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Think Like a Burglar: Secure Your Home

It’s Spring Break time! If you are leaving your home for SXSW, a trip to a cabin by the lake, or international travel, you will be leaving your house empty and prey to the thieves in your area. Of course, it would be nice to be able to leave home without worry of a break-in, but sadly this isn’t the case. In Houston alone, there are an estimated 1,900 burglaries every month! In Houston, the chances of your house being burglarized are about 1 in 92 (ironsecurity.com).

Luckily, there are many easy ways to dramatically reduce your risk of a home break-in. These are the things you local thief doesn’t want you to know. They aren’t exactly secret, but the less of these things you know, the better it is for the would-be thieves in your area. Learn how to protect your home with these top 6 tips.

1. Hide or Lock Your Ladder

Whenever a potential thief sees a ladder leaning up against the side of a house or just propped next to a garage or shed, they get tempted. This is because a ladder can easily be used to access second floor windows, which are usually unlocked.

To prevent having your own stuff used against you, make sure to stow away all of your ladders or lock them with a locking storage hook. This doesn’t prevent a thief from bringing their own ladder, however, so it is important to make sure all of your windows are locked before leaving the house.

2. Watch What You Throw Away

One of the easiest ways for a thief to know if you have anything worth stealing is to look at your trash. Empty flat screen TC boxes, Apple products, video game systems, and other packaging tells the world what you have inside your home. Especially around the holidays, thieves go around town looking for big ticket items to steal.

Prevent your new toys and gadgets from being taken away by driving the boxes and packaging to a nearby dumpster or trash center.

3. Don’t Make Your Absence Obvious

Whether it is a pile of newspapers and flyers gathering on your doorstep or your social media updates about an upcoming vacation, it is not a good idea to let strangers know about your vacation or absence.

Before you leave on vacation, designate a trusted neighbor or friend to pick up your mail, newspapers, and flyers. You can also call your post office and newspaper service to have them hold your mail during the dates that you are away.

4. Secure Your Windows and Doors

For sliding doors and windows, prevent thieves from being able to life the door off its tracks by putting a steel rod in your door’s channel and installing some screws in the upper sliding track.

For regular doors, you can make it harder for thieves to break-in by extending the length of your deadbolt and installing door lock guard plates.

Make sure all locks on doors and windows are strong and working properly and remember to use them!

5. Don’t Leave Your Spare Key in an Obvious Place

The most secure place for your spare key is in the hands of a trusted neighbor or friend. This person can also help you remove any flyers or newspapers that would otherwise gather on your doorstep. It is also a good idea to let a neighbor know of your absence, so that they can call you if there is any suspicious activity around your house when they know no one is home.

6. Have a Well-Lit Home (Landscape Lighting)

Thieves do not want to be seen, plain and simple. Use landscape lighting to add elegance to your home’s exterior and deter burglars. Flood lights, motion-detector lights, and other landscape lighting options will discourage would-be burglars.

See our landscape lighting guide to see what options are available to light up your home.

In addition to these 6 Home Security Prevention Tips, you should also check out how to secure your garage door and trim your trees and bushes. Trees and bushes provide great coverage for thieves and can also be used to gain access to upper story windows.


Call Universal Home Experts at (713) 364-0226 to get a professional lighting architect to come and install elegant and practical landscape lights for your home.