Retired Burglar Reveals How To Protect Your Home

By Nick Hadji 11 months ago

1. Put a broom in front of your door

Image source/ tricksmansaverThis is such a simple and easy trick, and you don't have to invest in some expensive highbrow security system. Just get a broom or a stick or anything of the sort and place it in front of the door. That way, if it is opened it will clatter, wake people up and alert them.Original content sourced from

2. Get double windows

Image source/ blogspotSingle windows are weaker to force entry and easier to shatter. So, if you can, investing in double windows with plastic between the glass is better (not just for insulation) because it will be much harder to break for a burglar trying to gain entry into your home.

3. Don't put a high fence

Image source/ jpscuttingedgeThis sounds strange because you may thing that high fence is better to ward off burglars. But according to ex-burglars, they are easy to get over and they just provide a place to hide and provide a sheltered view from the neighbours to stay out of view.

4. Don't rely on dogs to act as an alarm

Image source/ texasandmDon't always rely solely on your digs to be your alarm. Yes, they are a very good deterrent. But that does not mean that you should only use your dogs to protect against burglars. They can be won over and sometimes they are more scared than you would expect and do not bark.

5. Don't put a 'beware of the dog' sign up

Image source/ PinterestAlso, don't put a beware of the dog sign up outside your house. It won't deter the burglar according to former burglars and in fact if anything you've then lost the shock element and actually prepared them for what to expect. So don't bother with this trick after all.

6. Remove dust trails from your secret places

Image source/safeforumsYou may have your secret hiding places. But burglars know all the kinds of things to look for. And former burglars have realised that they can tell where things have been moved to or where secret spots are because there is a dust trail. So, make sure you clean these places too.

7. Hide calendars

Image source/ PinterestHide your calendar from the view of any windows. Do you really want a burglar to know when you're away for the weekend with Auntie Laura? Definitely not. Former burglars have discussed how if they can see you schedule, they will know when is best to strike.

8. Get a mailbox inside

Image source/ diytut.ieHaving a pile of letters in your mailbox or on your front step is a huge sign to say you've not been home in a while and the house is empty. Getting a mailbox inside stops this problem because they won't be able to see them piled up. Put it low down however so they can't reach through for the lock.

9. Keep your curtains open

Image source/ curtainsandblinds.comThis sounds like it would be the opposite - keep your curtains open. But this is because if people have their blinds closed, neighbours won't see you pass by the windows. Which gives them more secrecy and space to hide as they can just walk right past.

10. Face the blind upwards

Image source/ homesdesignsAnother really simple hack given to us from former burglars is to face your blind upwards. It is the same for you as it retains privacy whilst letting in light, but the burglar won't be able to see inside when they get close ad they can do when they are facing downwards.

11. Get a strike plate instead of a lock

Image source/ MumsnetIf it is possible for you then get a strike plate rather than a conventional lock. This will take a lot longer to manage to break in as it is a lot more complex to break as well as a lot harder to someone trying to break it. Which is also another deterrent.

12. Place security cameras at face height

Image source/ sfirstHave some of your security cameras placed at face height. The ones that are high, pointing downwards are not as effective in seeing a burglar's face because it can easily be disguised by a hood and looking downwards. If it is at height level, it is very hard not to see the face.

13. Don't keep the garage keys in your car

Image source/ diydaysThis step seems obvious- but don't leave garage keys in your car. Otherwise, a point of easy access is often seen as being through the garage. A quick search through the car after breaking in would mean that if they can steal the garage keys, they can get into your home.

14. Keep decorations hidden

Image source/ PinterestWhen burglars see balloons or decorations outside the house, or in the window it shows some kind of celebration or party has happened. This usually means gifts. In other words, burglars see it as a good time to burgle whilst your house has valuable gifts inside.

15. Don't keep children's toys outside

Image source/ YouTubeNot leaving children's toys out is a tip from former burglars, not because burglars want to steal children's toys. But it suggests to them that you are likely settled...meaning you probably have invested more in your house and have valuables kept there.

16. Put garden furniture away

Image source/ wayfairPutting garden furniture away is not necessarily because they'll steal it - but also because it indicated by the kind of things you buy, how much money you have, and it is a signal to what might be inside and whether you have money and expensive things.

17. Randomise the automatic lights

Image source/ wikifandomDon't have them coming on at the same time each day - we've all seen home alone. If Marv and Harry can work, it really must be quite easy. So, if you have got automated lights, make them a little more random so that it seems someone is home switching on the lights.

18. Focus more on daytime security

Image source/ dreamstimePeople always focus on the night-time security of their house, but we should focus more on daytime security too. You are more likely to be out of the house than at night so robberies are actually far more common in the daytime during the week while you are assumed out at work.

19. Keep expensive items out of the window

Image source/ blogspotThis again is really obvious but something that people often either forget or underestimate the importance of when considering appeal to burglars. We've heard from ex-burglars themselves that it shows the kind of goods you own and attracts them to your property.

20. Don't get fake alarms, get real

  Image source/ roffpottsGetting fake alarms seems like a cheaper and clever way to put burglars off, but according to former burglars it's not. They know how to spot them and then this will shoe that you have a more laid-back attitude to security which then might make you even more of a target.

21. Clean your alarm if you don't use it

Image source/ alarmsnetIf you have an alarm but don't actually use it - then it would be good to use it - but if not, at least clean it. If it's there gathering dust, then anybody can tell you haven't used it in a long time and that will be a good signal to the burglar that there won't be any sound.

22. Make sure top levels are secure too

Image source/ wikiDon't just focus on the lower levels and assume that they won't be able to reach the upper levels, because they can. Nearly one quarter of the British population admitted to leaving a top window open slightly at some point whilst they were out of the house.

23. Get a gate

Image source/ homesdesignsAny kind of barrier is a deterrent, even if it is a little gate (or of course a big one). It just adds another thing to get past and another thing adding sound that could possibly alert you or a neighbour. So even if it is more of a psychological deterrent, it's worth it.

24. Get neighbours to alternate driveways if you're home

Image source/ RedditIf you go away on holiday one of the big tell-tale sounds is cars. If your car hasn't moved in a few days, then it is clear you are on holiday. Or, if your cars are gone totally from the driveway and they don't return each day it will also be clear. Get your neighbour to alternate between their and your home when parking.

25. Get screws on windows

Image source/ PinterestWindows are sometimes prized open by burglars with force, for example, using a crowbar. But this is made a lot harder if there is a thick screw lock as well. Because if there is a thick deep screw not only, will they have to prize the window, but also the wood.

26. Get motion sensor lights

Image source/ safety4youMotion sensors come on as soon as any motion is detected. So, it means if someone is sneaking around outside the lights will automatically come on, alerting you to activity outside. It's also good if your neighbours have it so that there is no dark space to hide in.

27. Get a door chime

Image source/ blogspotBurglars want to avoid any sound possible. So, if you have chimes on your doors when they open - it couldn't be more obvious that someone is entering into your house. And even if you aren't there it will help deter a burglar who may be spooked by this point.

28. Keep keys in your room

Image source/ PinterestIt is often a good idea to keep your car keys close to your bed. If you do hear someone entering your house downstairs, it is never a good idea to go down. Instead, you should ring the police and if you have a panic button on your car you can press it and the alarm will go off and hopefully spook the intruder.

29. Get someone to mow your lawn

Image source/ syracuseAnother tell-tale sign of whether you are away your lawn and whether it has been mown. So why not ask a neighbour or friend or someone looking for pocket money to do it and give the impression that you are still there. It might then put a burglar off trying.

30. A video doorbell

Image source/ blogspotThese are all the rage now....and it's understandable why because you can log right on to your phone and see who is at the door. You can even speak out of it. So, if you are away this is a brilliant way to scare off intruders who will not know if you are there or not.

31. Do Some Burglar Roleplay For Yourself

Image Source / Merriam-WebsterThis sounds a bit strange, but stick with us - try to enter or view your home from a burglar's point of view. Have a walk through and think how a burglar would think - can you get through that door or window? Oh you've left the front door unlocked anyway and just walked through - so that's exactly what a burglar could've done, too. Anything you can notice, or do, a burglar can too.

32. Lock Your Home Even When You're There

Image Source / ADS SecurityIt's a really good idea to get into the habit of always locking your doors and windows, even when you're at home. As soon as you walk through the front door, lock it behind you. There's always the risk that a burglar won't necessarily wait until you're not home to try and get in - and if the door's open, they can walk straight in.

33. Secure Your Air Conditioner

Image Source / SFGATEIf you have a huge air conditioning unit on your window, it can be removed - and a burglar will certainly try it if that's a viable option. And if they do remove it, it's one way of gaining access, so you'll want to make sure that your air conditioner is secured from the inside.

34. Put The Radio On When You're Not Home

Image Source / WikipediaThe 'leaving the lights on' trick is a great one, and you should do it, but did you also think about the radio? Noise can travel easily, and if you select a radio station that's just long, intense conversations rather than music then it'll sound like it could be the occupants of the home having a conversation - so a great deterrent! If you can put your radio on a timer, even better.

35. Replace Your Locks If You Lose Your Keys

Image Source / YouTubeIf you lose your house keys, get the locks changed straight away. There's always a chance you could've unknowingly dropped your keys on the street close to your home - and if a burglar has been scouting your home for a while and watching you, they could have seen you drop them - and nabbed them.

36. Hide A Spare Key In A Secure, Secret Spot

Image Source / Canford AudioAnd no, we don't mean under the doormat or in the flowerpot, because burglars 100% will look there. Hide a spare key for security purposes, but definitely make sure it's secure and somewhere only you can access. Put it in a place you also know you can't accidentally lose it.

37. Place A Bar On Sliding Glass Doors

Image Source / SafeWiseIf you have sliding glass doors to your back garden or wherever, you can give them extra security by placing a metal bar - or even a wooden handle - across the track of the doors. If you place at the middle bottom then you're stopping them from being slid across while you're not using them.

38. Hide Security Wires (Or Go Wireless)

Image Source / How-To-GeekIf you do have security cameras or devices (which is obviously a great start) make sure that the wires connecting them are hidden or out of reach. If not, burglars can easily cut them or manage to deactivate the system. If you go wireless, you eliminate that risk anyway!

39. Don't Post About Your Vay-Cay On Social Media

Image Source / Times of IndiaIf you want to post about it, post long after you've arrived back. If you post about your vacation plans - where you're going, how long for - you're only telling the world that your house is going to be empty while you're away. You're basically posting a big ol' invitation.

40. Design A Secure Property

Image Source / Allan Corfield ArchitectsIf you're a position where you're actually looking at building your perfect property from scratch, or maybe undergoing some major renovations, then this is the perfect opportunity to work with an architect or landscaper to work out what the safest property design would be against intruders.

41. Start A Neighborhood Watch Group

Image Source / WikipediaDon't wait for someone else to suggest it - give it a go yourself! If you have a good community and get along with your neighbors - or even if you don't! - you can suggest a neighborhood watch group where everyone has each other's backs and watches for suspicious activity. Burglars will be less likely to target a known neighborhood watch area.

42. Keep Your Bedroom Doors Open While You Sleep

Image Source / TwitterKeeping your bedroom door wide open will make it more likely you'll be alerted to a noise in your home. If you close your doors, you might be blocking out the noise of burglars rummaging around, so there's always a better chance of waking up and calling the police if your bedroom door is open.

43. Keep Your Phone Beside Your Bed

Image Source / Elemental - MediumThis one might go without saying as the majority of people would do this anyway, but even better if it's within arm's reach so you don't have to make any noise getting out of bed to reach for it if you hear an intruder and need to call 911.

44. Have A Plan Of Action For You And Your Family

Image Source / ConceptoWhether you live alone, as a couple or as a family, have a plan of action for the eventuality of a burglary. Just like a fire escape plan at places of work or schools, put into place a plan of what you would do or where you could go in an emergency burglary situation, so that all family members are prepared!

45. Invest In Some Glass Break Sensors

Image Source / WikipediaA glass break sensor is not something many homes have, but they really should. A glass break sensor will listen for the sound of breaking glass - such as when a burglar breaks a window - and sound an alarm if glass has been broken. You can even place a sensor on every window in your home.

46. Make A Decoy For Valuables

Image Source / WikipediaA lot of the time, burglars will have a grab and dash mentality, especially if an alarm has gone off or police are on the way, in which they'll simply grab the nearest thing that looks valuable and get out of there. If you have a decoy - such as a box on a dressing table that looks like it could hold expensive jewelry - they'd hopefully only take that and nothing actually valuable.

47. Never Answer The Door To Strangers

Image Source / Acting MagazineThis applies to both yourself if you're an adult living alone, or as a couple, and to your family if you have young children. Never answer the door if you're not expecting someone, and don't just freely open the door without checking the peephole first. Burglars can dash right in as soon as the door is open.

48. Be Safe With Package Deliveries

Image Source / The Summit ExpressOne huge scam that burglars try in this day and age is pretending to be delivery drivers to make you open the door. Keep track of everything you've ordered so you know what you're expecting - and what you're not. If you're unsure, you could also talk to them through the window and ask them to leave on the step and wait until they leave before opening the door.

49. A Deadbolt Is A Must

Image Source / WikipediaKeeping a deadbolt on is a great deterrent for burglars and gives you that extra level of security. You don't always need to have it on, but if you're going on vacation, it can be good to just slide the deadbolt on the front door and leave through the back for extra door security.

50. Use Window Film

Image Source / Amazon UKWindow films obviously won't do anything about glass breaking, but they provide privacy - and in this case, it's not just about you being able to see outside, it's about preventing people from seeing in. Window film, especially in revealing rooms, can help to block what burglars can see inside your home.