Feeling safe and secure in your own home is important at all times, but particularly so during the holidays. Those are the times when burglars use the convenience of an empty home to steal anything from your porch packages to your valuable possessions inside.
Here are several ways you can improve your home security that is easy and affordable but also effective so you can deter intruders and protect your home and your family.
Upgrade your door locks
Keeping your doors locked is simply not enough nowadays unless you have top-notch locks installed. The first step is to ensure all exterior doors have a deadbolt as it makes it more difficult for invaders to break in. Next, you should make sure door frames and hinges are sturdy enough to withstand an attempted break-in. So, older doors and hinges are a risk and should be replaced. Finally, upgrade to smart locks, which are very effective and can be monitored and controlled remotely.
Secure your windows
Locking your doors is step one, but you also need to make sure your windows can be easily penetrated. They, too, need to be in the first line of defence against home intruders as they are almost always easy targets, even if you’re at home. It’s a good habit to keep them locked at all times, and when you leave the house, double-check them to make sure all are locked, particularly those on the first floor.
There are various devices and sensors available that can help you keep the windows securely shut and also help you keep track of motion and activity. These can record whether a do window has been left ajar, and smart models can be programmed to lock automatically at appointed times.
Install a home security system
One of the most effective ways to deter and prevent intruders from breaking in is by installing a home security system. They can also alert you if it does happen so you can react promptly by calling the police. Studies show that a home without a security system is about three times more likely to be stolen. However, if a burglar notices a security camera or any other sign of a home security system, they will probably give up.
Home security cameras are an excellent option as they add another layer of home protection. They alert you if there’s movement outdoors, and the above-mentioned door and window sensors inform you know if someone is attempting to break into your home. Depending on the type of home security system, it can be programmed to alert the police on your behalf. Security systems are now quite affordable and many are easy DIY projects as well.
Secure your outdoors
Burglars try their best to stay invisible so installing outdoor lights can be a major deterrent. Typically, these crimes are ones of opportunity, so outdoor lights might discourage intruders from their original intention. Keeping the outdoor light on all the time may add to your power bill, so you could consider purchasing motion-sensor lights that only light up your outdoors when they detect movement. The idea is to catch the intruders off-guard and hopefully scare them off. It’s also a good idea to install these lights as well as motion sensors on any detached buildings you might have, such as a garage, tool shed or pool house.
Another budget-friendly option that will support your security efforts is keeping your shrubs short so intruders have no hiding spots, but it’s even smarter to install high-quality aluminium fence panels as an additional precautionary measure.
Deter theft on your front porch
Another important thing to remember is that home security stretches to your front porch which means you need to protect your deliveries from porch pirates. Packages delivered during the holiday season that remain unattended for hours are beautiful to thieves. A recent study confirmed that as high as 43% of respondents reported a package stolen in 2020, a 36% increase from 2019.
With porch piracy growing, you need to consider ways of keeping your items safe. One way is to invest in a porch lock box or a mailbox sensor, and another is to require a signature upon delivery so your packages won’t be left unattended until you return home.
Make it look like someone is home
Most burglars avoid entering a home if tenants are still there. They’d rather pick an empty home and work uninterrupted, so it’s recommended you make it look as if someone is home at all times. During the workday, you could leave an interior light or the TV on. You can install special programmable lights that would turn on and off periodically simulating a person being home, and during your vacation, ask a neighbour to collect your mail, since piled-up mail can be a sign of the homeowner’s absence.
Everyone wants a safe home. Worrying about potential home invasion is certainly a burden so it’s best to prevent it – better safe than sorry! With the tips listed here, you can easily and effectively discourage and prevent burglars, and keep your family and possessions safe. Start small by implementing only a few things from the list and once you’ve taken care of that, you can move on. With each improvement, you will make your home safer and more secure.