Real Estate

5 ways to outsmart a burglar

5 ways to outsmart a burglar

From burglars’ mouths to your ears: Here are the vulnerabilities they look for when they’re deciding whether to rob you blind.

1. Keep a car parked in your driveway

The investigative team at the Portland 24-hour news station KGW conducted an anonymous survey of 86 inmates incarcerated for burglary in a state prison, and almost all of the burglars surveyed said they’d think twice if they saw a car in a driveway.

2. Keep your doors and windows locked

Yes, this seems obvious. Yet a lot of people actually forget to lock their doors and windows. Most burglars KGW surveyed said they tended to “break in” simply by walking through an unlocked door or climbing through an unlocked window.

3. Consider making your door kick-proof

Some of the burglars surveyed by KGW said they’d be willing to kick in a locked door. It’s actually not difficult to kick in a door.

4. Don’t ignore a knock on the door

Every burglar surveyed by KGW reports knocking on the front door before breaking into a home; if someone answers the door, the burglar makes up an excuse and moves on. You don’t have to open the door for the person, but definitely let the person know you’re home – you just might thwart a burglary.

5. Prune those shrubs

Burglars value their privacy while they’re breaking and entering. Theoretically, if every house on a particular block seemed empty, a burglar would still choose to target the house that offers the most privacy. To deter would-be burglars, keep the shrubs around your house well-trimmed.

Written by Lauren Cahn. This article first appeared in Reader’s Digest. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, here’s our best subscription offer.