Homeowners must think like a burglar if they really want to protect their home – and this means going through a series of steps to cover every angle.
Security expert Don Aviv president of Interfor International, a New York-based consulting firm, made the comments during an interview with CNBC.
He advised: “If you harden your facility, that will make a burglar want to go elsewhere and that’s the key to everything.
“You want your burglar to look at your home, test your home and say, ‘You know what? Let me move on to an easier home.'”
For property owners with no clue where to start, Aviv recommended installing motion-sensor lighting, trimming bushes & trees, and investing in strong doors, windows and locks.
He explained: “If you improve the locks, the windows, the doors, lighting – anything to harden your house – you’ll do a tremendous amount to protect your home.”
Those with a well-connected ‘smart home’ should ensure it is as difficult to crack into as an internet bank account by protecting passwords and ensuring the Wi-Fi is secure.
And just having a home alarm is not enough – homeowners have to actually use it.
Aviv revealed an surprising majority don’t use their home alarm systems after being lulled in to a false sense of security when nothing untoward happens in the first couple of months.
Most shocking of all, Aviv warned today’s burglar is far more sophisticated than days gone by, and will spend time discreetly watching properties they want to target.
He revealed: “Burglars spend time watching your property, determining your patterns, understanding when it is that you leave for work, when your kids go to school, when you come home, and they understand your patterns.
“Couple of days of watching your patterns and they’ll understand when’s the best time to attack your home and that’s what they’ll do.”
He advised as well as actually using the home alarm system, homeowners consider also purchasing security cameras for a two pronged approach.
Where valuables are kept in the home is also important, as if a burglar does make it in to the house, the first place they will try is “typically the bedrooms, the master bedrooms”.
And having a safe isn’t enough, as burglars will just carry this out of the house to open later. Hide the safe somewhere less obvious than the master bedroom to add a layer of protection.
Finally, Aviv recommends the classic approach to home security – making friends with the neighbours.
He said: “Your neighbours are your best friends. When it comes to protecting your home, neighbourhood watches, neighbourhood awareness, good neighbours make for good security and that’s something that can’t go underestimated.”
A former burglar also offered advice on how to protect homes, sharing his tips to secure property ahead of summer holidays.
Michael Fraser, now a reformed burglar who appears on TV, revealed six key areas homeowners should focus on to protect their house.