Burglary myths

Burglary crimes are committed in different communities. These are the common myths, and this is how you can ensure your home is a safe haven.

With so many conflicting home safety and security precautions and tips on offer, it can be difficult to decide which measures will actually enhance your home security and ensure that you and your possessions will be safe.

Following incorrect advice can leave you vulnerable to criminals. To help keep you safe, the manufacturer of multipurpose locking latches for open windows and doors, Locklatch has debunked some common security myths.


Many people think that windows are the most popular entry point for burglars, and having burglar bars on your windows is undoubtedly important.

Surprisingly, research shows that many criminals prefer doors for gaining access to homes. Also, many burglaries happen while people are at home, so leaving your doors unlocked when home is a considerable risk, even if you live in a gated community.

Ensure you secure street-facing and off-street doors, as both can provide opportunities for burglars. Street-facing doors offer easy access, whereas off-street doors provide cover for thieves to go about their nefarious business.

A security gate is one of the best ways to protect your home from burglars entering via doors. However, the sheer number of gates on the market means they vary significantly in cost and quality. They are also often limited to only fitting certain size doors.

Whichever security gate you choose, make sure it is always locked – and don’t leave the key where criminals can reach it.

LockLatch makes a lockable latch that can easily be installed on any type of door and allows you to lock your door while it is slightly ajar. This can improve ventilation or allow access to pets without compromising security.


Regarding watchdogs, it’s not the size of the dog that deters would-be criminals – it’s the size of the bark. Bark frequency and pitch are what alert criminals to a dog’s presence. Smaller dogs that tend to bark a lot are possibly better at alerting you to an intruder so that you can act quickly – call for help, push the panic button or run to your safe room.

You can help your dogs learn to distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate threats by constantly checking on what your dogs are barking at. Then, be sure to reward the correct barks with affection or treats, and don’t acknowledge them when they shouldn’t be barking.

Any dog should have simple obedience training.

Hidden valuables

It’s a mistake to believe that the hiding place where you put your documents and valuables is a secret. This is because most people hide their stuff in the same places. Even the most unusual places, like your freezer or the pantry, will probably be uncovered by experienced criminals. The best option for ensuring your valuables will be safe in the event of a burglary is to install a secure safe that cannot be removed – any safe that can be carried away is not a secure storage space.

When the effort outweighs the potential gains, criminals will always look for an easier target. This is why a wall-mounted safe is a good investment if you are serious about protecting your most valuable items.

There are several factors to consider, and these depend on your specific needs. These include:

  • The type of lock.
  • Whether the lock can be bypassed.
  • Whether the safe is fireproof.

As with all security purchases, do thorough research and don’t settle for inferior quality. Check out user reviews before making a final purchasing decision.


Many people mistakenly believe criminals need plenty of time to do their work, but research shows they can be in and out in minutes.

Thieves are opportunistic and quickly scope out their area for easy targets. For example, they look for homes that are poorly secured, empty or have no security companies – and promptly take their gap.

They know security companies can take a few minutes and longer for the SA Police Services to arrive. This means that even if someone sees them and alerts the authorities, they have time to get what they came for and leave.

Many burglars are experts at spotting and exploiting flaws in your home security system. They know exactly what to look for and use this knowledge to find the fastest way into and out of your home. Because of this, burglars may abandon a target if they are met with enough obstacles to slow them down.

For slowing burglars down, every security layer matters, such as an extra lock on your window or door, a lockable latch on the upstairs window or a solid safe bolted to a wall. If burglars experience too much resistance, the risk of getting caught increases, and they will be more inclined to abandon the property.

So, whether you’re popping out to the shop or going for a walk – lock your doors, close your windows and set the alarm.

Time of day

Most people think their homes are more vulnerable at night when they are out. This is because many break-ins do occur in the dark, as this gives burglars added invisibility. However, with so many people leaving their homes unattended from morning to night when the family is at work or school, daylight break-ins are becoming easier to pull off and are becoming more common.

In fact, most suburban break-ins happen in broad daylight, when people are at work. This is because burglars driving through neighbourhoods are less conspicuous during the day when people are going about their business. In addition, it allows them to check out the most promising neighbourhoods and see when homes are unattended.

It is important not to lower your guard during the day. Also, get to know your neighbourhood and neighbours so that you can easily recognise strangers who don’t seem to belong in the area.


Security flyers often warn against having post and junk mail pile up as it alerts criminals that you’re away. However, not having anything at all delivered could also be a sign to someone watching your home that you’ve gone away.

The presence of mail is just one example of the many pieces of information people inadvertently give to criminals. But by doing a few things, you can make it more difficult for them to judge whether or not your home is unoccupied.

Get a friend or a neighbour to empty your post-box while you’re away to give the impression you’re still at home.

Set a timer that activates your lights at night. This will help make it seem as if the property is occupied. Leaving a light on permanently could signal to a potential criminal that your home is unoccupied.

Ask a neighbour or a friend to drop in occasionally and open the curtains and windows for a while to send the message that the home is occupied. You can ask them to water your houseplants at the same time.


It’s a mistake to think that just having an alarm is enough to deter criminals.

Some people put alarm decals on their properties to show which security system and company they use. For professional burglars, that’s just the information they need to research the company and find ways around the alarm. Instead, keep them guessing, put generic signage up or varied signage to help keep your home and valuables secure.

Knowing these security myths can prevent you from having a false sense of security and will help you ensure your home is safe and secure.

Writer : Sarah-Jane Meyer

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