Why I don’t mind writing that I’m going away

If you’re about to go off on a vacation/holiday, it makes a lot of sense not to say so on your social media as you don’t want to announce to the burglary community that your home will be empty and undefended for two weeks. Such is the advice given very widely by Police forces and other worthies.

How to deter burglars

Do mechanical and electronic security devices really work to deter burglars?

I was pondering this today as I get ready for my annual pilgrimage back home to Ontario, Canada, and had to smile at the thought of what some poor burglars would find if they tried to give my house a working over…

Four sets of very sharp canine teeth and a Taekwondo black belter

And that’s just for starters. The rest of the family of house sitters are pretty street-wise and even my cats hate strangers, not to mention a semi-resident badger *** who digs everywhere up looking for grubs and is a grumpy little monster (badgers usually are.)

Why do I consider this line-up to be a good defence against opportunist or even planned burglary? Surely I should be having the burglar alarm serviced and checking all the deadlocks and mortise locks and window locks are oiled and prepped for action – not relying on humans and animals more than I do on technology?

And what about installing a CCTV system? And electronic gates? Video entry system?

Predictable or not predictable: you choose

The trouble with all these electronic and mechanical security gizmos is that they are electronic and mechanical. That means they are out there and any self-respecting burglar can find out exactly how they work, from which it may only be one short step to finding out how to stop them working. They either work or they don’t: there are no variables.

What to write when you go away

Heaven help a burglar who steps on the badger’s dinner. Badgers have NO sense of  humour.

Take burglar alarms, for example. How often have you heard a burglar alarm go off in your street and thought, “oh, no, not that ****ing alarm again,” shut your window and just carried on doing what you were doing?

Burglar alarms are notorious for malfunctioning, to the extent that even the Police regard them as a pain in the posterior – for wasting Police time due to false alarm callouts. I pity the poor home owners for whom an alarm does work when an intruder breaks in … especially as they’re liable to fall victim to the “cry wolf” fable when they’re not believed and no-one turns up to apprehend the offender.

Locks can be picked. Padlocks and chains can be cut. Even safes can be broken into or blasted.

In my opinion, mechanical and electronic security devices can never be as clever and effective as, er, a Taekwondo black belt / 4 aggressive dogs / 1 ferocious badger combination.

There’s nothing better for home security than insecurity

My own particular combo (along with the black belter’s mother who is more ferocious than the badger) is, frankly, enough to scare the mask and swag bag off even the most experienced of burglars.

It all comes down to unpredictability.

I think it’s quite a well known tactic in warfare, isn’t it? Using the element of surprise, of wrong-footing the enemy.

Burglar deterrents

Not many burglars will argue with four sets of teeth like this, especially as the dogs are running loose

You know what a burglar alarm does, but you don’t know what four dogs guarding their territory in a pack will do to you other than it’s going to hurt like hell.

You know what a front door lock and chain will do, but you don’t know what a 6 foot 3 inches, 200 pound Taekwondo wallah will do if you annoy him. Unless you’re totally on another planet, though, you won’t hang around to discuss door chains with him.

And if you try to sneak around the back in the dark and step on the badger’s latest feast of grubs, Heaven help you.

You need to observe the basics, of course…

…like keeping doors and windows closed and locked when the house is empty, even if only for a couple of hours. That’s just common sense.

But wiring your house up tighter than the Pentagon or GCHQ when you go away is probably not required. My vote is for capable human house sitters along with some snarling dogs. And don’t forget your badger…

What do you think? Which is the more effective way of burglar-proofing your home?

Please share your views!

***I’m talking here about the European/Eurasian  badger because, well, I live in the UK which is still in Europe (just). There is also the American badger: more about them here.