The upper rail of windows (and sliding doors) can be pinned so that window sections cannot be lifted out and then removed.
The locksmith should have available an ample supply of window pins and assorted security screws when fortifying the home.
Interior lighting controls can be installed, providing random patterns of light activation. Some have built-in motion sensors that can catch a burglar by surprise.
Nothing says “leave quickly” like triggering a loud alarm. The best home alarms are tied into the homes lighting and exterior sounders. They literally create a light show until they are reset.
Loud exterior and interior sounders drastically reduce the amount of time the burglar is in the home.
Alarms are tricky as false alarms must be severely limited. Too many false alarms and neighbors stop paying attention. Many communities have ordinances limiting false alarms.
If it can be afforded, private security is an excellent means to inhibit the burglar. Private surveillance is expensive, the neighborhood watch is not.
Neighborhood watches are great deterrents. Nothing deters a burglar more than the movement of the window curtains next door to a targeted house.
Exterior and interior cameras are great at catching the burglar in the act. Make sure the recording media is either well-secured or transmitted to a remote location.
On the average (as per the Department of Justice) burglars give themselves 45 seconds to get in and out. Time is critical. As an example, a burglar might expect that a set of double doors will blast open when rushed with full force. When this doesn’t happen, the burglar is confused. A second attempt might be made, but when it fails most likely the burglar will leave.
While trying to reduce the opportunity of a burglary, the locksmith should add deterrents that are visible. The opposite is holds true when the locksmith prepares deterrents to increase the risk of getting caught. The idea is to steal (excuse the pun) seconds from the burglar. Enough “penalty” time and the burglar must leave or risk being nabbed.
Deterrents designed to slow the burglar down should be random, unexpected, and difficult to understand how they work. Imagine that burglar who is trying to smash through the hinge-side of an in-swinging door. When the door doesn’t give (remember those reinforcement screws) it isn’t immediately clear as to why. It is better to walk away than waste precious seconds figuring it out.
Limiting the reward
A worst case scenario is when the home is successfully burglarized and the burglar was amply rewarded. There will be a second attempt.
Locksmiths should convince their customers, especially those who have been burglarized, to compartmentalize there valuables.
Use strong boxes, safes, and vaults.
Strong boxes and safes that are light enough to be carried or rolled should be fastened to the building’s infrastructure with bolts.
Locksmiths know that security lag bolts drilled and tapped into concrete do not keep a strong box or safe from being removed. It is very easy to pry lag bolts out of concrete.
A better way is to cut out a section of the concrete; install a steel plate (that the bolts will be fastened to); and then refill the void with hardened concrete.
Where this cannot be done, install bolts into the concrete after placing the strong box or safe on the concrete but up against a wall. Mount additional bolts that tie into the studs of the wall. The bolts should run through the box or safe from the inside so when the door is closed there is no access to the bolts.
Another way to “limit the reward” is to engrave or mark valuables with identification numbers. Pawn shops will not deal with goods that are marked.
Preventing another occurrence
No matter how little the “take” or if the attempt was unsuccessful the police should be informed. Sometimes the homeowner neglects to do this.
While repairing a break-in late at night, one locksmith let the police know that the forced entry was done with a particular pry bar that left distinct marks. By passing that onto the investigating police, the burglar was nabbed that night because of a random stop and his possession of that same pry bar in the trunk of the car.
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