Home Security Tips
While a security system is important to keeping your home safe, it’s only one piece of the puzzle. Smart burglars know how to look for all sorts of signs that you’re away. They know how to look for ways to circumvent your security system and can quickly identify if robbing your house is worth the effort by figuring out what valuables you have and where they’re located. They’re experts with all sorts of knowledge and tricks under their belts.
Don’t worry, though! There’s a lot you can do to make sure they can’t use that knowledge or those tricks. You don’t need to purchase an extra addition to your security system or hire a service. Most of our tips only require a little bit of thought and even less elbow grease to help make your home a safer place. By following this guide, you’ll help stop thieves before they even think about invading your home.
Keep your home well-maintained
Be sure to keep your trees and shrubs well-trimmed. Overgrown shrubbery gives thieves plenty of places to hide. They much prefer picking the lock of doors that are hidden from others, so make sure your entry points are visible from the street.
If your grass is overgrown and newspapers are piling up, it a sure sign to burglars that you’re not home often or at all. Neglected homes are much more likely to be robbed. If you’re going to be away, hire someone you trust to mow your lawn, trim your shrubs, and pick up newspapers.
Clean up the outside of your house
Don’t leave boxes sitting on your curb, especially after the holidays. If a would-be thief sees the box for a new high-end flat-screen TV in front of your house, they know they can get a big payday if they break into your house. Break down your boxes and put them in trash or recycling bins. You’ll be removing a giant sign saying “rob me!’ from in front of your house.
You should also make sure that you don’t leave ladders in your front yard or backyard. You might as well have handed a thief the key to your house. Thieves will use these neglected ladders to climb into second-story windows without hesitation. Secure ladders in your garage or basement when you’re not using them, even if you aren’t done with your project yet.
Install motion-sensor lighting
Home intruders like to work in the dark. Install motion activated lighting all around your house, not just in the front. There are a lot of options out there, many of which can be integrated into your DIY home security system. If you have the wiring in place, purchase some simple motion activated floodlights for a nice budget set of motion-sensor lights.
Lock cars in your driveway
While you might think your car is totally safe in your driveway, it’s not. Thieves may steal unlocked cars, which can be complicated, but they might steal what you keep in your car, too, especially if you leave any valuables where they can see them. If you keep a garage door opener in your unlocked car, you’ve just allowed someone to easily break into your home with hardly any challenge at all. Lock your car in your driveway!
Secure your social media and electronics
Social media can let thieves know that you’re not home, so they can break into your home without worrying about getting caught. Make sure you know who can see your social media and be careful about what you post. Consider only posting about your vacation after you get back. Also, remember to turn off geo-tracking if you’re on vacation. Thieves can use sites like pleaserobme.com to see where you’re at.
Make sure you password protect your computer and other electronics. They may have valuable data on them. While increasingly easy to track where these items have gone, if a thief can access important data like your bank passwords, they may end stealing much more than what’s just in your house. Also backup personal information in multiple locations (also password protected). Don’t forget to backup important personal files like photos, too.
Be careful where you put mirrors
If you have a mirror where it can be seen from an outside window, you probably want to move it. This gives anyone outside a view of what’s inside your home, even if they can’t see it directly. Mirrors in entry hallways can let thieves see your security system. They might be able to tell if it’s armed or not. They’ll also be able to tell what kind of security system it is and exploit its weaknesses.
Don’t use security stickers for your alarm system
Every security system has its weaknesses. You should definitely put stickers and signs in your windows and yard, but don’t use the one for your alarm system. If a thief knows what kind of security system you’re using, they can know exactly how to get around it. Be sneaky and use ones for a security system you’re not using.
Have reinforced doors and locked windows
Don’t let a thief get in easily by having a plain wood-panel door. These are easy to kick in. Install steel-wrapped exterior doors to help keep thieves out. Also, make sure your windows are locked so that they don’t have some other easy way in.
Store your valuables smartly
Consider getting a wall safe for easy-to-carry valuables like jewelry. These items are easy to grab and run with. Look around your house, especially your master bedroom, and see if your valuables would be easy to grab. Secure them in safe or at a safety deposit box in your bank. This will keep them from suddenly “walking off”.
Be careful who you invite in
If you’re selling something to someone or if someone comes to your door selling something, don’t invite them in. This gives thieves a great chance to scout out your home, from what valuables you have to what kind of security system you own to how to break into your house. Ask strangers to wait outside or meet you in a public place. The parking lot in front of your local police station is always a good choice since someone looking to steal from you won’t be likely to show up.
Be prepared for the worst
You can’t always stop thieves from breaking in, but you can be ready for when they do. Take a photo and/or video inventory of your valuables. Store those files online or on a flash drive in your safe.
Make sure that you’re insured for theft. High-ticket home office items, like professional camera equipment and computers, may require additional riders to your existing insurance policy or even a separate policy altogether.