In 2019, there were around 1,117,696 burglaries in the United States.
While keeping pricey possessions out of view and adding window treatments is an excellent place to start, there are several ways that determined burglars may attempt to access your home.
Keep reading for a list of seven home security tips to keep your home and your family safe.
1. Check Your Doors and Locks
Thirty-four percent of home burglars stroll in the front door. The simplest way to secure your home is to inspect all of your exterior doors. Ensure that the door frames are strong and the hinges are protected.
If your front door includes a mail slot, make sure someone can’t reach through it to unlock the door.
It’s also a good idea to change the locks if you’re moving into a new residence with previous tenants. That way, no one has a key to your house but you.
To shore up your entryways, consider:
- Installing a deadbolt
- Upgrading to smart locks
- Adding a strike plate
- Increasing security with a video doorbell
2. Add a Fence
To create a barrier around your backyard, consider residential fencing. Make sure it’s tall enough so that no one can climb it. You may also want to consider a tall chainlink or picket fence.
The home fencing you choose should also have a latch or lock that self-closes. Most modern locks hook through the mechanism.
Pay attention to the latch hole. It shouldn’t be big enough for a hand to slip through from the outside. It might be easier for you and your family to operate the backyard fence with a large latch, but that means it’s easier for an intruder, as well.
When deciding to install a fence, you may wish to consider whether:
- You want to conceal backyard items
- You live close to a high-traffic area
- You want to allow neighbors to keep an eye on your property
3. Lock the Windows
Windows are another common entry point for intruders. Sometimes manufacturer locks can be flimsy, making them ineffective.
Consider enhancing the security of your windows with locks or key-operated levers.
You can also:
- Install glass break sensors
- Reinforce glass with security film
- Plant prickly plants and brushes under first-floor windows
- Add window bars
4. Add Outdoor Lights to Your Landscape
No intruder, burglar, or other criminal wants to operate in the spotlight. You can keep vandals at bay by putting lights around your yard, along pathways and fences, and near the garage.
Adding lighting not only reduces the chance of a break-in but reduces the risk of you and your family’s stumbling up steps at night. It’s a win-win.
When lighting outdoor spaces, consider:
- Putting outdoor lights on a timer
- Saving energy with solar-powered lights
- Using motion-activated lights
5. Keep Hackers Off of Your Wi-Fi Network
Think about all of the information that lives inside of your computers, tablets, and mobile devices. Without a secured wireless network, all of this information can be stolen by cybercriminals. Plus, any home automation features can be hacked, as well, giving criminals access to your home.
To ensure vandals stay off of your home network:
- Enable WPA or WPA2 encryption
- Use a firewall
- Secure your router
- Create strong passwords
- Install anti-malware and anti-virus software
6. Eliminate Places to Hide
Don’t give home intruders a handy place to hide on your property. Keep shrubs and trees trimmed down so they can’t be used for cover, or choose flowers and smaller bushes instead.
If you have trees outside of your windows, consider removing them or reinforcing your windows for more security.
You also can’t neglect the exterior of your home, so you should always:
- Add security signs and stickers
- Put away stools and ladders
- Don’t leave pricey goods on display
- Lock sheds, gates, and other outdoor buildings
7. Set up a Home Security System
To round-out, your home’s security, consider installing a home security system. Whether you choose a DIY approach or contact a professional service, there are options for every home protection level and every budget.
Evaluate your neighborhood and assess your needs before choosing a system. When completing a home security evaluation, contact your local police department and ask them for local crime statistics. They can give you numbers and details relevant to your neighborhood.
Your home security system should include cameras. Security cameras work as a means to get justice but also as a deterrent. You can purchase cameras that work independently or operate as part of a system.
Consider the following when choosing your home security system:
- Smart home capabilities
- Customer service and brand reputation
- Up-front and monthly costs
- DIY vs. professional installation
- Smoke and carbon monoxide monitoring
- Night vision
- Motion detection
- Two-way talk
- Wi-Fi capability
- Local or cloud storage
- Weatherproof casing for outdoor cameras
Whichever system and cameras you choose, consider one with a compatible mobile app so you can see what’s going on at home in real-time. You can also store the footage in case you need to take it to the police.
Put These Home Security Tips to Good Use
Securing your home doesn’t have to be a complicated chore. Use these home security tips to get started. You can implement each of these practices in steps—you don’t have to do everything at once.
Take a few ideas from this list and do them first. Then make a plan to get to the rest of the list later. Whatever you do, stay aware of potential risks and take action early so that you can keep yourself and your family safe.
If you found these tips helpful, consider sharing them with your loved ones before browsing our website.