Want to stop a burglar? Think like one!

burglar

To stop a break-in to your home, you need to think like a burglar. Knowing when and where burglaries occur is a good place to start. First, most burglaries (74%) are of a residential home. And, most happen during the day (when people are away at work). According to the FBI, in 2014 only 28% of the almost 1.9 million residential burglaries in the U.S. are known to have occurred at night. In most cases, the burglar forced their way into the home, but 35% of the time, they simply entered through an unlocked door or window. In most cases, they enter through the front door!

We are on a mission to help make safer homes and neighborhoods – starting with the front door.  Our video doorbell has helped numerous homeowners prevent break-ins while they were home, at work and even in Europe.  While adding a SkyBell HD is a perfect way to help achieve more safety around your home, it helps to look at other ways to bolster your security.

This article offers more ways to increase your safety by looking at the data and thinking like a burglar.

Lock down

To toughen up your home, you should beef up your locks and your windows. Make sure they lock securely. You can upgrade to a “smart” lock if you want remote control of the lock and add window sensors that alert you when they are activated.

Look like your home

The best line of defense is for a home to look occupied, and therefore uninviting to a potential burglar. Having a car in the driveway (that doesn’t look dirty and abandoned) is a start. Timed lights, radios or TV sets also make a home look occupied. Exterior lights with a motion detector also can startle a would-be intruder and deter a break-in. And, of course, when you’re away, you should stop newspaper and mail delivery, and have neighbors watch your home. A barking guard dog, or at least a warning sign, can also help.

Don’t help them out

To further protect your home, you need to go beyond these recommendations and know your burglar. Then you can think like one. First, the person who breaks into a home is most likely not a professional. In most cases, it’s a common thief or a teenage boy who lives within walking distance of your home. Given that profile, he’s probably not showing up with a belt-full of tools to pull-off an impossible heist. So, don’t leave tools laying around, and lock your tool shed. Anything left out and accessible can be used to break a window or pry open a door.

Secure your front door

Burglars are looking to get in quick and get out fast, spending roughly 10 minutes in your home. How do they get in? Not surprisingly, on the ground floor. According to 2007 FBI statistics, the back door (22%) and a first-floor window (23%) were popular entry points. What is surprising is that a high percentage (34%) came through the front door.

Knowing that a high percentage of burglars break in via the front door, this is an optimal location to announce that the house is being watched, and video recorded. With a SkyBell HD located in your entryway, you’ll make this statement loud and clear. Even if you’re away from home, you can answer the door and record live video of the person at your doorstep — the ultimate deterrent.

Upgrade your home security system

While SkyBell is providing a DIY solution for home security, some folks still want the 360-degree and 24/7 comforts of a professionally monitored home security solution that can notify the police. The best part about today’s home security market is that you don’t have to chose between DIY and a traditional solution. Honeywell and Alarm.com have partnered with us to add the SkyBell HD to their smart home security platforms – giving customers all the benefits of a full time solution with the convenience and coverage of a smart doorbell camera.

Andrew Thomas

Andrew Thomas (@apthomas) is a co-founder of SkyBell - a smart home security company that is making homes and neighborhoods safer – starting with the front door. The SkyBell Video Doorbell allows homeowners to see, hear and speak to the visitor at their door from a smartphone. Learn more: www.skybell.com

SkyBell has raised millions in funding, was named as a 2014 CES Innovations Award Nominee and is sold via Amazon, Best Buy and Home Depot. Andrew is responsible for SkyBell’s strategy, partnerships and business development – leading SkyBell’s integration plans with Honeywell, Nest, Alarm.com, Amazon Echo, Apple, Comcast and IFTTT.

Before SkyBell, Andrew directed web and mobile development projects for clients after beginning his career as a member of Google’s search engine team and later providing SEO services. A sense of adventure led him to Shanghai, China where he managed web development projects for a large Chinese video game company. Andrew graduated from USC with a BBA in Finance.

Andrew shares his experience and expertise by writing and speaking. His articles have appeared on Forbes, Inc.com, Entrepreneur.com and Huffington Post – covering topics including startups, the Internet of Things, crowdfunding and personal growth. Andrew has been interviewed on national TV, print and industry podcasts. He is regarded as a top IoT expert and one of the rising stars in the smart home space.