Crime is a global pandemic and burglary is at the top of the list of reported crimes. The typical method of combat is to turn the home into a fortress complete with bars, obnoxious dogs and other impregnable bells and whistles. However, home owners are going to have to compare home insurance too, because there is no fail safe cure for this plague.
Burglars are more anxious than their victims, and the majority charge themselves with drugs or alcohol before embarking on an expedition. While this makes them more audacious, it also dumbs them down, making them more error prone. It’s these weaknesses that residents can manipulate to their advantage.
Joe Thief begins his quest by selecting a quiet neighbourhood within three blocks of an unobstructed exit route. He looks for concealed houses because his chief concern is detection. This means that home owners need to embark on a gardening mission, cutting back or removing any obscuring trees and shrubs.
Joe’s next priority is filling his bag. He wants the latest high tech objects and overflowing jewelry boxes to maximize return for his efforts. Ostentation is a chief weakness of residents here. Stash your Bentley in the garage, keep expensive gadgets away from view and hide your favourite toys.
28 out of 30 burglars break into uninhabited homes. Installation of mock occupancy devices could fool Joe into preferring the next door neighbour’s empty home. Noise from televisions, motion detecting lights and snarling dogs are all measures of creating ‘mockupancy.’
Hardening targets like bars, deadbolts and security gates are less likely to deter Joe from attempting entrance, so they need to be effective. This means dead bolts instead of security chains, bars with quality wall attachments on all floors of the home and pin locks on doors.
More effective for scaring strung out Joe is a blaring alarm. The chances of theft in an alarm protected house is almost zero. While the curious grandmother next door peaking through the window is unlikely to haul out an M16, she’s enough to throw Joe into a blue funk and bolt. Of course a Herculean guard from an armed response unit is the trump of residents determined to protect their wide screen, high definition televisions.
One perk for all this effort is that most insurance policies provide discounts for secured houses. The ultimate dividend, though, is that home owners will be able to live without fear, or even better, transfer that angst onto poor old Joe. As Emperor Tiberius said, “Let them hate me so long as they fear me.”