Think like a burglar

Burglars are quick to sense if a house has been unoccupied for days. There are telltale signs – it’s perpetually dark inside, for example. It’s a good idea to leave some of the lights on and ask a trusted neighbour to keep a close watch. Better still, ask someone to stay over while you’re away.

Let them know you’re watching

Installing a security camera is a good idea, particularly if you live in a quiet neighbourhood. And don’t be subtle. Fix a hidden camera somewhere but also install one that stares right outside at the street. Let the thieves know you’re watching.

Invest in better lighting

Dark interiors make it easy for burglars to take a quick peek without being noticed. If possible, install lights activated by motion sensors at the entrances. Nothing irritates or scares a burglar more than being suddenly illuminated.

Get rid of empty cartons

Did you just buy a fancy new flat-screen TV? Make sure you don’t dispose of the packaging carelessly as you may advertise your new purchase to the burglars. Always cover the cartons before disposing them.

Store valuables where they won’t look

Don’t store your valuables in your underwear drawer or cabinets thinking that the housebreaker would shy away from checking them. Store them in your kids’ room or even the storage area where they’d least suspect.

Identify possible entry points

Some of the hotspots for a thief’s entrance include the window above the kitchen sink and the second floor windows. Make sure to secure these places by setting up alarms or motion detectors.

Don’t chat up with strangers

If you find an unexpected visitor at your door, don’t just blindly open or encourage any conversation. The person could possibly be a burglar trying to judge if you’re an easy target.

Stop bragging

You’re off to the exotic Caribbean for a fortnight and you just have to update all your social media accounts to announce to the entire world. Guess what? You also just made your travel plans available to possible crooks – you never know who’s reading your posts. Brag all you want, but only after you come back.