Architects normally design homes and offices primarily to suit the needs of their occupants.
Unfortunately, an easy-to-navigate floor plan is also easy for burglars to navigate!
Luckily, we don’t have to make any architectural changes to fix this problem—by adding a few strategic (and cheap!) furnishings, a house can become MUCH less appealing to burglars.
- Doors-to-nowhere may cause the exploratory phase of burglarizing a house or office to take much longer. (These fake doors could be locked, or they could just set off a burglar alarm when opened.)
- Mannequins: adding dozens (or hundreds, there’s really no limit) of these unsettling humanoid figures to the home or office will make it very difficult to tell if a room is actually occupied.
- Mirrored walls may be added to walls to turn any floor plan into a confusing maze. This also has the side benefit of visually duplicating the mannequins (reducing total costs, since the mannequins are probably the most expensive part).
See Figure 1 for a possible doors-and-mannequins configuration.
Fig. 1: Left: a normal (not secure at all!) room. Right: a burglar may be discouraged by the presence of sofa-hanging-out mannequins and fake doors.
Mirrors and mannequins have been scientifically demonstrated to be effective in fiction: mannequins are a crucial element of James Bond’s duel in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) and a hall of mirrors complicates a pivotal fight in Enter the Dragon (1973). Home Alone (1990) also demonstrates the effectiveness of mannequins in discouraging residential burglaries.
PROS: Adds home security for a fixed one-time cost: requires no electricity or recurring upkeep (except to dust the mannequins occasionally).
CONS: Since mannequins would be more convincing if they’re in places a human would also be, the mannequins might take up the best spots in a room (e.g. the best seat at the dining table, the best spot on the sofa, etc.). But this is a small price to pay for security!