Even in the safest neighborhoods, you can still find a broken window. So how can you keep your home as safe as can be and gain peace of mind? Our experts put together this super quick guide with seven home security tips to help safeguard your family and largest financial asset from burglars and other threats!
Tip #1 – Make your home smart (and safer)
Not everyone wants their fifteen minutes of fame, especially burglars. That’s why one of the easiest deterrents of break-ins and burglaries is installing smart home tech. Simple additions such as a video doorbell, motion-detection lights and cameras, and door and window sensors can notify you of uninvited visitors.
You should also consider installing smart locks on your exterior doors. Unsure if you locked your door? You can check the app! Some models allow you to lock your door from afar, just in case you forgot to do so on your way out.
Tip #2 – Consider installing a security system
Whether you have the latest PlayStation, a large screen TV, or Wayne Gretzky’s hockey stick, one of the best ways to protect your home (and stuff!) is with a home security system. Experts say that a home with a security system is 300% less likely to be burglarized than one without a security system, and most models not only have central monitoring but also additional safety features. Many come with smoke and carbon monoxide monitoring, water sensing, and even panic buttons.
Before you decide on a security system, check different companies, packages, and inclusions. Then choose the best one to protect your home and family.
Tip #3 – Secure your exterior doors
Not all doors are created with safety in mind, and with 56% of break-ins happening at your exterior doors, you need to make sure yours are secure. Are your exterior doors at least 1¾” thick and made of heavy, solid wood or metal? Do they have quality deadbolt locks? (Chain locks are great for additional protection but are not a substitute for deadbolts.)
Be wary of doors with glass panes. If the glass is too close to the lock, burglars can break it to reach inside and unlock your door.
Do your exterior doors have 3-inch or longer screws? Long screws not only connect the door to the door frame but also the frame of home. While that may not stop a burglar from getting in, it will make it harder for a burglar to get inside your home. The added time may help a neighbor to notice and call the authorities.
Speaking of Mrs. Kravitz –
Tip #4 – Get to know your neighbors
This may shock you, but one of the best home security tips is having great neighbors. Sure, everyone loves being able to share a cup of sugar (people still do that, right?), but since most break-ins happen between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., you want someone nearby who may notice that’s not your car or truck in the driveway.
When you’re on vacation, they can keep a look-out on your home. While we don’t suggest you leave them a key anymore, you can leave them an access code to your home’s smart lock, just in case they smell gas.
Tip #5 – Make your landscaping work for you
Did you know that your landscaping can actually work against you? You know to cut your grass or have the landscapers over while you’re on vacation, but large bushes or trees near your home can give unwanted visitors places to hide. Overgrown vegetation is a favorite spot for burglars, too.
Plant smaller shrubs near your home and trim and clear any excess brush from hedges, trees, and flower beds. You may also want to consider planting thorny bushes under windows to discourage access to your home, but if you ever lock yourself out and need to climb in a window, you might find yourself in a prickly situation.
Tip #6 – Shine some light on your property
Unfortunately, even with trimmed shrubs, shadows will form on your property at night. Exterior lights can help to illuminate dark areas and limit the number of shadows where any unwanted guests can hide. You should also consider installing motion detection lights, which can catch a burglar off guard. The sudden light may send them running from your property or at least alert you, so you can call the authorities.
Tip #7 – Take routine safety precautions
Getting the most sophisticated alarm system won’t matter if you don’t arm it. If you forget to charge your video doorbell, then you won’t know who comes to your door. That’s why you need to make sure not to overlook simple home security tips, such as:
- Don’t open the door for anyone you don’t know as this allows a potential burglar to see inside your home.
- Absolutely never leave a spare key around your home. (Instead, install that previously mentioned smart lock.)
- Check locks on windows, and always lock them at night.
- If you leave windows open in warmer months, lift them no more than four inches and always close and lock them when leaving the house.
- Re-think key holders and garage door openers placed right inside the door where they can be visible to thieves. Either place them out of sight or store them inside a drawer.
- If your home has a sliding door, you can reinforce it with a metal bar, or place a wooden or metal dowel in the tracks.
- Frequently check outdoor fixtures and replace bulbs when needed.
- If you already have an existing security system, be sure to check that it is functioning properly. This can be a quick visual check on a monthly basis. Time it with your monthly smoke alarm test.
- Check that your alarm system yard signs are clearly displayed to deter potential burglars. Even if you don’t have a monitored system, you may still benefit from having the signs clearly posted on your property.
Of course, don’t forget to create and update your home inventory frequently.
Create your home inventory
Not quite a home security tip but rather a “make your life easier” tip in the unfortunate event of a home robbery or home fire – consider creating a home inventory. This is a list of the valuable and important contents of your home and the specific details about each one, including the price, receipt of purchase, and a picture of large items. If a home break-in or home fire occurs, you can give your home inventory to your insurance company, who should reimburse you for your losses as per your homeowners insurance policy.
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