According to Penal code 459 PC, California Burglary law, the crime of burglary is complete once the person enters the structure with criminal intent, even if the intended crime is never actually accomplished. The structures that are often broken into are residential homes, institutions, and cars. According to ADT, over 1.4 million burglaries occur in the US each year, and the number is growing.
Property crimes are, by far, the most prevalent kind of crime in the United States, occurring in every state. You can be left feeling exposed after a breach of your privacy and home, and it takes you a while to get over it. The likelihood of finding valuable or sentimental property stolen during a burglary is quite slim. Preventing burglaries is far more effective than dealing with them when they happen. This begs the question, what’s the biggest deterrent to burglary? This read will give you ideas on what you can do to prevent burglars.
1. Outer Security
In the past, fences, live or stone, have been the standard land perimeter boundaries, and they’ve been useful for privacy and security purposes. For security, they’re made tall and mounted with live wires and sharp glass, to make them effective. However, they haven’t held up to be breach-free and burglars have scaled them and tampered with all the accessorizing efforts. With recent advancements in technology, land perimeters can now be secured with a concealed sensor fence, which is a perimeter fence hidden underground. SensoGuard is among fence companies specializing in, as they’re called, InvisiFence. Their system specializes in operating buried sensors that feature extraordinarily high recognition levels of diverse threats above or below the ground. They can detect footsteps, vehicles, digging, and more, making them impossible to jump over or dig under, and so, they’re arguably a biggest deterrent to burglary.
This system can be used domestically at your home, or around solar farms security or oil gas pipeline security systems. They’re also used as tunnel detection systems along border lines like the United States of America-Mexico border, since cross-border tunnels have been known to be pathways for illegal drugs and immigrants. SensoGuard InvisiFence is recognized as the first and only off-the-shelf tunnel detection system and is the only technology that’s reliable in detecting digging activity up to 25m depth. This system is hard to defeat since it’s underground and hence minimizes the risk of a cable cut. They’re cost-effective and significantly easy to install. They can work as a standalone or part of a long perimeter network, where hubs connect to make a continuous perimeter.
Burglars are becoming creative by the day. For example, those who target residential compounds have been known to turn on outside taps so the owners can open their doors to come outside and check, giving the burglars an expressway in. To avoid falling for this gimmick as some people have, install a leak detection program that can alert you on your phone wherever there’s a possible leak in your plumbing.
One can never be too safe. It’s important to detect all the possible entry points a burglar can use to gain access to a home. The roof is one such point, and it’s essential to consult with a roof contractor to seal off potential areas of a breach.
A building that has existed for some time can have all sorts of issues. The most common ones have to do with water damage that could weaken or compromise either the walls or floors. This poses a security risk as those vulnerable spots can be easy to kick in, tear down and pierce through. To avoid this, it’s always better to deal with such a problem quickly and thoroughly through water restoration.
Other outside security measures include hiring a guard to enforce robust access control measures for anyone entering the compound of a residence or institution. One of the biggest deterrent to burglary, especially in sensitive places, is the installation of a digitally enhanced identification system for highly guarded places, like back safes. To further strengthen this, it can be programmed to require multi-factor authentication before granting access.
Cleanliness is an undervalued safety factor, but one of the biggest deterrent to burglary. Obstructions such as bushes around a property can be safe havens for burglars. For this reason, it’s important to keep the areas around your property as clean as possible by clearing bushes and hedges and trimming tree branches, especially ones that hang across fences or any that may be overgrown near windows and doors.
Other obstructions that could aid a burglar in easily accessing your property include storing old cars, scrap metal, and other junk in your compound, especially along the land perimeter fence, which could make scaling up a wall easier. Such items should be moved to junk yards or put in storage areas that don’t pose security risks. Any other debris or waste in and around your property should be taken care of by a home cleaning service and waste management company.
Your outdoor patio, corridors, gazebos, and other spaces should be designed in such a way that they’re accessible to the eye from the main house and are free of clutter. Your compound’s infrastructure offers several potential hideout areas for burglars and, therefore, requires periodic monitoring. Incorporate septic inspections, and checking barns, storage areas, and sheds into your security routine.
In some places, house siding is a common addition to non-masonry wall structures of buildings and acts as the first line of defense against the elements such as sunlight, rain, heat, or snow that might compromise the integrity of a building. It’s recommended that internally-framed walls, be it with steel or wood I-beams, must always be sided. There are a wide variety of materials to side with, both natural and artificial. As much as they can enhance the building’s beauty, they also offer reinforcement, especially at the caves of the roof, making it difficult to breach as a targeted weak point, thus turning it into one of the biggest deterrent to burglary. In general, cleanliness, as much as it is useful in other ways, is a security-enhancing factor.
3. Security Signage
A clever way to keep a property safe from burglary is through a security sign. One of the few consensuses among homeowners and former burglars is that signage makes a potential bugler think twice about attempting to trespass. Signage can be mounted on a fence, as in on an electric fence, or at the entrance, like on a gate. Stickers can also be plastered on windows, doors, or walls. Often, signage shows the name of the contracted security company, cautions about security alarms installed that could go off, live wires and voltage, vicious dogs, surveillance systems, and more. The communication is clear in warning burglars, and is one of the biggest deterrent to burglary as it touches on the burglar’s worst fears of being detected, identified, recorded, harmed, or not succeeding in a break-in attempt.
4. Visible Safety Additions
According to a survey carried out on thieves by Co-Op home insurance, CCTV cameras were sighted as the biggest deterrent to burglary, saying they are a major put-off. Now, with technological advancement, some smart CCTV cameras not only record but are programmed to immediately send alerts in case of threats or a breach, either to owners of the property or to the authorities. They’re useful during the day, and the night vision feature makes them useful in the dark too. They can be installed outdoors, as is often the case for many properties. However, there is an added advantage to installing them indoors too. A burglar might hack how to manipulate a lot of systems on the outside, with camera vulnerabilities such as blind spots; but, adding hurdles to their quests is a plus. CCTVs can be mounted on room corners, and if burglars manage to get inside the property and tamper with those also, try to be steps ahead by adding more cameras to the staircase railing in case they decide to go upstairs. Add cameras to other creative places as well to cover the blind spots. With all these unforeseen proverbial eyes, smart CCTVs will abort the mission of a burglar or gather enough evidence to catch them eventually.
Another visible safety addition is an electric fence erected over physical fences or perimeter walls. These are live wires and can be synced to your electrical home wiring. The threat of electrocution to possible death or dire incapacitation ought to stave off a sensible person from attempting to scale the walls of your property. It’s prudent to keep them on at all times since a determined burglar can learn how to tell when the current is on and exactly when to strike.
Barking dogs can be the biggest deterrent to burglary, critical for both audio and visible safety, and can also come in handy during an attempted break-in. Nothing says keep off like a huge, vicious canine. Security dogs are well-trained and can be instrumental in deterring break-ins, chasing a burglar out, or grounding one down until authorities get there. It’s wise to consult with dog experts to decide what dog breeds are among the best for this kind of training. Some of the best include German shepherds, Dobermans, and Great Danes.
Another visible safety addition is a smart alarm. These are specially designed to work on main doors but also room-to-room doors if necessary. They work by feeding a customized code every time someone uses the doors, whether coming in or leaving. If the correct code isn’t entered within a specific time, it triggers an audio alarm that will only be turned off by entering the correct code, or if the owner calls the security company to remotely disable the system temporarily until the code is reset in case they forgot or wrongly entered it. This is a huge deterrent because the alarm will go off after the timer has lapsed, making it impossible to get out through the same door since it will automatically lock.
5. Invisible Safety additions
In most past burglaries, even in the most secure places, like banks featuring advanced surveillance, it has been shown that people can dedicate their time to studying an area and manage to circumvent visible safety measures. Hence, having covert safety measures that utilize invisible security systems is the clever way to go.
Motion sensors or motion detector electronic devices are designed to detect and measure substantial movements that would warrant a threat, while at the same time leaving out unnecessary ones caused by insects, small animals, or wind. These devices can be installed in phones, gaming consoles, paper towel dispensers, and more. They’re also embedded in systems that are customized to perform specific functions. For instance, the motion detector can activate floodlights, trigger alarms, or alert the police, making them one of the biggest deterrent to burglary.
There are many other measures that could be considered among the biggest deterrent to burglary. This calls for more research on the part of property owners based on their isolated circumstances. As with any situation, prevention of crime and early detection is better than dealing with it after the fact. Breaches in security could be a huge motivation for a burglar to take advantage of the opportunity to break into a premises. Some interviewed burglary inmates confessed to having successfully gained access to different properties through unlocked doors, windows, or openings in the roof.
Obviously, it’s better to take precautions, especially seemingly mundane measures, such as remembering to lock all the windows and doors. Also, turn the lights on, both indoors and outdoors, when it’s dark, and remember to monitor and measure the functionality of all your security measures to ensure maximum security. As much as there’s no perfect system, doing due diligence significantly cuts the risks of a burglary while at the same time giving you much-needed peace of mind and an invaluable sense of security.