A few good habits and some smart thinking could help keep burglars away. 

As the saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry! Check out these basic steps to get you started.

  • Keep lights on, even when you're away
    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 is 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.
  • Maintain your yard
    A messy yard tells the burglar you’re lazy and may not care much about security. Also, it’s a bad idea to have tall bushes and trees next to windows as these might act as climbing aids.
  • Let them know you're watching
    Installing a security camera can be a strong deterrent, particularly if you live in a quiet neighbourhood. And don’t be subtle—fix a hidden camera somewhere but also install one in plain view, staring your would-be burglar right in the face.
  • Invest in better lighting
    Dim or no lights make it easy for burglars to take a quick peek without being noticed. If possible, install lights activated by motion sensors at the entrances.
  • Get a 'Beware of the Dog' sign
    Burglars hate dogs and what’s good is that you don’t actually have to have one. A large dog bowl, some toys in the yard and a “Beware of the Dog” sign are some of the things that might help in keeping thieves away.
  • Stop bragging
    You’re off to the exotic Caribbean for a fortnight and you just updated all your social media accounts to let the entire world know. 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.
  • Don't let strangers in
    Remember the adage – “don’t talk to strangers”? This one is similar – don’t let strangers inside your house.
    Oftentimes, would-be burglars pose as delivery agents or repairmen to gain access to your home and carry out a spot of reconnaissance. Most of us open the door to handymen without a second thought and that’s a bad idea. If you find an unexpected visitor at the door, make sure to ask for credentials and some form of identification.
  • Don't keep valuables on display
    If you’re in the habit of leaving expensive items or pieces of jewelry unattended and out in the open, you are a potential burglar’s ideal mark. The solution – don’t leave expensive items or pieces of jewelry unattended and out in the open.
  • Keep bathrooms off limits
    You may sound rude but don’t let repairmen or handymen use your bathroom. According to this article, robbers often use this excuse to unlatch windows in the bathroom that they then use to sneak back in at night.
  • Keep alarm systems hidden
    When getting an alarm system installed, make sure the control panel is hidden and not visible to anyone strolling outside your house. There may be times you forget to arm it and you wouldn’t want anyone to know that, would you?
  • Be a smart traveller
    When you’re away travelling, try and eliminate any sign that the house is empty. This includes not leaving a pile of unopened newspapers outside the front door. Ask your neighbours to collect them or, better still, stop delivery while you’re away.
  • Your garden is not a key stand
    Do you keep spare house keys under the doormat or hidden among pebbles in your garden? That might not be a good idea, since these places are as accessible to a would-be thief as they are to you. A smarter move would be to leave them with friends or neighbours.
  • Secure all entrances
    You spent a fortune installing state-of-the-art alarm systems and locks on the front door, only to leave the back door unguarded. Just because you usually use the front door doesn’t mean the burglar will too. Make a list of every possible entrance to your home and make sure they are all properly guarded and locked.
  • Getting rid of empty cartons
    Did you just buy a fancy new flat-screen TV? Congratulations! Now, make sure you dispose of the packaging properly. Leaving cartons lying about the house and the yard advertises your new purchase to burglars.
  • Store valuables in a safe
    Don’t leave valuables in commonly searched areas like cupboard drawers and cabinets. These are usually among the first places robbers check. Instead, if you really have high-end products at home that you’d like to protect, then get a home safe!
  • Identify possible entry points
    Apart from the front door, thieves may also look to enter via windows above the kitchen sink and upper floor windows (particularly those left open because you feel they’re too high up). Be safe and make sure that these windows are either locked when you’re not at home, or set up alarms and motion detectors to protect the space.
  • Never leave without locking the doors
    Are you the kind of person who makes a quick dash to the local market without locking the door? That’s not wise. Sometimes a few minutes is all it takes for a thief to nip in and pinch valuable items.
  • Keep ladders and tools locked in the shed
    Don’t leave ladders and tools unattended in the yard – burglars could use them for easy access to your house. If you don't need them, store them away.