How a Burglar WorksBy Robert Siciliano Jan 4 , 2010 | 2:30:00 pmPosted in: Burglary & Loss Prevention, Home
Without a doubt one of the most difficult jobs on the planet is to be a law enforcement officer. Enforcing the law means constantly dealing with difficult people and situations. They deal with violence, theft and all kinds of disturbances.
One thing’s for sure, they see lots of crime and can learn a lot about what motivates criminals and how to protect yourself from them.
The Wichita Eagle interviewed Officer Joe Seitz to get an explanation on a burglar's thinking. A burglar will ring the bell or knock on the door to see whether anyone is home. "Most burglars don't want contact with people," he said. If someone answers, the burglar might say, "Is Steve here?" Then he says he must have the wrong house before moving on to the next target.
If you are home, Seitz said, “don't open the door but make it obvious that you are home, by turning on a light or making a noise or talking through the door; who is it?" A burglar who gets no response will try to kick the door open. Part of a sound defense is a dead bolt lock. But a dead bolt is only as good as the screws and strike plate used to secure it to the door frame. The screws should be long enough — about 3 inches — to reach the stud framework of the house.
• If the screws aren't long enough, the frame splinters and the door flies open when an intruder kicks it. “A 13-year-old can kick open a door”, Seitz said. Seitz recommends what's called a high-security strike plate.
• Incorporate multi layers of protection. Always lock the screen door or storm door. If you open your front door and find the wrong person standing outside, a locked screen door can give you enough time to take defensive measures, “Security's all about layers”, he said.
• A home security system is absolutely essential. But it’s a false sense of security if it’s not turned on.
• It’s not enough to have the alarm on, you also have to lock your doors. ALWAYS!
• If someone knocks on your door with your doors locked and the alarm on, talk to them through the door.
• In this situation, you have to make a conscious and concerted effort to shut the alarm off and unlock and open the door to a stranger. When faced with this decision, hopefully you are smart and keep everything locked down.
Robert Siciliano is a personal security and identity theft expert for Home Security Source. (Disclosures)
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