We will never stop house thieves. We all can't afford a big mansion with 24 hour security guards with
home security systems so what little we have we need to protect the best way we can.
We need to try and use the best home security methods and equipment that we can afford.
I thought I would share what I have learned about home security with you. Some gadgets can help but many of us can't always afford top of the range security cameras for our home or alarm systems.
So I will try advise the best I can and any links I add on gadgets etc will be the cheapest or best option I can find or one I recommend or use myself.
Many people leave lights on when they leave the house but many thieves are not stupid if they know a rough layout of your house they know a light on in a toilet is not going to be someone stood in the toilet for 2 hours they will know it was left on because your not home.
Timers can be good for this reason you can set them to come on and off so anyone watching your house may think there is someone in if the lights come on at say 6pm and then go off at 8am
Leaven the house
It can be good practice when you leave your house sometimes to act like you're saying bye to someone because any person over hearing may think someone else is still home and the house is not empty.
Alarm systems are good but can be expensive always make sure if your alarm goes off on false alarms
constantly to stop it as soon as possible.
Your neighbours may get sick of the noise of false alarms and then ignore it when your house is really being burgled thinking it's that false house alarm again.
A good CCTV system is a must these days if you can afford to buy one.
I use a PTZ camera
this means I can move it left and right, tilt it up and down and zoom in.
I have a DVR connected with a hard drive so it constantly records so I can go back on the recorded tape from weeks ago at any time.
Some of the newer models allow you to connect your CCTV to your mobile cell phone so
you can see your house live on your phone if say you're at work etc.
Many of them have inbuilt motion sensor alarms now and can be a great security assist to your home.
I have the front and back of my house covered with CCTV and there are no blind spots.
You can also buy a joystick which makes it easier to move the camera and zoom in and out but you don't have to use that.
You can either connect the CCTV to your home computer,laptop or mobile cell phone or just use a controller that comes with the DVR system.
I will tell you why I invested in CCTV.
Why did I buy CCTV
Around 10 years ago I was in Turkey on holiday and my friend said he would look after my house while I was on holiday.
But he was going to the pub on Friday night but said he would go to my house after the pub.
At around 2am in the morning on Friday night
a male walks into my front garden with a knife and cuts down a hanging basket that had flowers in it
it was worth £1 from the local pound shop, no joke honest.
So the thief cuts the string it was held on with and then rides off on a pedal bike with the basket.
Around 30 mins later about 2.30am my friend gets out of a taxi from the pub and never even notices the basket is gone. It was only in the morning when all the soil was all over he noticed and checked the video tape.
At that time I had a cheap £30 ebay camera and cheap dvr both low quality and could not really recognize anyone on the tape.
So when I got home I bought a proper HD CCTV night vision motion sensor camera the best for the price at the time with a joystick and good DVR.
I saved some money from my holiday and used that to buy a good camera.
The reason I did this was say for example that was me getting out of a taxi from the pub or my friend was a little early coming home.
What would that intruder have done if someone walked in the garden he was clearly armed with a knife would he have panicked and used it to escape.
The sad part is if he would have knocked on my door I would have given him the baskit it was worth £1 (0.50cents).
Good relations with neighbours
Having a good relationship with you neighbours can be important
they are your eyes and ears when your not home.
If they see people looking in your windows they can call you or the police or even ask them what they are doing in your garden.
Motion sensors are good but can be sensitive to false alarms. I have one in my front garden when someone walks in it makes a ring noise at the plug socket. The problem with cheap models is that they can ring if it's windy so always buy a good one like the one below.
If you have a dog consider putting a sticker outside letting thieves know they will have to deal with dogs.
This is a tricky one though as a thief may be weary of a rottweiler or staffordshire bull but less worried about a poodle or a pug dog.
Some thieves will scope out houses to see if it will be worthwhile breaking in and if they may run into trouble are the owners physically strong looking? etc are there well built males,aggressive dogs,cctv, alarms etc.
Is it just a single mother in the house?.
If for example you have female clothes on a washing line and no male t-shirts, jeans etc
thieves will know no males live at the house.
Now this method was often used in Northern Ireland during the troubles if I remember correctly by the special forces to know if hidden people were at locations before raids as there washing was on the washing lines so a thief could do the same.
We all use social media to a point but be careful what you say
I have repeatedly told friends about this one
many people put posts like these.
(Holiday in 5 days we are going to Benidorm for 2 weeks can't wait all inclusive.
(Food is great here just been out for meal
got another week here in Malta)
Now all that first post is saying to every person in your area and all your followers is that your house is more than likely empty for 2 weeks as you're in Benidorm.
The 2rd post is telling people you're away on holiday so if you're away your house is more than likely empty.
A thief who knows you and has seen your facebook post now knows he can take his time having a root for money,gold etc in your home and not have to rush as your in Malta on holiday)
Now you may say well your followers are not thieves etc but what if they Like your facebook post or share it on facebook etc with there followers and someone they know is a house thief who just happens to live around the corner from you.
Many people don't think about these things when they post pictures on facebook,instagram etc with comments when on they are on holiday etc.
People in your area may look at your posts and say aren't they lucky 2 weeks in the sunny Spain.
Word soon gets around that your house is empty.
There was a story not long ago where some footballer if I remember correctly was on holiday and put it on social media and his house was robbed as they knew no one was home and it has happened in my area a few times.
The stupid part is the people that were robbed go on facebook and say someone read my FB post so knew I was on holiday and has robbed my house etc well it is public facebook so they are going to.
Taxi driver wait
If you have been out say on a night out and you get a taxi home.
Ask the taxi driver to wait until you get in your house before he drives off that way you can be a little bit more secure.
Knowing someone is watching your back it takes seconds for someone to creep up as you put your key in the front door to push you in your house.
The taxi driver could be a lifesaver. I am not trying to scare people here. I am looking at the best ways I can help you to avoid trouble. The world is a dangerous place.
This is a common tactic thieves use a bamboo or other type of stick with a hook and then they stick it through letterboxes to grip house keys,car keys.
Many people when they get home have tables near to the front doors and put their keys down as soon as they get home from work or when going to bed at night.
Never store house,car keys near the front door.
keep them in the same place of course in case of fires emergencies etc.
But never next to the front door unless you're sure they are out of sight if someone opens the letterbox.
Letterbox takeaway menu
If you're away ask a neighbor or family member you trust to check on your house once a day or even every other day.
The reason I say this is because leaflet delivery men deliver things such as takeaway menus.
They have a habit of posting the menus but leaving them sticking out of your letter box so all this does is say to all the local thieves hey we are not home come break into my house.
Car keys signal
Thieves are now also using a machine to unlock your car from outside your house. This machine connects to your car keys in your house and unlocks your car.
So worried people have tried keeping keys wrapped in tin foil,in the fridge even in the microwave
in hope they won't fall victim
The best advice I would say is invest in an Iron Stripe Car Key Signal Blocker box
that will stop them being able to open your car by connecting to your keys.
Wheelie bin not out?
As above, ask a neighbour to put your wheelie bins out an overflowing bin is a tell tale sign no one is home otherwise you would have emptied the bin if it was bin day the day before etc.
Current news area rumours
If there is a spate of robberies in your area don't think three houses have been broken into on my row surely they won't try mine they more than likely will. Just be a little more on guard if there are break ins happening in your area.
Always be a little on guard of salesmen or people knocking on your door saying they are with the gas,electricity company and need to come in and check your gas meter if you're not due a check up etc.
Always ask for ID or close the door and call their company. (May have fake ID)
If the company says there is no work ongoing in the area or they don't work for them etc phone the police asap don't open the door again until police come.
If you're worried when you first open the door just say my husband is in the bath. He deals with all that can you come back tomorrow and close the door and then phone the company to see if they are legitimate?
Broken down, can I use phone?
If you ever get anyone knocking on your door saying they broke down can they use your phone to call for recovery just either say no or ask them for the number and you phone it dont allow them in your house to use your phone.
Spy hole intercom
Door spy holes are good to have so you can see who is there before you open the door.
Phone intercoms with a camera built in are good as well if you think someone at your front door looks creepy.
Go upstairs and open the window there and speak through the window don't open the door and have your mobile cell phone in your hand in case you need police assistance.
Keep all valuables hidden when you're not home. I don't recommend mini safes
yes it may be solid and the thief can't break into it in your house but what's stopping them from carrying it with them?
Hide valuables in hidden places
You can buy fake plug sockets that slot into walls they are good or fake food tins that you put in your food cupboard. A thief will know all the good hiding places such as under your bed or on top of wardrobes.
Don't hide keys in your garden under plant pots,under a rock or under the wheelie bin.
If you think that is a good place no one will ever guess your wrong.
Thieves break into houses for a living and many are good at it and will have a good idea where that hidden key is.
Leave keys with a neighbour you trust or with a relative who lives close by
or even hidden in your car as a last resort.
Doors of your house are like castle gates. It is pointless having good security if the front and back door of your house is weak and easy to break into.
It's important to have a good strong solid door and a decent
well made mortice lock for when you're not home.
The harder your house is to break in and the more steps you take to slow a thief down the better chance they may give up and leave.
Barrel door bolts
Also worth having some barrel door bolts for when you're at home they will help stop a kick to the lock from opening your door if you're in bed etc.
A neighbour of mine a few years ago locked himself out and said could I get into his house for him?.
So I said sure I could try to climb up to his bathroom window with some ladders and climb though his bathroom window that was slightly open.
But the gap was only small so he said can you kick the front door in?
I said but it will break the wood frame and maybe the lock as well he said its ok he could repair that.
So I asked him a few times, are you sure? He said yes. I then kicked the door 2 times and it opened easily and that was a solid wood door.
The weakness was not the door but the small lock he had on the door.
Now if he would have been in the house and had the barrel bolts on the door there is no chance I would be able to kick that door in so my point is they are a good investment same as a decent lock when you're out.
Not a fan of glass doors all a thief has to do is smash the glass
to noisy you say? thieves have a way of smashing glass with not much noise.
Don't leave your front door open in the day
don't think thieves won't walk in knowing your home.
I know people this has happened to in last few months keep your door locked even if your home say for example watching TV or upstairs.
The people I know this has happened to one said the thieves walked in and the owner chased after them. The other said they gripped the car keys of the table and stole their car.
If you do want to leave you door open consider buying a door alarm when the seal beam is broken the alarm starts beeping the same type when you walk in a shop and you hear that beep you can also use these on windows as well they are quite good for the money.
Don't leave pets such as dogs alone in your garden where you can not see them
main reason I say this is that dog theft is common.
They will steal your pets either to sell or for dog fighting.
They may also try to poison the dog if they plan on robbing your house in the future so never leave pets unwatched and be weary if you find food such as meat in your garden as it
Could be poisoned.
Also keep an eye out for slug pellets as these are commonly used to harm dogs.
Never leave pet food bowels out in your garden or allow any stranger to come to your gate and get friendly with you dog by stroking them and never tell strangers the dogs name just lie.
Lost my friend
The other reason I say keep watch on your pets
Someone may knock on your front door and leave the gate open and your dog gets out. Happened to me his name was Joey.
My sister let him out in the front garden for 5 mins with the gate locked. Someone opened the gate for some reason and he got out.
We never saw him again. I tried looking for him everywhere, put posters up all over, he was microchipped and had collier on with address phone number etc.
He was well looked after so I think maybe someone took him.
I still miss him to this day. About 10 years later I went into a corner shop to get a drink about 4 miles from my home.
There was a little old lady in the shop with an old dog. I walked in and this dog wagged his tail at me. The old lady said that is strange he is never friendly with anyone.
I said how long you had him?
She found him a stray around 10 years ago she said. Someone let him out of a car and drove off near her home in the rain and she kept him since then he is so loyal she said.
I am sure the dog was Joey my old dog.
What could I do thou?
I never told her I thought he was my old dog. She clearly found him and looked after him and loved him the same as me and I am grateful to her for that.
I gave him a hug. The lady looked at me puzzled and I just walked out the shop and said goodbye Joe.
Broke my heart still hurts to this day
I truly hope it was him and he had a good life with that little old lady. I do wish I could find out who took him.
Always get your pet microchipped so if they are stolen they can be traced.
You can buy colliers now with a GPS locator so you can see the location of your pet instantly and where they have traveled from.
Now I know a person who uses one of these for his cat and he says they are good. Apparently his cat walks about ten miles a day.
The only issue with these is you first buy the collar GPS tag but also have to pay a subscription service like a phone bill.
Some range from about £3.33 a month and the model below has a battery life of 2-5 days.
Many people leave upstairs windows open thinking a thief can't get in wrong they can.
Let's say a thief dressed as a window cleaner with a ladder decides to try his luck getting in your window.
Do you think any person walking past is going to think he is a thief and not a friendly window cleaner? Lock all windows when not at home.
You can buy window sensors so if a thief smashes the window or trys to force window open the alarms go off some are good and loud as well and not expensive.
You can buy a film that you put on the outside of your windows you can see out but people can not see in unless you turn a light on. This is good for privacy as well as stopping thieves looking in your windows.
I use this the only advice I would say is make sure you attach it properly if not you get air bubbles and have to do it all over again like I did.
Strangers in the night
Always be wary of strangers in the area or random people just hanging around for no reason.
They may be scoping the houses out and peoples routine same with cars pulling up and sitting there then just driving off.
Write the licence plate down and date time etc then if you see it again you know its same car.
Some thieves will be patient and watch people to see routines
for example, everyone leaves for work at 9am so that house is empty for 4,5 hours.
Just be on guard at people trying to get your routine the less they know the better.
Never leave any tools in your garden that a thief could use to break in your house with
This gos for garden sheds as well keep them locked.
A hammer or screwdriver in a back garden shed may help a thief get in your house.
The nice ladders you have could help a thief reach up to that back garden window and be in your house in minutes. You can also use the motion sensors in your shed aswell that I mentioned before.
If you have a back fence make sure you make it hard for thieves to get over it now this is a tough one due to laws.
For example razor wire,barbed wire is a grey area with the law would it stop thieves probably is it lawful depends on your country's laws.
The police often advise against the use of such intruder prevention due to the risk of legal action.
Believe it or not you owe a duty of care to thieves,trespassers not to get injured breaking into your property.
Section 164 of the Highways Act 1980
States that barbed wire (or Razor wire) on land adjoining a public highway must not cause a nuisance to humans or animals using the highway. Anything placed below 2.4 metres high will usually be deemed to be causing a nuisance and the local authority can issue a notice demanding its removal.
The Criminal Justice Act 2003
Provides some advice to householders.
If a trespasser suffers an injury during the course of a crime, for which they are subsequently convicted for, they will only be able to sue the occupier or landowner with the court’s permission.
If it can be shown that there were adequate warning signs and the deterrent was clearly visible this is unlikely to be given.
Broken glass, or nails are not covered by the above
laws and you are almost guaranteed to be in trouble if you use either.
If you do use barbed wire etc.
- Get planning permission, if required
- Put signs up (warning barbed wire)
- Keep it high above 2.4 metres or higher if you can.
You can buy thorn bushes and wooden trails sticking these on a fence a thief may avoid them as it will create noise they are not usually strong enough to hold an intruder's weight so the snapping noise will get the home owner's attention so a thief may avoid it.
You can also buy plastic no harm wall spikes most shops sell these.
Holidays christmas & halloween
Around holiday times thieves may be more active
for example on halloween someone in a mask is not going to get much attention from other people standing near a front door the same as now with the pandemic people in masks are normal sites we see everyday.
Thieves know around christmas time that people will have their trees out full with presents.
Many people will be at christmas work parties or christmas shopping or at the christmas markets.
Thevis know this is the perfect time to strike.
I see it in the paper every year how thieves steal some kids christmas presents from under the tree etc.
House and car keys
Never have your home address on your car keys or house keys
you lose them and a thief finds them. They have a way into your house and your address.
USB memory stick
What if you lose keys?
I have a small USB memory stick on my keys
with a Microsoft word document
on it so when they plug it into a computer the person that finds the keys.
The document on USB
(Reads If you have found these keys please phone this number thank you)
If they do phone arrange to meet in a shopping centre or public place not at your home as they may not turn up or may have made copies so I would say changing locks may be worth doing that anyway if you can afford to.
Buy a metal USB so the plastic doesn't snap off your keys.
Sat navs and phones
Never have your home address set on sat navs or mobile phones the map part I mean
if your car gets stolen and you have your address in sat nav the thief may try his luck with your house.
Have a street nearby or a landmark near to your home set as home. That way the thief has maybe an area of 2 miles to guess your home they won't bother then.
Law at the moment on home self defence
Different per country (UK Law)
Reasonable force can be used if an intruder is for example walking up your stairs in your home and you have no escape and you feel your life or loved ones are at risk.
If an intruder flees the scene, then at that moment they are not presenting a threat to you the householder any longer.
This means that if you the householder then chase and attack the house thief on the street or in your front garden you could no longer be considered to be acting in self-defense and may be arrested.
Reasonable force can still be used to recover property or make a citizen's arrest.
It would not be lawful for example keeping a cricket bat next to your bed to use if a thief broke into your house.
Where as if you played cricket every weekend and picked your bat up, if you felt your life was in danger then you would probably be within the law.
It's a tricky subject so as I am not a solicitor I am not going to comment too much.
I will just put what the law says below if you're unsure of your rights consider looking online or even asking the local police.
A person may use such force as is reasonable in the circumstances for the purposes of (in the alternative)
- Defence of another
- Defence of property
- Prevention of crime
- Lawful arrest.
As stated this is my own guide I thought I would share.
It is not made to replace any professional law enforcement advice.
Hopefully the guide may help you.
I must stress this again Don't try tackle house thieves they will more then likely be armed.
Knives,hammer,screwdrivers all number of items that can cause you harm. .
Don't think if you go over the top beating up a house thief the law will be on your side they
Phone the police that's what their job is for to protect you.
Myth or legend
This is a strange one. I was not going to add this but thought upto you to see what you think
I have heard of this in the past that some thieves leave codes for other thieves.
Apparently they have left markings outside peoples houses.
These markings alert other thieves if the homeowners are:
- Single woman alone
- Old people
- No males living at the house
Whether or not this is true I don't know.
But if you do see symbols in chalk etc randomly appear on your door,bins,walls just be a little on guard.
It could be harmless kids in the area just a little graffiti etc or it could be this so-called legend code.
Either way take a photo and contact the local police. They will have more knowledge of the symbols and meanings.
If you want to know more just google (Thieves' code – myth)
If you have any questions just comment if you think I need to add anything or you want to ask something let me know if this guide helped you?