6 Essential Ways to Deter Household Thieves

Our homes are filled with all of our most valuable possessions, and thieves are constantly on the lookout for opportunities to break in and take advantage of this. For this reason, it's important to thief-proof your home. Here are a few ideas for preventing the attention of thieves, from installing an alarm system to hiring fencing contractors to install Colorbond fencing. We'll even look at the benefits of putting up a "Beware of Dog" sign -- whether you have a dog or not!

1. Install an alarm system

I remember when I was growing up, we always had an alarm system in our house. Mum and Dad would always enter the house first so they could punch in the code. Sometimes we'd even have the alarm on when everyone was in bed and I would, absent-mindedly, open my bedroom window, setting off that god-awful sound. Of course, none of the neighbours ever came out to check what was going on -- they simply complained the next day that we woke them from their sleep!

And so this made me wonder -- what's the point in having an alarm at all if all it did was cause inconvenience to ourselves and to others? That was, until Dad pointed out that it was all about appearance. The big, blue alarm that sat at the front of our house was bound to deter any thieves looking to come near. They want to draw as little attention to themselves as possible. He was right -- in 25 years, that house still hasn't had a break-in.

2. Have lots of lighting

Again, thieves like to draw as little attention to themselves as possible, and so the cover of darkness is ideal. If you don't have any street lights around your house, consider installing motion sensor lights that flick on as soon as someone approaches your front yard.

3. Build strong fencing

While Australians don't generally install fencing in their front yards, nobody said thieves aren't just as likely to approach from the back. If you have a rickety old wooden fence, or an easily-climbable chain fence in your backyard, thieves might just go unnoticed as they enter your property. Installing Colorbond fencing is a great way to deter thieves; it's tall, stopping potential thieves from being able to see in your backyard, and it's extremely difficult to climb without making a whole lot of noise.

4. Make roof access difficult

For experienced thieves, the easiest way to get into someone's house is by slipping through tiling in the roof. Thieves have been known to wait until homeowners are on holidays (a build-up of mail or newspapers on the front lawn is a pretty solid way for them to ascertain this) and then, in the cover of night, climb up onto the roof and drop in through some easily-removable tiles. Ensure climbing onto your roof is difficult; don't keep any ladders around, and place obstacles to block easy-to-climb areas. Additionally, consider installing Colorbond roofing instead of tiled roofs -- they won't be able to break in if this is the case.

5. Beware of dog

There are lots of signs you can place around your house to deter thieves, but the 'Beware of Dog' sign is probably the best one. Thieves never want to deal with a home that has a dog roaming the backyard for fear of their own safety as well as the noise this might entail when the dog starts barking. Of course, it helps if you have a big dog to stand guard at the fence, but even if you don't own a dog, throw the sign up anyway and place a couple of empty dog bowls or full water bowls near your back gate -- thieves most probably won't take the risk.

6. Roller shutters

Many commercial premises install roller shutters to prevent intruders from damaging windows or breaking in through the night. Remember, these can also be installed in residential properties as well. Roller shutters are designed to make it nearly impossible for intruders to find their way into your home through windows. They have the added benefit of providing privacy, so would-be thieves won't be able to peer into your home during the day to see what's there for the taking.


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