7 Ways to Harden Your Home Against Looters and Thieves

1. Plant Bushes and Shrubbery

A line of thorny shrubs and bushes around your property line will make your house a less appealing target psychologically for looters and burglars. Simply put, shrubbery cuts down on a criminal’s ability to determine how well-maintained your home is, or to survey threats. Thieves want to be able to know in a glance what they are up against. Are you home? Do you have a security light waiting for them? Or a giant Doberman Pinscher? Plus, shrubs (especially thorny ones) are a physical obstacle that most of your neighbors won’t have working for them.

2. Get a Dog


Any dog can help alert you to the presence of an intruder on your property. Thus, even a King Charles Spaniel can provide you with early detection. Watch dogs, such as a Chihuahua or a German Shepard has a strong bark that will let a trespasser know that he’s been spotted. A guard dog, like a Chow Chow or a Doberman, can be a very strong deterrent.

3. Use Neutral Colors

Every neighborhood has that one house that is painted a bold color and stands out like a sore thumb. Homes that stand out as stylish will be targeted because of the perceived value of what’s inside.  In order to make your house invisible in plain sight, you need to rely on neutral colors instead. Choosing neutral options for your paint, shutters, gutters and everything else will allow your home to blend in and become less of a target.

4. Strategic Warning Signs


Although many alarm monitoring signs can attract the wrong kind of attention, a very strategically placed sign is likely to make a looter think twice about what they’re risking. Most looters are not career criminals, so they are looking for the easiest possible target.

If they have any reason to think that your home is guarded by aggressive dogs, gun-toting owners, or another intimidating security system, they will probably move on to another target instead.

5. Avoid Looking Affluent


Just as expensive clothing and jewelry can make you the target of angry rioters, the same goes for expensive cars and other items that may be unintentionally announcing your financial status out on the front lawn. Remember that quick, at-a-glance perceptions are the force driving looters.

6. Minimize Your Windows


Windows are great for letting natural light into your home, but that’s not all they can let in. As we know, windows are often seen as an invitation by looters. Window bars are unattractive and costly, yet effective. Blackout curtains are a less intrusive option that obscures your windows at night. In the event that looting is taking place in your neighborhood, plywood is a very effective option.

7. Motion Sensor Lights


We’ve all had that moment when we’re walking in the dark and a bright security light unexpectedly hits you. It basically makes you feel like a trespasser, even if your walking by on the sidewalk, right? The motion light feels like a prison guard’s search light. Like the warning sign mentioned above, security lights should be placed in strategic locations, not front and center.