Every 13 seconds, a home is broken into in the United States. And more than 2,000,000 burglaries are reported every year. With statistics like these, how do you keep your home secure?
Here are some top home protection tips to keep you and your home safe:
1. Change the Locks
This may seem like a simple detail, but it’s often overlooked when people move into a new home.
You should always change the locks to all of your doors. You don’t know who may still have a key to your from handymen to former nannies and house cleaners, friends, and neighbors. It’s impossible to tell how many people have been given a copy of the key.
Don’t take the chance that your house keys could be in the hands of someone you don’t know. Change all of the locks as soon as you move in.
2. Get an Alarm
Many burglaries are those of convenience – thieves spot an open window or they see a home with no alarm. Installing an alarm is arguably the best way to protect your home since thieves would rather move on to a more vulnerable house where they’re less likely to get caught.
A LifeShield alarm or similar will deter thieves – especially if they can see the arming station from the most likely entry window or door. Be sure to put stickers on all of the ground-floor windows and your doors so it’s obvious that your home is protected.
3. Look for Weaknesses
Now is a good time to pretend like you’re a criminal. Walk around the outside of your house and consider any weaknesses. If you can see that a window could be forced open, a thief will definitely think the same.
While you’re considering vulnerable spots, make a note of any expensive furniture, art, or electronics that you can see through your windows. You don’t need to completely redecorate to keep these items out of sight, but you may as well make small adjustments so thieves aren’t tempted.
4. Get to Know Your Neighbors
Your neighbors may be your best asset when it comes to preventing a break-in or other crime in your area. This is especially true if they have a different school or work schedule for you, or if they work from home or are a stay-at-home parent. If they’re around during the day, they can let you know about any suspicious activity near your home while you’re away.
If you’re going out of town, your neighbors will be able to collect newspapers, packages, and mail so they don’t pile up – an obvious sign that you’re not home. They can also make sure your garbage is taken care of and any other weekly patterns occur normally.
5. Light It Up
Lights will always discourage burglars from trying to break in.
Investing in lights with motion detectors or timers is a smart thing to do. If you live in an apartment, see if the landlord can install lighting in halls and walkways so dark corners are eliminated.
Sometimes, burglars will case an entire neighborhood or street to see if its a good target. Well-lit neighborhoods are likely to be a deterrent. Speak to your neighborhood association and see if you can get more lighting on your street.
6. Use a Video Doorbell
Technology is making it easier than ever to deter thieves. Most burglars will ring your doorbell first so they can see if anyone is home.
Now, there are plenty of video doorbells on the market that will connect directly with your phone – no matter where you are in the world. This means you can see, hear, record, and speak to the person ringing the bell in real-time.
7. Do Some Landscaping
If you have a number of overgrown shrubs and hedges surrounding your home, it’s more likely to be a target for criminals. This is because it makes it easy for them to hide, and decreases the visibility from the street, which means they can sneak in without a passerby or neighbor seeing them.
Cut and trim your hedges and bushes so that they’re no taller than three feet. It’s also a good idea to plant thorny plants and bushes near your windows. Consider using gravel as well which will draw attention to the noise when someone is sneaking around.
8. Be Careful on Social Media
These days, most of us are oversharing our lives on social media. And we naturally want the world to know when we’re going on a well-earned vacation. Unfortunately, we don’t know how many friends-of-friends are seeing those updates.
Think about it: you’re basically advertising to the world that your home will be empty while you’re out of town. Upgrade your privacy settings and make sure you’re not sharing too much if you are planning to go away.
9. Protect Your Mail
Identity theft is on the rise. Unlike a break-in, where you immediately see that you’ve been robbed and can often recover some of the costs with insurance, you may not discover identity theft for years. And it can have a devastating impact on your life.
This crime can ruin your credit rating if thieves manage to get credit in your name. Protect your mail with a secure mailbox that requires a key to open it.
10. Use a Safe
For just a few hundred bucks, you can get a safe that will protect your most valuable items from thieves.
Fasten it to the wall or floor so criminals can’t simply take it with them. There are a number of options on the market, but these are a particularly good option for storing firearms or expensive jewelry.
Make Home Protection a Priority
With the above tips, you’ll be able to protect your home from criminals and keep you, your family, and your belonging safe. Above all, do everything you can to make your home “too hard” for burglars.
Check out our blog posts for some great home protection tips and other hacks you can use today!