Did you know that a home burglary occurs every 15 seconds in the United States? Many of these burglaries occur in neighborhoods, and nearly half a million of them occur during the daytime each year. Despite these statistics, most homeowners take minimal steps to protect their homes from intruders — something you never want to wish you had done after the fact.
Fortunately, there are many quick, simple steps you can take to make your home more secure right away. In this article, we’ll cover 13 easy home security tips you can use to make your home more secure for your and your loved ones.
- Simple, obvious steps like locking doors and windows and installing a home security system are the biggest deterrents to home invasions.
- More than three-quarters of burglars use social media to identify potential targets.
- Wifi networks must always be password protected to prevent outsiders from accessing private information and connected home security devices.
- You can protect your most valuable possessions by hiding brand and product names from boxes you put out on the curb, securing garages and sheds, and using a safe.
13 easy home security tips you should know
Lock your doors and windows
This might seem obvious, but one-third of all home burglars enter through unlocked doors and windows. We tend to feel comfortable in the communities we know and love, but it’s important to always err on the side of caution and secure all possible entrances to your home. Many burglars will go from home to home seeking easy opportunities, and this common-sense step can keep your home off their list.
Install a home alarm system
Homes with an alarm system are a whopping 300% less likely to be burglarized than those without one. Even just the window or lawn sign advertising your home security system is enough to scare off many would-be home intruders. Some homeowners may be deterred by the perceived high costs or technical upkeep of an alarm system. In reality, however, there are many affordable options and smartphone technology has made it easier than ever to conveniently manage your alarm system from anywhere.
Here’s a quick comparison of some of the top security systems on the market:
Install motion detector lighting
The jury is out on the extent to which lighting can actually deter burglars. After all, many burglaries do occur during the day, when lighting wouldn’t even be a factor. Still, some research has shown that motion detectors deter burglars thanks to their sudden onset and possibility of alerting neighbors to suspicious activity, especially when those neighbors know you’re away and wouldn’t be triggering the lights yourself. Motion detector lights are easy to install and extremely affordable (as low as $10-$15), so we think they’re worth installing to add an extra layer of safety to your home’s exterior areas.
Add a deadbolt protector
Most burglars will know how to pick your locks, even seemingly pick-proof deadbolts. One way to give your doors main doors some extra security is to add a deadbolt protector, which slides a lock over your deadbolt to prevent it from turning. You can find them at most hardware stores or here on Amazon.
Reinforce sliding doors
Sliding doors on patios and decks are more vulnerable than your main front door. The locks are easier to pick, and even just an extra hard pull can get through many locks. It’s best to add some extra security to your sliding doors. This can be as simple as laying a bar, broomstick, or piece of plywood in the door track, but many homeowners prefer a more sophisticated method. In that case, you can buy locks that fit onto the bottom or top of the door to add extra protection.
Buy a home security camera
Today you can usually find an all-in-one home security system that includes cameras, or you can buy them separately to supplement the system you already have installed. Cameras can both deter burglars and help you get justice if you do experience a home burglary. You have probably seen plenty of home security camera footage shared on social media — they’re becoming more popular than ever as online shopping grows, putting people at risk of falling victim to “porch pirates” who quickly steal packages right from your front door.
Many homeowners also enjoy the added day-to-day feeling of security that home cameras can provide. Products like the Ring and Google Nest Cam allow homeowners to check on their home while away and see a clear picture of visitors who knock on the front door before opening it.
Keep spare keys in a lock box
Think about it: where would you look to find someone’s spare key? Probably under the mat, in the mailbox, or under a stone or flower pot near the door. These obvious hiding spots for your front door keys are basically an invitation for home burglars. Sometimes you can’t avoid having to leave a key for someone, but when you do, keep it in a lockbox so no one else can access it.
Don’t overshare on social media
You might not even realize the ways you’re making your home more vulnerable to burglaries on social media. Posting photos of your home with the address plaque visible, sharing your address through online event invites or public comments, or sharing the details of your upcoming extended vacation are all ways you open yourself up to an increased risk of home invasion. In fact, a startling 78% of burglars use Facebook, Twitter
The long and short of it: keep your address and home details off of social media. Double check the photos you post, never type out your address in publicly viewable places, and keep the details about your vacation offline until you return home.
Secure garages and sheds
People often allow garages and sheds to be an afterthought because they don’t actually live in them. But most people keep valuable possessions in their garages and sheds — things like cars, lawnmowers, furniture, and other possessions boxed up to stay in storage. Don’t assume your house is the only part of your property at risk of being burglarized. Protect your possessions by keeping your garage and shed doors closed and securing them with extra locks when needed.
Password protect your wifi network
Even amateur hackers can get onto your wifi network and access your private information. They can use that information to monitor your home and even control wifi-connected security devices like cameras and alarm systems. Keeping your wifi network protected is an important part of keeping your home secure. Always use a strong wifi password and don’t share it with anyone.
Don’t advertise large purchases
The boxes and bags you put out on the curb on trash day can tell potential burglars a lot about what valuables are inside your home. Take extra steps to avoid this by breaking down boxes and folding them so that brand and product names aren’t visible. When you need to, use extra bags to cover them. The extra effort is worth it to avoid the heartbreak of having your hard-earned possessions stolen right after you purchase them.
Make it look like someone is home
There are some easy ways you can make it appear that someone is home in your house, even when that isn’t the case. One obvious tactic is to leave a light on inside, although that’s done so commonly that most burglars won’t think twice about the living room light being switched on. Some other effective ways to make it seem like your home is occupied, especially when you’re away for an extended period, are to leave a car in the driveway, used timed lighting (indoor and outdoor) that goes on at different times, have a friend or neighbor collect your mail, and leave a radio or TV playing inside.
Put valuables in a safe
Sometimes, no matter what we do, burglars will find their way into our homes. There’s no way we can protect everything we own, but it’s a good idea to put your most valuable possessions like jewelry, money, important documents, and family heirlooms in a locked, immovable safe. This way, you know the things that matter most to you will always be secure.
If you’re moving to the Dayton area, Oberer Homes can help you find the home that’s right for you. Contact us today to get started!
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