BurglarThese tips will help keep you one step – or even two! – ahead of any burglar.

Broken or open property shows weakness

Secure your doors. When a door or window breaks, always try to have it repaired as soon as possible. A broken door or a window that does not close properly serves as an open invitation to an opportunistic burglar. It lets the burglar know that there are gaps in the security of your home that he can easily take advantage of.

Avoid using ‘I Love Cats,’ or ‘Beware of the Dog’ signs

Burglars know that pet owners usually do not have burglar alarms. The fact that you have a pet such as a dog could give a burglar a clue that that your back door might be unlocked. So, no matter how much you love your pet, there is no need to have a sign that tells every passing stranger about it.

Ensure the front of your house looks imposing to a burglar

When the front of your home looks imposing to a burglar, he is likely to assume that the back is equally secure. By contrast, where the security in the front of your home looks weak, the burglar is likely to guess the back would be even weaker – and probably provides a more sheltered route for a break-in. For example, a burglar is likely to avoid a house with more than one lock on the front door and, instead go somewhere else where breaking in will require less time, meaning less risk of detection.

Ensure you always keep recent photographs of your home and its contents

If the worst happens, and your home is burgled , photographs of your property can be very helpful. They can provide a visual inventory of your home contents that will make it easier to list everything, especially smaller items that might be missing. Photographs can also be used to help identify property as yours if it is recovered by the police. And they are also helpful documentation for insurance claims. They provide evidence that you actually owned the item in question.

Keep your precious items in the most unlikely locations

Burglars do not usually take bulky items from your home. They look for small, valuable items that they can easily carry without being noticed or caught. Once a burglar breaks into your home, he looks in obvious places such as bedrooms for your jewelry, and purses for cash and credit cards. So be as creative as you can in coming up with places to hide your valuable items.

Burglars would like to know more about you

A burglar is always interested in knowing the next time you might be out of your home. A key place to get this information is the kitchen, where people often keep their calendar.

Be your brother’s keeper

Look out for others in your neighborhood. Take note of strange activities in and around other houses. Let your neighbors know when something unusual is happening in their home that they might not be aware of – or call the police. Join the neighborhood watch . Neighbors are more likely to keep an eye on your property and let you know of any strange activities if they know you are doing the same for them.