceptibility requires looking at it through a burglar's eyes. Walking the perimeter and trying doors or testing fences yourself can reveal weaknesses. But calling in a professional security consultant for an objective assessment is wise if you are truly concerned. An expert can spot vulnerabilities you may have overlooked.

Taking the time to methodically evaluate and address entry points, hiding places and overall risks makes your home a much less appealing prospect for burglars prowling for an easy target. Eliminating key weaknesses and vulnerabilities before an intruder gets the chance is the most effective way to safeguard your home.

Creating a Layered Security Strategy

Assessing Needs and Vulnerabilities

When creating an effective home security strategy, the first critical step involves thoroughly evaluating your residence to identify any vulnerabilities that could be exploited by intruders. Conduct a comprehensive needs analysis to determine your home's unique security requirements based on its physical layout, number of entry points, vegetation, surrounding structures, and crime rates in the area.

Analyse which areas are most susceptible to breaches, such as doors, windows, the perimeter, and sections obscured by landscaping. Assess entry points to see if locks need strengthening or frames reinforcing. Examine any hiding spots around the home’s exterior where an intruder could lurk undetected. Scrutinise outdoor areas for security lighting needs and motion sensor placement.

This in-depth examination will reveal the weak spots a burglar could take advantage of so you can tailor security upgrades to address your home’s specific risks. A professional security consultant can provide an unbiased assessment to help identify vulnerabilities you may have overlooked.

Planning Protection Layers

After thoroughly evaluating your residence, thoughtfully design a multi-layered protection plan customised to its unique security gaps and assets. Strategically incorporate physical barriers, lighting, home technology, community involvement and other countermeasures to create overlapping zones of protection tailored to your needs.

Physical security layers like high-grade locks, impact-resistant doors and windows, and fortified fencing form the first line of defense to block intruders. Deterrent lighting around the home’s perimeter removes concealment. Camera surveillance provides 24/7 monitoring and warning of suspicious activity. Joining Neighborhood Watch connects you with an active network watching for local crime.

Combining these elements into a cohesive plan provides robust protection no single solution could match. And choosing measures based on your specific risks and entry points ensures maximum security bang for your buck. Work with professionals to integrate options like smart home automation and advanced alarm systems for comprehensive protection.

Updating and Improving

A layered home security strategy requires ongoing refinement as risks evolve and new solutions emerge. Set reminders to regularly review your plan to identify any gaps or outdated approaches in need of enhancement.

Check that physical barriers are still structurally sound and functioning well. Assess camera coverage for any blind spots and add devices as needed. Examine home automation capabilities to integrate new technology that further streamlines protection.

By continually optimising your strategy, you ensure it keeps pace with changing criminal tactics, new security innovations, and shifts in your home’s vulnerability. Agility is essential for maintaining an impenetrable, state-of-the-art defense tailored to your family’s safety.

Layered Home Security Strategy:

LayerSecurity SolutionsConsiderations
Physical BarriersHigh-security locks, Impact-resistant doors/windows, Fortified fencingEnsure materials are robust and well-maintained
SurveillanceCCTV cameras, Video doorbells, Motion-activated lightingPlace cameras strategically, Use signage to deter burglars
Community InvolvementNeighborhood Watch, Know your neighbors, Report suspicious activityExchange contact info with neighbors, Attend community meetings
TechnologicalSmart locks, Home automation systems, Alarm systemsUse encrypted networks, Regularly update software
Valuables ProtectionHidden safes, Concealed storageUse fireproof and burglar-resistant safes

Strengthening Physical Barriers

Burglars look for the path of least resistance when targeting a home. Reinforcing doors, windows, and the perimeter makes entry much more difficult, discouraging break-in attempts. A multi-layered approach using high-security locks, impact-resistant materials, and strategic lighting creates a robust barrier.

Securing Doors

Doors are a prime target, so start by upgrading locks. Look for British Standard BS3621 deadbolts with a minimum 1-inch throw bolt that deeply penetrates the door frame. Go beyond the standard 1-inch screws included and use 3-4 inch screws that sink into the stud work behind the jamb. For even more strength, install strike plates meant for metal frames.

Lever handle locks alone are insufficient. Installing an extra deadbolt above or below creates a more formidable barrier. For double doors, secure both active and inactive doors individually. Sliding patio doors often have a central latch which is easily jimmied - install locks at the top and bottom as well. Door chains provide a simple secondary lock when opening doors for visitors.

Consider your frame material - solid hardwood or reinforced metal offers more resistance than hollow vinyl frames prone to snapping. For glass inset doors, use laminated or tempered glass which is much harder to smash through. Avoid full glass doors which provide no barrier once shattered.

Protecting Windows

Like doors, windows offer an easy path of entry if not well-secured. Ensure every window has a functioning lock or latch mechanism. Upgrade to multipoint locks or additional deadbolts on sliding windows. Acrylic sheeting and security window film prevent glass shattering.

For casement windows, install locks at both the top and bottom rather than just the central handle. This prevents prying the window up or down when locked only at the handle. Securing all edges is critical.

Wrought iron grilles anchored into the masonry provide an extra barrier over vulnerable windows like basement wells or easily reached ground floor windows. They also deter smash and grab breaking of glass to reach inside. Bars should be no more than 10cm apart to prevent reach through.

Keep bushes and vegetation well below window height. Overgrown landscaping allows burglars to work unseen. Installing motion sensor spotlights near windows removes hiding places and deters nocturnal break-ins.

Fortifying the Perimeter

Start by assessing fencing, gates and perimeter walls. Solid masonry, metal bars or thick timber fencing is difficult to breach. Avoid deteriorating timber that is easily kicked through. Top walls with inclined fencing or spiky plants to prevent climbing over.

Gates should be as strong as the fencing with minimal framing that could provide handholds. Hinge pins should be secured to prevent lifting off. High-security padlocks provide better resistance to bolt cutters. Avoid combination locks which can be easily picked.

Keep perimeter vegetation well-trimmed to eliminate hiding places. Gravel along the base reveals footprints and crunches underfoot, alerting you to intruders. Strategically placed motion sensor lighting illuminates blind spots and deters prowlers. Fake cameras provide added psychological deterrence.

Leveraging Home Technology

Advances in home automation, AI, and surveillance technology allow homeowners to actively monitor for threats and proactively respond to potential break-in attempts. Security systems deter would-be burglars while gathering evidence to aid law enforcement investigations if deterrence fails. Technology removes reliance on human presence and vigilance alone, enabling constant intelligent oversight of a property.

Installing Security Cameras

Security cameras provide 24/7 monitoring capability and are highly effective at deterring crime before it occurs. Visibly positioned cameras make burglars aware their actions are being recorded, providing a strong psychological deterrent. Signage and fake cameras further reinforce this.

High-resolution cameras capture identifiable facial imagery of prowlers casing the property or attempting to force entry. Dome cameras placed discreetly under eaves blend into a home's architecture while avoiding a confrontational appearance. Infrared and lowlight cameras with night vision maintain visibility even in pitch darkness.

Strategically place cameras covering entry doors, perimeter gates, vulnerable windows, driveways, and backyard spaces. Using multiple cameras provides overlapping views to capture subjects from all angles. Side and rear areas of homes often go unmonitored while offering easy concealed access.

Cameras equipped with wide-angle lenses provide expanded coverage of larger areas. Varifocal lenses allow zooming in on specific spots as needed. Install video doorbells to monitor front entrances - these initiate recording when motion is detected and enable screening visitors before opening the door.

Connect cameras to a digital or cloud video recorder (DVR/CVR) system to enable remote access and monitoring. Receive smartphone alerts when activity triggers recording, allowing instant assessment of events. Systems can also activate floodlights, sirens, or alarms to frighten away intruders detected by cameras.

Recorded footage provides invaluable evidence to law enforcement following burglaries, enabling prosecution with definitive video identification of perpetrators. High-quality captures of faces, tattoos, clothing and vehicle license plates aid enormously in investigations.

While requiring an upfront equipment investment, cameras typically reduce homeowners insurance premiums by 5-15% or more, providing significant long-term cost savings. They also enable keeping tabs on children or pets when away from home. When combined with lighting and prominently displayed signage, cameras create a formidable layered deterrent.

Implementing Automated Systems

Automating home security removes reliance on human diligence to continually set alarms, lock doors, and monitor activity. Smart home technology enables controlling and monitoring a residence remotely via smartphones.

Networked smart locks allow remotely checking door status and locking/unlocking from anywhere. Facial recognition cameras can automatically identify residents and pre-approved visitors like dog walkers, only sending alerts for unknown intruders. This prevents excessive false alarms that desensitise homeowners and authorities when every passing squirrel triggers an alert.

Smart thermostats adjust home temperatures based on occupancy sensing. This avoids signalling an unoccupied home to burglars through a stark drop in energy use when away. Lighting, blinds, and audio systems can be scheduled to simulate normal habitation.

Alarm systems linked to door and window sensors activate upon unauthorised entry, triggering sirens and dispatching emergency responders. Fire and smoke detectors send instant alerts and can automatically shut off appliances or unlock doors to aid escape. Water leak sensors prevent extensive damage if ruptured pipes are detected early while away.

Biometric authentication systems requiring fingerprint or retinal scans prevent break-ins via stolen keys. Multi-factor authentication typically uses a PIN code or fob plus biometrics for maximum security. Limit system access to primary homeowners only if concerned about coercion of other household members like children.

All systems should encrypt data streams and implement firewalls to prevent hacking of smart home networks and devices. While remote access provides convenience, it also theoretically enables cyber intrusion - vigilance is needed.

Automating mundane but essential security measures like locking doors ensures they actually get done, removing lapses in human oversight. Response to detected threats also accelerates, shaving precious minutes off law enforcement arrival times.

Safeguarding Valuables

Concealing Expensive Items

To prevent theft, it's wise to keep expensive items like jewelry, watches, antiques, or collectibles out of sight. Install hidden storage areas like pull-out drawers or cabinet hideaways to secretly tuck away these coveted pieces. Hide jewels inside ordinary household items that thieves wouldn't think to check, like boxes of cereal or cans of food. You can also utilise discreet wall safes concealed behind paintings or mirrors. Stashing valuables creatively makes it much harder for thieves to locate and steal them.

Essentially, the goal is to not leave tempting treasures in obvious spots like on top of dressers or bedside tables. Keeping them concealed and difficult to access ensures valuables remain secure even during a break-in. Be sure to avoid hiding places that are overly predictable, like under mattresses or at the backs of closets. Get creative with stashing spots only you are aware of.

Safely Storing Important Documents

In addition to jewelry and other valuables, crucial financial, medical, and identity documents need to be kept secure from theft. Burglars can sell personal information or impersonate you using documents like passports, birth certificates, social security cards, and bank statements.

Store paper documents and external backup drives in a hidden floor or wall safe. Ideally the safe should be fireproof to also protect in a disaster. For quick access, use a small locked safe tucked away discretely in furniture. Alternatively, keep documents in a locked filing cabinet or store in a bank safe deposit box for maximum security.

Scan documents and securely back them up using encrypted cloud storage or password-protected drives. This avoids having sole paper copies that could be physically stolen. Enable two-factor authentication when possible as an extra account security measure.

Proactively keeping your most vital documents protected in locked safes or online storage helps guard against the damaging effects of identity theft if thieves do gain home entry. Monitor your credit and accounts routinely for any suspicious activity as an added precaution.

Community Involvement Strategies

Joining Neighborhood Watch

Connecting and partnering with your local Neighborhood Watch creates an invaluable network for staying informed on suspicious activities or crime trends in the area. By collaborating with Neighborhood Watch, you gain access to communication channels that help all residents maintain visibility on potential home security threats. 

Attending meetings and knowing program organisers builds relationships within the community that lead to increased safety for everyone. An expansive Neighborhood Watch with engaged participation serves as an extra set of eyes watching out for crime, providing a critical line of defense for your home.

Knowing Your Neighbors

Familiarising yourself with neighbors within a few houses in all directions establishes close ties that enhance home security. Chat with neighbors frequently and exchange contact information to facilitate checking in on each other's homes when away. 

Agree to keep an eye out for unusual behavior around the area and look after each other's property. Strong neighborly relationships built on communication and collaboration lead to increased vigilance that deters would-be burglars. 

Knowing which vehicles belong to residents helps pinpoint suspicious unknown cars potentially casing the area. By collectively agreeing to report concerning activity immediately, you create a network united in thwarting break-in attempts before they occur.

Reporting Criminal Activity

Whenever something seems amiss, whether an unfamiliar van slowly circling the neighborhood or a stranger peering into cars, it's critical to alert the authorities promptly. The police rely on residents as their eyes and ears on the ground. Reporting crimes or suspicious events as they unfold provides police the chance to intercept criminal activity. 

Details like vehicle descriptions and partial license plates aid enormously in investigations. Frequently calling in concerns before a crime occurs also helps establish a pattern if break-ins do happen, assisting police in allocating resources and apprehending culprits. 

So remain vigilant and don't hesitate to notify emergency services of suspicious behavior that could signal imminent home burglaries.

Take your security to the next level and get in touch with us at Rock Security Solutions.
Registered: Rock Security Solutions LTD
Company No: 10979625 | Registered England & Wales