Ask anyone who’s been robbed-one of the worst feelings in the world is to come back to a house tipped upside down and find all your most precious possessions stolen. Even with a good security system and 24/7 alarm monitoring, burglars can break into your house and be out within 10 minutes.
10 minutes is plenty of time to sweep up all the valuables in plain sight and to check many of the standard places people usually stash their important items. However it’s not quite enough time to make their way through every nook and cranny of your house to uncover all the unlikely hiding places.
Of course, it's a lot more difficult to hide big gadgets you use all the time like big flat screen TVs or desktop computers. We've just focused on the smaller stuff like emergency cash, jewelry, passports and documents
A burglar's priority
Before getting ideas on some of the more ingenious ways to hide your valuables, let's take a quick look at the obvious hiding spots that burglars always head to first.
Burglars always make a beeline for the master bedroom. It's usually the place where they will find the most valuables. Anything from cash, wallets, smart phones or documents. If there is one in the house, it’s also the place where the safe is likely to be installed.
Living room and office
These are places where the most modern and expensive gadgets are usually kept-TVs, home entertainment systems, DVDs, computers, laptops and game consoles
Dumb hiding spots
- Under the mattress
- Inside sock drawers and underwear drawers
- Dirty laundry basket
- Behind the toilet tank
- Behind a picture frame
Like most people, you're probably guilty of stashing valuables in some of these spots. Now you know that these are the first ports of call for burglars, stop using them and transfer your valuables to some of our less obvious hiding spots.
Better hiding spots
These are places burglars seldom look mostly because they take to much time and energy to hunt through. This is precisely what makes them great hiding places.
In the freezer
Wrap cash and infrequently used credit cards in aluminum foil. Put in a re-sealable plastic bag and place them inside your freezer. Unless your burglar is a foodie, he won't think to go through the contents of your freezer. Fool would-be burglars further by tagging the plastic bag with a convincing food label. "Aunt May’s Goose Liver Pate Xmas 2012" anyone?
In your kid's room
Burglars rarely go through a kid's bedroom, especially a nursery. But there are lots of potential hiding places here for your valuables that you can take advantage of. Hide cash inside no longer favored toys with compartments or battery spacing, inside a dollhouse, or any other ordinary and inexpensive toy that can be opened and used as a container.
In between books
Burglars aren't usually interested in books unless they're they are the learned type and can identify rare editions of antique books which are worth a lot of money, highly unlikely! Hide bigger bills in between pages of ordinary looking hardbound books.
Decoy or diversion safes
Decoy safes can be easily made at home or purchased online. These are good hiding places to store items like smaller sums of money.
Decoy safes can take the form of:
Book safes have recently gained popularity. You can make them yourself or buy one online. Homemade book safes are made by taking a real hardbound book and hollowing out a cavity in the middle where you can stash money, jewelry, passports and other personal documents. The ones you can buy online are usually fake books but are more secure as most come with a lock and key or magnetic snap enclosure.
Either way, both are effective when you put it on a bookshelf mixed in with all your other books.
An ordinary wall clock which is fitted with a compartment that opens at the back. A burglar might glance at your plain looking wall clock to check the time, but he won't think to look behind it.
You can buy battery-operated closet lights or stick-up bulbs that also work as a decoy safe. A burglar would probably use the closet light to rifle through your belongings inside the closet, but would never think the light is actually a diversion safe.
Household and pantry items
Ordinary household items like soda cans, soup cans, and cleaning supply canisters are of no value to a burglar. That’s why they are the perfect decoy safe when mixed with all the other real household items. You can either buy them online or make your own.
Permanent house fixtures
You can install a fake version of a permanent house fixture like electrical wall outlets, light switch, air vents and thermostats. These are the most trouble to set up, but probably the most effective decoy safes.
For valuables that you want to hide long term like larger amounts of cash, heirloom jewelry, or personal documents, your best option is still to invest in a suitably classed safe that is professionally installed and bolted down to the floor.
If you don’t have the budget or don’t feel you have much a burglar would want. Make good use of these cleaver hiding places and decoy safe ideas.