This is one of the better pieces I’ve read on how to make your place a harder target for burglars.
There is a reason why I react very badly to solicitors who ignore my sign prohibiting such: because it helps my home security for them to think a crazy person lives here. A crazy person probably owns the means of defense, and radiates eagerness to resort to them. In reality, I am not. But burglars hate surprises, and a person of seemingly unstable temperament and fierce disposition could present all manner of surprises.
Personally, I think the best home security system is almost free: know and like your neighbors. Nearly all my neighbors will keep an eye on this place when I’m not around, just as I do for them. One pays nothing for this except the nominal contributions to general interdependence and community security that signal membership: help one another, be friendly, be interested in lives without being nosy. I think that if the burglars sense for one minute that they might be under surveillance and that someone may already have called the police, they’ll find a softer target.
It’s much like personal self-defense. You don’t have to be Chuck Norris. You just need to be a harder target than other people. It is my view that making my neighbors’ homes harder targets does the same for my own.
Oh, and if a couple well-dressed young men come to your house offering a free evaluation for a home security system, you know what to do, right? Ask them to wait a minute; you left something on the stove. Go get a camera. Bring it to the door. Snap their pictures, and then smile, and let them know you’re sending the photo to the police, because they’d love some photo evidence of likely burglary suspects. Then make them get the hell off your property. (You have to be physically imposing to do this the way I did, which involved profanity, a raised voice, and a sports implement, so adjust this to your personal capacity. But you can certainly dial 911 right in front of them and say, “I have a couple of people pretending to sell security systems here, trying to case houses for burglary in my opinion. Would you send an officer to deal with them?”)
It’s all about being a hard target. Burglars depend on us being nice, trusting idiots. Cold, distrustful, intelligent people are hard targets.