Mobile homes are quite popular, but they are also one of the most vulnerable types of structures in terms of crimes.
For instance, in 2015 alone, 39% of burglaries occurred in mobile homes! And only 8% were commercial properties. Another study showed that 25-45% percent of all burglaries will happen when the property appears occupied to passersby.
So when you think about how easy it is for criminals to spot a vacant mobile home, this statistic does not come as much surprise.
Most burglars are opportunistic and select their targets based on opportunity. This means that they will go to homes where there is no one home or homes with easy access points.
The best way to ensure your mobile home is not a target for these criminals is to take steps like installing strong locks and deadbolts and consider adding outdoor lighting so the property appears occupied at night.
Read more in this post about how you can protect your mobile home from burglars!
Security Tips for Mobile Home Owners
If someone can enter your mobile home without making any noise or leaving evidence behind then burglars will likely break into it sooner or later.
Remember that experienced criminals what they’re doing and may notice even the smallest of details.
Steps like putting up security cameras, installing motion-activated lighting and making sure all exterior doors are secured will go a long way to protect your home.
Here’s what you can do to harden your property against break-ins.
1) Strong locks, strong doors
But I’ve heard that there is no point in putting deadbolts on mobile homes?
False. You need an extra door lock because these criminals will not leave without opening every single cupboard they find until they find what they came for.
So make sure you have strong locks on all doors! And actual burglars tend to be quite strong themselves so you should also look into getting some solid doors.
Request to Read: Are Mobile Home Door Locks Different?
2) Secure windows
All windows should be secured with locks that cannot be held open with a plastic card.
Aside from being an eyesore for some, metal security bars are highly effective in keeping burglars out of your living space by replacing wooden doors with steel-framed units made especially to withstand impact.
Grills are usually applied to windows for extra protection too so keep this in mind if you can afford to get one installed.
3) Add an alarm system
Having an alarm system installed is another great way of making sure criminals do not target your property; many burglars will probably not break into any home where they know loud alarms will go off as soon as anyone enters from the window or the back door.
An alarm box contains a battery backup and automatically dials up the local police when tampered with or pulled away from the exterior walls.
You can also place one in your front yard, then if someone tries breaking into your home (like when they cut the telephone line), it will automatically dial up authorities without you even having to alert them yourself.
4) Don’t post about being on vacation
This may sound counter-intuitive but you should not let everyone know you are leaving town by either posting it on social media or putting up a notice in the front yard.
If criminals know no one is inside, they are more likely to break into your home if they spot an easy opportunity.
5) Have outdoor lighting set to motion sensors
Because mobile homes are usually small, this makes it easier to spot if there is activity inside at night. Not everyone can afford security cameras so you can instead opt for installing outdoor lights to make the structure appear occupied after dark.
An easy way to scare away potential threats is by having automatic timed lights that go off every hour or so at night to simulate the presence of an awake homeowner.
The reason why you want motion sensor lights is that they will turn on whenever anyone walks past them.
And since most burglars look for homes where there’s minimal activity, the last thing they want is sudden bright lights flashing at them moments after lurking around windows.
Studies show that homes without exterior lights are most likely to be targeted by criminals because they can easily sneak around undetected.
So if you can afford one, install an automatic light switch near the main entrance which turns the light on when night falls.
6) Be mindful of landscaping
Keep your lawn mowed because tall grass makes it easier for criminals to hide behind them while trying to observe or even break into your home.
Large shrubs should also be trimmed so they do not cover windows.
7) Install an exterior lockbox
If you’re worried about someone breaking in if they spot no one is inside, then consider installing an exterior key lockbox where homeowners can keep copies of spare keys just in case they get locked out while away on vacation or business trips.
You want these keys placed somewhere that’s easy to find but not so visible that criminals will see them too.
Criminals are very crafty, they can spot even the tiniest of details; which is why you need to make sure your lockbox is well hidden and screwed to a solid surface like a wall stud because burglars may pry open sliding cabinets or file cabinet drawers if it looks flimsy.
8) Secure all doors & windows with plywood
A great deterrent against anyone wanting to break in through an exterior door (especially sliding ones) is plywood.
It’s cheap, lightweight yet super strong and can be easily cut down should someone ever try forcing their way in through any door.
There are also thick-wired steel door reinforcement kits available in hardware stores that can be installed on existing doors to make them more secure.
Another common entry point where criminals like to break in is through sliding glass doors; which is why they should be replaced with something more secure like steel-framed (not wire mesh) units.
For added protection, make sure a piece of plywood covers the bottom part of the door’s track area since these are highly flimsy and burglars can easily wedge a wire or small tool between tracks to unlock and slide open the door from inside.
Related Article: How To Measure Mobile Home Door?
9) Avoid using a chain for front door security
If you do not have a deadbolt, consider replacing your chain lock with one.
If it’s a cheap bolt lock, burglars will probably just cut through the cheap chain and gain easy access to your home so always opt for “steel” locks only. Forcing bolts made from hardened steel are even better because these cannot be cut with wires or other metal tools like bolt cutters easily.
10) Keep garage doors closed
You never know, car thieves may try breaking into your garage to steal the latest model of your prized possession.
If you have an automatic garage door opener installed already, make sure it’s always set on a timer, then close all doors at night so crooks can’t enter undetected. Garage alarms are also available in hardware stores which are another good option.
11) Don’t leave any spare keys out
Another thing criminals do is go around checking for hidden keys under rugs or flowerpots just in case homeowners accidentally leave these behind them when they lock up their home for the night.
You should also consider not leaving house keys with neighbours just in case these people have ill intentions because if they’re caught stealing from a house, they won’t hesitate to point you out as the culprit in front of authorities. Just be extra careful when it comes to this.
12) Get a dog!
If you have one already, make sure they are allowed outside at night too but preferably put them on a leash so they won’t go wandering around the neighbourhood of their own accord.
Some dogs are bred for protection purposes like Rottweiller’s, German Shepherds or Dobermans.
Just make sure you have them on a leash if they’re out patrolling the area at night because there are cases where these dogs might bite strangers without warning just to protect their owners.
13) Install a security camera
These days there’s a wide array of inexpensive surveillance cameras you can buy but if you want to do it right, go for a high-definition unit with automatic night vision and cloud storage capability so you can have peace of mind knowing that your home is being closely monitored 24/7.
The good thing about this kind of technology is that most criminals will think twice before even trying anything on your property because they don’t know what the deal is on the other side of that camera lens.
Burglar proofing a mobile home is not an easy task. It requires planning and patience to ensure that your efforts are successful in securing the safety of your belongings when you’re away from them.
This article will provide some basic steps for protecting your property, but keep in mind that every situation is different.
We recommend consulting with professionals who specialize in these types of projects before starting any work on your own. If this sounds like something you want help with or have questions about, please contact us today!
So follow these simple steps above and sleep tight knowing your home is now more secure than ever before.