Keeping your home, belongings, and most importantly, your family safe are constant concerns for homeowners. It is important to consider the safety aspects of your home and take action to improve areas where security may be lacking or even overlooked.
- Review Your Landscaping: You may love the buses out front that line along the house below the front windows but so do potential burglars. Shrubs and bushes, especially if not well-trimmed, can provide cover for an individual while they attempt to open on of your front windows. In addition to keeping bushes trimmed below your window line, consider swapping out the current shrubs for thornier bushes as an added deterrent. Also, motion-activated lighting around your home and yard can also work as a deterrent and be rather helpful on nights you arrive home late.
- Send Porch Pirates Overboard: Online shopping is convenient but as many doorbell cameras indicate, they also attract some unwanted individuals to your home. Cameras can be beneficial for the subsequent police report when a package is stolen off of your front porch and there are other considerations you can make. When ordering online, give detailed delivery instructions to better help hid packages if they are delivered when you are not home—like using a side door or back porch. Follow up with the seller and delivery company to ensure the delivery note was passed on. Also requesting a delivery signature (especially for extra valuable deliveries) can ensure someone is home before a package is left out in the open or opt to have package delivered to a post box.
- Keep Valuables Hidden. On bright sunny days, it is fairly normal to see drapes and curtains drawn back and blinds opened. However, this provides an opportunity for those passing your home to get a good look at what is inside and where it is usually kept. Arrange furniture to block where large or valuable items are kept, don’t keep your keys hanging by the front door, and keep shelves clear of obviously valuable items.
- Reinforce Doorways. When a home is built, it is often with standard materials and traditional methods of door openings. Standard door frames can be busted with a hard kick, especially if the door opens into the home. Having a solid wood or metal door that are 1.75inches thick or more can make it harder to bust in a door. Sliding glass doors and windows can also provide easy access to a determined unwanted visitor—be sure they are well locked and reinforce where you can (like a metal bar across your sliding glass door to help keep it from being opened or burglar-resistant glass).
- Install Security Systems and Video. Many companies have affordable home security monitoring systems that can detect forceable entry through doors and windows as well as motion detectors and monitoring. At a minimum you can install the devices yourself and monitor from your smart phone if you don’t want to pay a monthly monitoring fee.
- Walk the Walk. What you do each day, your personal habits are a major aspect in home security. Get into the habit of locking all windows and doors before leaving and always setting your alarm if you have it. Fluctuate your leave time, so it will be harder for a burglar to estimate when you will be gone and whenever you are gone, try to make it appear as if someone is home. You can do this by leaving a light on, playing the radio, and keeping the blinds in the usual position. If you will be gone for an extended period, be sure to remember to have to post office hold your mail and other deliveries and ask a neighbor to mow or water plants.
While some of these tips may seem a bit extreme, even homes in good neighborhoods can be broken into. By following these safety tips (even just some of them) can help reduce the risk of yourself or your home being victimized.