Whether you have a home security system or not, there are many ways to deter break ins. See our list of simple tips to discourage potential burglars and keep your home and family safer.
- Lock all doors and windows, including your garage door, when you leave the house and while sleeping. And get in the habit of locking the doors even when you are home during the day.
- Install a dead-bolt and/or a secondary locking system on doors that lead outside. Using a lock that can only be operated from the inside as an extra security measure.
- Remember that patio doors with glass panels can be especially vulnerable. Consider installing double-cylinder locks, where you need a key to unlock both sides, so that a burglar can’t enter your home simply by breaking the glass next to the lock. Also, insert a board at the bottom of the door, to prevent the door from sliding.
- Be suspicious of anyone who asks to enter your home for any type of “maintenance” reason. There are numerous cases of impersonating electricians or gas line inspectors who turn out to be dangerous. Always demand to see an official company ID and don’t be afraid to deny entry if something doesn’t seem right.
- Install peepholes or wide-angle viewers in your doors. Do not open the door without looking through the viewer, and teach young children to never open the door without a parent present.
- Replace burned out light bulbs quickly. Thieves like homes with inadequate lighting. Consider incorporating lighting into your landscaping including motion detection lighting.
- Keep trees and shrubs around doorways, windows and porches trimmed. The bushes that provide privacy also give burglars a place to hide. Dense shrubs can even make for a makeshift ladder, helping a thief into your home through a window.
- Get involved in a neighborhood watch group. Local police departments can provide you with information on how to establish a watch group in your neighborhood. And get to know your neighbors. Make sure they have your phone number and you have theirs so you can easily stay in touch if something suspicious is seen.
- Consider installing an alarm system. Many alarm systems will alert you right away if your system’s status changes, and can even alert the authorities for you.
Home Security Tips While You’re Away On Vacation
- Use random access timers that automatically change what time your lights go on and off each night. Lighting patterns that vary appear more natural.
- Ask a neighbor to park his or her car in your driveway.
- Keep expensive items out of view from the yard or the street.
- Have your mail and newspapers picked up by a neighbor or held at the post office and ask a neighbor to check for any packages that might be left by FedEx or UPS. A package sitting on a front porch for a few days is a good indicator no one is home.
- Ask your neighbors to call the police if they notice any suspicious activity. Leave a phone number where you can be reached in case of an emergency.
- If you have a modern alarm system installed you can likely get alerts on your smart phone if your system’s status changes. In some cases you can even see a live video feed is what is happening at home so you can take action right away.