Everyday, thousands of people come home or wake up only to realize they've been robbed. A real threat to any homeowner, burglary can be one of the most devastating things to happen to a house and a family. Still, there are ways to make a home less "robber friendly" and thus, less likely to fall victim to the bad guys.


Make it Hard: Burglars like the smash and grab job for a reason: it's quick and easy. Taking away this concept of convenience can help take away power from the prowler. Installing window locks, deadbolts, and chains automatically makes it harder for a robber to gain access. If you have a large doggie door, lock it up at night and during times when no one is home and if you insist on sleeping with your window open on hot summer nights, use a lock or a stick so it only opens an inch or two. If burglars know getting into your house will be an "all night affair," they won't waste their time. They aren't, after all, what we would consider "hard workers."


Lights, Camera, Action: Thomas Edison didn't know it at the time, but when he invented the light bulb he also invented the greatest robbery deterrent: nothing frightens a burglar away like the fear that the proverbial spotlight will find them. Interior lights are great for giving an impression that someone is home, even when your house is empty. Exterior lights illuminate the outside of your house and make it harder for a burglar to pry open a door or smash a window unnoticed. Keeping lights mounted high - so burglars can't easily unscrew light bulbs - helps insure that your lights will stay, well, lit. Motion detecting lights are also a great trick: they show burglars who's boss… and who's prepared to defend their property with a fight.


Bring in the Noise: Whether you have an alarm or just a dog who thinks he's an alarm, noise is essential in scaring away a would be robber. Placing signs up - such as "Beware of Dog" or those advertising you’re the name of your burglar alarm system - can also help. If burglars think there's potential for noise, your house probably won't become a potential target.


Think like a Burglar: You don't have to be bad to the bone to think like a burglar, you just need a little imagination. Take some time to case your house the way a robber would. Is there a broken lock in the garage that doesn’t always stick? Are there valuables in visible and tempting places of your house? Is there a ladder that would be perfect for accessing an upstairs window? Think like a burglar then - amending what you must for protection - go back to thinking like a homeowner.