The Two Sides to Burglary Prevention: Mental and Physical

Burglars are an interesting lot. They have very predictable ways of doing things despite making modest efforts to not get caught. We know how they do things because they have told us. Between numerous research studies and police reports, it is fairly easy to break down how a typical burglar goes about their business.

Knowing that, burglary prevention is a matter of understanding tactics and doing what is necessary to thwart them. There are two sides to this: mental and physical. The physical side we understand well enough. It involves putting barriers in the way. The mental side is not so easy to address unless you are willing to put yourself in a burglar’s shoes.

Physical Burglary Prevention

Burglary can often be prevented by making it as difficult as possible for burglars to do what they do without getting caught. In all likelihood, you have been hearing the same tips for physical prevention for many years. These include doing things like:

  • installing deadbolt locks
  • keeping windows and doors locked at all times
  • installing a home security system.

According to Vivint Smart Home, a good home security system offers several different physical barriers along with monitoring, if a homeowner chooses to add it. Monitored home security systems are even more intimidating because burglars know their activities are being watched from a remote location.

Mental Burglary Prevention

The mental side of burglary prevention is all about getting inside the head of the burglar. You want the burglar to think twice about breaking into your home. You want them to have second thoughts just before they kick open the front door.

Believe it or not, this is why home security companies offer their customers window decals and yard signs. Just the knowledge that a home is protected by monitored security is enough to plant a seed of doubt in the minds of many burglars. Seeing a security company sign is often enough motivation to move on to a different target.

A meticulously kept yard is another way of playing mental games with burglars. If you go to great lengths to make sure not a single blade of grass is out of place, a burglar will then wonder how meticulous you are about securing the inside of your home.

Don’t Give Reason or Opportunity

When you combine both the physical and mental aspects of burglary prevention, it boils down to not giving burglars reason or opportunity. When you leave your garage door open all day, you give burglars passing by a reason to look inside. That gives them further reason to suspect your home might be an easy target.

The same goes when you are careless on social media. Let’s say your phone automatically updates your social media pages when you check-in at a local restaurant. Anyone who happens to be scanning your profile is given a reason to wonder whether you are home. For a burglar, this is an open invitation.

As for giving opportunities, this is self-explanatory. A home with insecure windows and doors represents a golden opportunity. The same goes if landscaping is so overgrown that it gives burglars an opportunity to remain hidden while they do what they do.

Preventing burglary has both physical and mental aspects to it. Physically, you want to erect as many barriers as possible. You want to make burglarizing your home as hard as it can be. On the mental side, you want to constantly cause burglars to second-guess any decision to make you a victim. The more they doubt their ability to pull off a successful burglary, the more likely they are to walk away.

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