Kim Cernigliaro took to Facebook late last month after finding a terrifying discovery outside her door.
As she describes the incident on Facebook, “Two weeks ago during the day, a hard knock was at my front door, not a regular knock but almost pounding… and I DO NOT answer the door when I am here by myself.”
After the knocking had stopped and hadn’t been heard for a while, she decided to go outside and investigate.
That’s when she noticed the tell-tale rubber band.
She told the local sheriff, and he explained the terrifying truth about the innocuous office supply.
She elaborates on Facebook, saying, “The Sheriff came by yesterday and said this is happening all of a sudden, as soon as you unlatch the door, they do not wait for you to turn the knob, they can bust in on you.”
The rubber band serves to wedge the door open for the intruder. You don’t even need to open the door; all you have to do is unlatch it.
It’s a sobering thought for anyone who worries about home security.
Fortunately, there are quite a few ways to get ahead of criminals and prevent them from targeting your home.
Safety Tip #1: Clean Up The Litter
Take, for example, litter outside of your house.
It’s tremendously important to clean up litter immediately, because it can indicate a few things to criminals.
They may think you’re busy or away, and aren’t home often, making your house a prime target.
Alternatively, some burglary teams use litter as a signal to their partners, indicating whether people are home, how many, and so on.
Cleaning up the litter straight away will deter thieves either way.
Safety Tip #2: Don't Make Your Bed
But while a tidy outside can be helpful, a messy inside might keep you safer.
When burglars “case” a house, or investigate it as a potential target, they look at the beds to see whether they’re made or unmade.
If the bed is made, it’s a good indicator that the residents aren’t home, and the house is a good target.
If the bed is unmade, it’s safer for the intruders to move on, because it indicates that someone might be home.
So, if you need an excuse to skip making your bed in the morning, just know it might make a difference in scaring off a bad guy.
Safety Tip #3: Fake Home Security
One of the most obvious ways to deter criminal activity at your house is to install a security system.
Of course, these systems are expensive and hard to install.
In a pinch, you might consider just getting a sign or sticker that indicates you have security in your home.
An experienced burglar will have seen this trick before and will know that you may just be bluffing, but it’s still safer for them to move on to a different house, offering you some measure of protection.
Safety Tip #4: Light Up Your House
You can also split the difference between installing a whole security system and simply putting up a sticker, and put in some motion-sensitive lights.
It’s important to remember that criminals, while scary, are also very jumpy and nervous, and you hold a lot of the power.
Motion-sensitive lights might trick the criminal into believing they have been caught red-handed, which will send them running for the hills.
Even if they’re savvy enough to realize the lighting is triggered by motion, the average bad guy won’t relish the idea of working under the exposure of floodlights, and will probably move on to greener pastures.
Safety Tip #5: Keep Them Guessing
If you’re like me, you stow your valuable jewelry in the sock drawer, and other in-house valuables in a small lockbox.
On the surface, that seems totally logical, but you should maybe consider changing up the routine a little bit.
Criminals expect things to be in the sock drawer or under the mattress, and will carry away whole lockboxes or safes when possible.
Instead, avoid hiding stuff in your office or bedroom, and opt for stashing stuff in the kids’ playrooms, in the laundry room, or under the kitchen sink.
Just make sure you remember where you left your stuff later!
Safety Tip #6: Reinforce Your Door
A favorite strategy of bad guys everywhere is kicking in the door.
It seems like the kind of thing that only works in action movies, but, believe it or not, there’s some realism to this strategy.
Most doors are pretty flimsy, even if the locks are tough, so consider reinforcing your door with more wood, or even investing in a steel door.
This will make it a lot trickier for intruders to simply kick past the lock, and the challenge will probably make them lose interest and move on.
Thank goodness that Kim Cernigliaro kept her head and shared her important discovery with the world.
If you think these tips are important for everyone to know, make sure to SHARE with friends and family on Facebook!