Your home is your castle, and everything in it has value, including the people. We all know that, and so do the bad guys. Burglary happens every twenty seconds in the United States. Short of purchasing a whole-house professional security system, here are six tips for securing one of your most valuable possessions.
Eliminate the hiding spots. Landscape with safety in mind, clear away overgrowth and debris and invest in motion-sensor outside lighting. Walk around your property and look for problem areas. Make sure you can see who is at your front door without opening it, and potentially invest in a doorbell camera. Also, talk to your neighbors! Take the time to engage with the people on your street and ask them to look out for anything suspicious while you are gone.
Make it harder to get in. Lock all windows and doors. The most common point of forced entry is windows. You can make this more difficult by installing window stops on all accessible windows and sliding doors. An even quicker fix—use sturdy dowel rods, or put a 2×4 in the track of your sliding door.
Make it look like someone is home. Keep a vehicle in the driveway. If you only have one vehicle, ask someone to come by and “check” on your home if you are going to be gone for more than a day. Another option is smart locks, smart bulbs, and smart plugs. These devices allow you to control your home while you are out, including things like turning on lights, radios, and televisions to make it look like someone is there.
Don’t advertise what you have. Close curtains and blinds as much as possible. Avoid leaving unattended packages by your door for porch-pirates to steal. By the same token, don’t leave big boxes at your curb showing the purchase of a new TV or computer. Take the boxes to a recycling center instead.
Protect outside your home as well. Lock fence gates. Burglars also target sheds, garages, and porches. Secure any bicycles, ATVs, grills, and lawn mowers. Avoid leaving spare keys outside, especially in common hiding places such as under a planter or welcome mat.
Invest in a secured safe. A good safe that is secured to the floor can give your valuables protection from theft, fire, and water damage. A safe is even more important if you own a gun. A gun safe helps keep your guns out of thieves’ hands, prevents accidental injury, and is just plain responsible gun ownership.