Secure the perimeter. Installing motion-­sensor lights tells housebreakers that the owner is security-conscious. If the thief isn’t deterred, at least he won’t have the “cover of darkness.”

Secure points of entry. Reinforce doors with a “deadbolt” and “strike plate,” and windows by putting a “sturdy” bar in the track. Laminate all “big glass panes.” Lock up ladders and tools in a safe place, so they can’t be used against you.

Be crafty. Turn down telephone ringers when no one’s home—a loud, unanswered ring can be a “giveaway” for a passing burglar. Buy a timer for lamps and radios, to make the house seem “lived-in,” even when it’s not.

Don’t be stupid. Putting the empty box for, say, your new flat-screen TV on the curb only alerts burglars to the goods that await inside.

Source: The Hartford Courant