Standard home security is a necessity that many homeowners take for granted, with 4 burglaries happening every minute in the United States. Too often, families find themselves victims of a crime before thinking to invest in their home security. Criminals are smart and have unsuspecting ways of getting your information and into your house, so read on to learn how best to protect yourself from becoming a victim.
There are also reasons you may want to increase your security, whether it be that you’re going on vacation, leaving an elderly or disabled loved one at home, or hiring professional to work on your home when you’re not there. Whatever the reason, there’s no such thing as being too secure. Here’s our top 7 list of tips from professionals who’ve seen it all:
1. Use Lighting to Your Advantage
It’s smart to have a light on in the house to deter unwanted visitors; the majority of burglars are nonviolent and don’t want to risk being seen. A light or a television on in the living room makes a your house a bad target.
Similarly, automated lights are inexpensive and can be used outside, illuminating anyone who comes near your home. They’re useful on the sides of houses, porches, walkways and garages, and are bright enough to alert you through a window when you’re home.
2. Secure Your Windows
Burglars commonly enter through unlocked or open windows. Make sure your windows are closed and locked when you’re not attending them. Use secondary blocking devices, like security meshing and metal or wooden rods, or if you do not intend to open the window, installing a screw along the track of a window is very effective.
Sliding glass doors should have well-fitted bars along their track which cannot be reached from outside.
3. Call a Locksmith
If you’re not sure the locks on your doors and windows are secure enough, call a local locksmith. They will know what the most common methods of forced entry are for your area and can advise you on the best way to secure your home.
If you’re a new homeowner, remember you’ll have to change all the locks, as there’s no telling who still has a key from the previous owner. For example, if you just moved to Las Vegas, call a Las Vegas locksmith to change your locks and advise you on which parts of your home to prioritize based on his experience with similar houses.
4. Buy a Safe
Small valuables like cash and jewelry are as important to protect as paperwork. Identity theft is growing alarmingly, and it would be all too easy for a burglar to find your filing cabinet and steal important information. Don’t leave your passport, medical or tax records, receipts or any other sensitive information in an obvious place.
Make sure the safe is too heavy to carry away, or is otherwise fastened to its location.
5. Smart Landscaping
Overgrown bushes, trees or foliage provide excellent places for burglars to hide. Make sure your gardens are trimmed and don’t provide cover or block your view. You can also plant rose bushes or other thorny deterrents below windows to discourage entry. Finally, ensure that the plants and trees don’t offer criminals a chance they wouldn’t otherwise have, like a tree branch growing near a window.
6. Secure Your Garage
If there are windows in your garage, keep them covered so criminals can’t be sure if anyone or anything of value is there. Keep the garage door closed and locked, and install a peephole in the door to the house so if anyone ever does slip in, you can see them.
7. Don’t Leave a Spare Key
While it may seem like a good idea, don’t leave a spare key in the obvious garden spots, your mailbox or under the welcome mat. Anyone looking to access your home will have no problem finding this key. Spare keys can be kept with neighbors instead. Neighbors can be some of your strongest weapons against burglars, so be sure to meet and be active in your community.
Follow these tips to securing your valuables and you’ll be prepared to prevent these common crimes of opportunity. If robbing your home seems too risky, burglars are likely to move on to the next potential theft.