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Best burglary prevention?

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What would efficiently prevent a cunning burglar from entering a home? Alarms can be disabled (and few people pay attention to them anyway), dogs can be poisoned... bars on the windows? cameras?

Any clever ideas?
#1 - July 11, 2012, 06:06 PM

Dogs aren't typically poisoned before they bark. I think a dog is always the best bet. :)
#2 - July 11, 2012, 06:10 PM
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Booby traps. ;)

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#3 - July 11, 2012, 06:13 PM
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#4 - July 11, 2012, 06:24 PM
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Silent alarm, flood lights, watchparrot (who would expect that?).
#5 - July 11, 2012, 07:00 PM
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Another vote for dogs as a deterrent. I have a neighbor who's been a cop a long time and he's told me that in 30 years, he's been to ONE robbery where the house had a dog. Given a choice between two empty houses, why would anyone take the one likely to make noise?

Of course, if the point that someone wants to get into this particular house for some reason that's not just about random theft.... there's probably NO way to stop a really smart crook. Other than multiple armed guards.
#6 - July 11, 2012, 07:25 PM
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My husband is a police officer. He agrees that dogs keep burglars away. Also you mentioned a cunning thief - he'd case the house and learn the schedules of the people inside. So my husband says a house with a lot of people coming and going and a lot of visitors will often make a thief move on to an easier one. Hope that helps. :)
#7 - July 11, 2012, 10:31 PM

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I had a funny thought of setting up noisy bells around the doors or other loud instruments. A cunning burglar would expect sophisticated tech. They could always trip over silly messes on the floor.

Also, there's also lighting triggered by motion sensors. I.e. before anyone even comes close to your house and reach the control box for the alarm system, a flood of lights will turn on which may be blinding or at the very least scare off the burglar.

I still vote dogs though. Especially the trained ones where they don't take food from strangers.
#9 - July 12, 2012, 12:05 AM
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 12:11 AM by Riss »

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Chimed doors/windows, strings of tin cans, garlic. Well, maybe not garlic. But I think noise is the best deterrent and it could be low-tech.

My grandfather has a cabin in the woods with a tear gas alarm. Kind of strange, now that I think of it. The cabin didn't even have indoor plumbing, but it did have some valuable Audubon prints that managed to get themselves stolen, despite the tear gas (inside job, right?).
#10 - July 12, 2012, 04:15 AM
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In Mexico I would see houses with broken glass on the windowsills.  According to a local policeman if the burglar is high on something they will not care if a dog or even people are present.  Now isn't that scary?
#11 - July 12, 2012, 04:24 AM

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Another vote for dogs. I watched a documentary where they interviewed ex-burglars, and asked them what they avoided when choosing a house, and they pretty much all said a big dog.
#12 - July 12, 2012, 09:21 AM
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Just ask yourself what would Macaulay Culkin do?
#13 - July 12, 2012, 09:29 AM

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LOL Adam!!
#14 - July 12, 2012, 09:31 AM
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Definitely a parrot that screams like sirens and babies and has a good imitation of 'Make my day'.
#15 - July 12, 2012, 09:33 AM
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Lights!  We live in a treesy suburb of a large city, not a hot crime spot -- but it does happen.  We always turn on our porch/front door lights, and the backyard has automatic movement sensor lights, too.  And we have a big dog. 

We get a police blotter email from our local community service officer.  Most of the burglaries involve sliding glass doors and crooks breaking in during the day while the family is at work/school.  A big, loud dog would likely be helpful in those cases.  :)  Also, bikes and tools get stolen out of open garages while the owners are inside the house.  A landscaper was recently caught breaking into a house in our neighborhood, stole a cell phone and some other easy to conceal items.  He had watched over the course of a few weeks and waited for the lady of the house to leave for her morning walk.  He pried open the back door.  She heard someone in the house and called out, almost bumped into him!  He fled out the back door.  She described what he was wearing, and there he was, working on a nearby property, mowing the lawn as if nothing had happened.  Scary!
#16 - July 12, 2012, 09:51 AM
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Dogs are regularly the top of the list. Trained dogs know not to take food from unauthorized people.  We have 2 Rottweilers & a 140lb Rottweiler/Lab, and they have a command that they hear before they will accept food.  They roam the house freely at night (& day). To poison them, an intruder would have to break in first, and that's not going to happen without the dogs singing the "someone's near the house, mom" song (http://melissamarr.tumblr.com/post/19351362993/two-out-of-three-of-my-canine-alarm-clocks).

Likewise, in a lot of places the power box that one would need to access to disable the security systems (glass-break sensors, motion detectors, sensors on windows & doors) is inside the house.  That security system sends signal to an office. You can also set that system on a unique power source OR run a backup power source (which is also handy to have in general).

At my writing cabin, I also have motion-activated flood lights which are practical for energy conservation and security.

I'm very security conscious after a few experiences earlier in my life and experiences friends have had.  Two different friends (one in Durham NC & one in Pittsburgh) had their homes entered during grad school.  One was an armed invasion; one was just a knife.  Both were mid-day doors unlocked. I had a stalker in my 20s. The first thing I learned--that people often fail to keep in mind--was to lock the doors & ground floor windows when you're home too. Obviously, that varies some depending on where you live, but sometimes the best defense is simple, common sense.  When I moved to a new place, I keep the street-facing curtains down initially so the big dogs are very visible. I walk them at high visibility times. If anyone came to the door, I invite my dogs to speak.  Marine Corps flags are handy too. An NRA sticker doesn't hurt.  To an intrusion minded person selecting a target, those are all clues as to which houses are easiest.

A house in my neighborhood was robbed two years ago. It was one of the few here that had a) no dogs & b) no alarm.  The intruder cut the glass to the side of the door, reached through & turned the bolt. The following week, we replaced our bolt with a key-only lock.  Little fix.

I'm sure that all of the above can still be overcome by pros, but unless there is something the intruder really wants in a particular house AND is skilled AND did research on the target, the house should be secure.  Trained big dogs are the top pick though.  (A trained Marine in the house is handy too, but they are a little more complicated to acquire & keep  :yup)

#17 - July 12, 2012, 10:05 AM

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Love the idea of a NRA sticker in the window. (Not for me personally as I'm not a big gun fan... but I can imagine it would be a deterrent to anyone who knows what it is, which is most people in the US, I imagine?)

I didn't realize you could train dogs not to accept food from strangers. That's useful to know.

We live in an extremely safe neighbourhood but I'm still paranoid enough to keep all doors locked during the day and night. I have, however, been known to leave the house with the garage wide open! Nothing has ever been taken. I've never understood why burglars don't focus on areas that are considered safe - because those are always the areas where windows and doors are open!

Thanks all!
#18 - July 12, 2012, 10:21 AM

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(A trained Marine in the house is handy too, but they are a little more complicated to acquire & keep  :yup)

I have some good friends who I joke would be a very bad targets - she's a fifth degree black belt and he's a police officer also trained in hapkido. (They have a dog, too.) I pity the poor fool who ever tries to break in at their house.
#19 - July 12, 2012, 11:11 AM
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Alarms put in by reputable alarm companies know when the line to the house is cut and not just a electrical outage.  This being said, a professional still knows he has about five minutes to get in and out of the house.  (The line is usually connected to the phone line and they need a back-up line to call). 

My dog barks a lot when someone shuts a car door, no matter how quietly, walks by the house, or tries to walk by the side of the house.  If the burglar actually got into the house, he would jump all over him, I have only heard him growl a couple of times.  But the initial barking is enough to alert me that someone is outside the house.

When I lived without an alarm and without a dog, I used to keep an aerosol can of RAID, Hair Spray (even though I never used it), or something of the like with the reach of my hand to spray in the burglar's face.  Cheaper than Mace, pepper spray, etc.  and I figured it was a great way to stop them enough for me to get away from them.  Baseball bats are also good as long as you can keep control of it.  Spray their eyes first, then whap them a good one and run!  Take the bat with you!

Mostly I live in a low crime area.  When I lived in a higher crime area, I would test my alarm often enough so that people knew we had one.  We only lost things from our shed, which did not have an alarm. 

I heard a police officer talk once and he said that guns were one of the worst things to keep beside you bed, it seems his son came home from college unexpectedly and came into the house in the wee hours and he ended up shooting his own son and killed him.  He recommended that you never use a handgun, unless you are ready to kill a member of your family.  I remember crying at that talk. 
#20 - July 12, 2012, 12:41 PM
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According to an article I read, the best deterrents are a large dog and a visibly posted alarm company sign. Interestingly enough, you don't need the alarm system itself--the sign will do.

As for a determined and cunning thief--I think that would depend on the cunning of the character trying to thwart him or her. I like the idea of laying traps--something that would make noise or make the thief cry out. As someone else said--the Home Alone approach.
#21 - July 12, 2012, 12:58 PM

Quote from: Franzilla link=topic=63606.msg743389#msg743389 date=1342113692

I didn't realize you could train dogs not to accept food from strangers.

[/quote
You can teach a good dog to do almost anything. ;) You need a pliable, food motivated dog. (or toy motivated, or people motivated -you just need to know what works for your dog) They don't even have to be generally considered guard dogs, just something big that will do what you tell it to and bark when someone comes to the house, but stop barking when you give the command. And most burglars won't poison a dog unless they are specifically after *you* - they'll just move on.
I'd get a dog that looks like it means business. Nobody's gonna mess with a Rottweiler, a German Shepherd, a Doberman, a pit bull (my personal favorite - they're big teddy bears, really), a boxer, etc. Probably even a lab or a golden retriever would do, but I like my dogs to look a little more intimidating. Standard Poodles, for instance, are great guard dogs, they just probably shouldn't have a French cut or no one will take them seriously. ;) I had a friend with a poodle that watched her kids like a hawk. She tells a story of the dog following her toddler to the middle of a busy highway and guarding him till she figured it out and went after him herself and pulled him out of the road...
#22 - July 12, 2012, 01:05 PM
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What about a reptile house...say wandering pythons...I know there are people who have pet alligators and such (of course for me I just go with the dog - my faithful husky wouldn't take food from a stranger...yeah, right  :dr
#23 - July 12, 2012, 01:16 PM

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I'd get a dog that looks like it means business. Nobody's gonna mess with a Rottweiler, a German Shepherd, a Doberman, a pit bull (my personal favorite - they're big teddy bears, really), a boxer, etc. Probably even a lab or a golden retriever would do, but I like my dogs to look a little more intimidating. Standard Poodles, for instance, are great guard dogs, they just probably shouldn't have a French cut or no one will take them seriously. ;) I had a friend with a poodle that watched her kids like a hawk. She tells a story of the dog following her toddler to the middle of a busy highway and guarding him till she figured it out and went after him herself and pulled him out of the road...

Wow. I don't really like poodles, though. They seem like yappers to me. And they always have brown weepy eyes??? (I'm sure someone here, who owns a poodle, will tell me otherwise!) German shepherds, though, yes. Love them. Pitbulls? Um, I know they're not the evil dogs they're made out to be but I'd be so worried about a pitbull having either not been trained properly before I got it or me not training it properly once I got it that it would just make me supremely paranoid.

LOVE the idea of reptiles!!! And hanging a tin-can mobile near the door or something equally silly. Something that makes a surprising amount of sound but isn't an alarm.

Thank you!
#24 - July 12, 2012, 02:01 PM

Only little poodles are yappers. Big (Standard) poodles are stalwart, regal things that rarely bark. Small white dogs have weepy eyes - of almost any breed, but standard poodles don't.
And, I hate to go all activist (but look at me, going there anyway), pitties, like all dogs, need proper training. But they are one of the least human aggressive dogs out there (in part because of their dog fighting backgrounds - handlers need to be able to reach into their mouths). Even the Michael Vick dogs (evil NFL player who had a dog fighting ring) when the rescuers walked into the property and found the dogs chained and starving and having been used to fight each other - they were greeted with wagging tails and smiles and the dogs were rehabbed and many went on to be therapy dogs. I know not everyone likes pit bulls, I just feel compelled to share that they're really awesome family dogs, they don't snap, they don't have locking jaws, they just have a bad rap and sometimes chase cats. But so did our lab. :)
Activist rant over. Thank you for indulging me. :)
Also - I grew up with two German Shepherds - best guard dogs *ever*. One of them (the white one) even vetted dates for us. She hated my sister's long time boyfriend who went on to break her heart and be a jerk. And the only guy of mine she ever liked I ended up marrying. I should have just taken her on all my dates and saved myself a lot of trouble!
#25 - July 12, 2012, 03:36 PM
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Even my Sheltie, pictured in the icon, scared away a potential intruder by his fast, "Get-outta-here!" barking. His protective instinct told him that she was not welcome in our house.
#26 - July 12, 2012, 04:06 PM
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Only little poodles are yappers. Big (Standard) poodles are stalwart, regal things that rarely bark. Small white dogs have weepy eyes - of almost any breed, but standard poodles don't.
And, I hate to go all activist (but look at me, going there anyway), pitties, like all dogs, need proper training. But they are one of the least human aggressive dogs out there (in part because of their dog fighting backgrounds - handlers need to be able to reach into their mouths). Even the Michael Vick dogs (evil NFL player who had a dog fighting ring) when the rescuers walked into the property and found the dogs chained and starving and having been used to fight each other - they were greeted with wagging tails and smiles and the dogs were rehabbed and many went on to be therapy dogs. I know not everyone likes pit bulls, I just feel compelled to share that they're really awesome family dogs, they don't snap, they don't have locking jaws, they just have a bad rap and sometimes chase cats. But so did our lab. :)
Activist rant over. Thank you for indulging me. :)

I know this! I read an excellent article in the UK about how certain breeds of dogs have such a bad rep that no one will ever take them out of the pound (I think I sent you the link last year when we did writeoncon???). So I know pits aren't meanies, but I do know that training is of extreme importance if you want a normal dog, in terms of behaviour.

I had a dog at university (mixed breed/mutt/whatever you call it!) and living a typical student lifestyle, the poor thing didn't get a good routine. I even did things like give him an entire roast chicken (took the bones out first) on a plate and offered it to him on the kitchen table!!! Because I thought it would be a treat for him to eat with the rest of us at the table for once. Talk about 'how to mess your dog's mind up,' eh?! He was the loveliest dog but I never managed to toilet train him, partly, I think because he didn't have regular times for going out. Anyway, some (older) friends who lived in the country were looking for a dog and I decided, after much weeping, that my dog would be better off with them. After a few weeks, he was transformed. He was fitter, happier, more relaxed, never pooed in the house and has a wonderful sparkle in his eye. He lived happily with them until he died a couple of years ago.

I hope that being 20 years older than I was at university I'm a bit wiser now!
#27 - July 12, 2012, 06:54 PM

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