Burglary and break-ins are always a concern, especially considering that there’s a burglary approximately every 13 seconds. Making sure that your home, which you’ve worked so hard to decorate and make feel like your own, is protected should always be a top priority. Here are a few ways that you can make your home more secure and less of a target to possible thieves.
1. Install Deadbolts
If you don’t have deadbolts on all of your exterior facing doors, it’s a good idea to install them. Deadbolts, a type of mortice lock, are much more secure than a traditional lock. Traditional locks are usually held in place by a few screws, and they can be much more easily removed than a deadbolt, which has a sliding piece that goes into the door jamb itself and makes it much more difficult to get through a locked door. Having both installed is also a good idea.
2. Have Window Locks
If your windows don’t have locks on them, it’s a good idea to install them. The goal of home security is to deter any potential thieves — oftentimes, they’re looking for the easiest possible target. Though window locks are small, they’re an added obstacle that a would-be burglar won’t want to deal with. You can likely find window locks for your home at your local home improvement store, but make sure to do research on the specific kind of window you have and speak with the employees at the store.
While you’re at it, pick up a basic locksmith tool kit or order one online. A kit usually includes a master key set, lock picks, formed end tweezers, a lighting scope, tension wrenches, and a broken key extractor. With your windows sealed, they’ll come in handy if you get locked out of your house or need to remove jammed or damaged locks.
Having window locks is a great security measure that provides peace of mind. However, not every homeowner has them installed because they may be costly or they don’t know where to start. If you have some spare time, talk to a locksmith about what your best options are for securing your windows. You might even find that you have locks installed that you never realized were there.
In addition to preventing burglars from gaining easy access in your house, window locks can also be helpful when you’re out of town. In the event that a burglar breaks in, you’ll know that they can’t easily break out of one of your windows. At the end of the day, there’s nothing more valuable than a safe and secure home — you’ll probably find that the added security and peace of mind that comes with window locks more than make up for the initial cost of purchase.
3. Install Motion Sensor Lighting Outside
Nothing ruins a thief’s stealthy approach like lighting that turns on when it senses motion. Putting motion-sensing lighting over exterior doors, including your garage door, can once again make your home a bad target for theft. Make sure that the lights are bright enough that any burglar will be clearly visible to anyone looking.
4. Consider an Alarm System
An alarm system is a great way to stop theft. Depending on your price range, there is likely a system that will work for you. If your budget is on the lower end, there are some systems that you can install on your own and that have relatively low monthly fees to stay operational. These systems also will come with yard signs and window stickers that you can put up to show that your home is protected by a security system.
5. Don’t Leave Valuables in Full View
If you have valuables that are easy to pick up and take with someone, like a laptop or jewelry, you should make sure that they aren’t left out and on display. If a thief can easily get in, take something, and get back out, you are more likely to become a target. Instead, store these things away from windows and doors where they could be easily spotted, and store them out of sight when possible.
6. Plan Ahead When You’re Out of Town
A vacant home makes a perfect target for a thief. They know that they will have time to get in, look around, and get out before you even know that they’ve been in the house. That’s why it’s important to plan your home’s security out for any time that you’re leaving town for more than a day or two. The best-case scenario is to have a house sitter that you trust come live in your home while you’re away. This will make it appear as if you never went out of town in the first place and lessen your home’s desirability as a target for theft.
If getting a house sitter is not in the cards for you, make sure to take some other precautions, such as:
- Stop Your Mail. If your mailbox is overflowing or there are packages on your porch, it will be very obvious that no one is home and no one has been home for some time.
- Have Someone Mow the Lawn. Something as subtle as your regularly manicured lawn being overgrown can be an indicator to someone casing your neighborhood that you aren’t home.
- Have Someone Take Your Trash to the Curb. If your regular garbage pickup stops happening, a thief may pick up on the fact that you’re not home. Even though there won’t be any garbage in the cans, have a neighbor, friend, or family member take out your trash cans on the right day to make it look like you’re home.
- Don’t Post Details on Social Media. Although it can be exciting to be preparing for a trip, posting all over social media with your departure time and return date can give home invaders a clear idea of how long they’ll have to break into your home.
Even though in some states, like Michigan, home invasion charges can result in up to 20 years in prison, there are still thieves and burglars out there that want to break into vacant homes. Making your house less of a target while you’re out of town a good way to ensure your peace of mind while you can’t be at home.
7. Think About Security When House Hunting
If you’re planning on moving sometime soon, think about the security measures you would want in place while you’re looking into buying a home. 44% of house hunters will use online resources to search for properties, so while you’re, see if you can spot the things on this list. A home that already has deadbolts, window locks, and motion-activated floodlights may be a better choice than a home without those things. Of course, security measures will probably not be the make or break of your home choice, but having them as a factor may make the decision-making process easier.
Whether you’ve just moved into your home or you’ve been there for years, increasing your home security is a good idea. No matter what your budget is, the above tips will help you make some changes that will make your home a less desirable target for burglars that might want to break into your home.
What security measures do you have on your home? What makes you feel safest at home? Let us know in the comments!