If you would like to make sure your home is as secure as possible from thieves, there are a few time-proven steps you can take.
We’ve checked with some of the best home security specialists around and whittled down their ideas to these twelve smart and neat ways that should keep thieves away from your home.
Let’s take a look below at some of these ideas from the experts. With a good bit of common sense, you should be able to transform your home into a veritable fortress that no thieves will dare (or care) to invade.
In the Post
- #1 – Use exterior lighting
- #2 – Lock your doors & windows
- #3 – Don’t leave notes
- #4 – Make your home secure
- #5 – Don’t hide spare keys outside
- #6 – Leave the stereo & TV on
- #7 – Ask friends for help
- #8 – Install a security system
- #9 – Get a dog
- #10 – Don’t advertise expensive purchases
- #11 – Install decent locks
- #12 – Leave a car in the driveway
#1 – Use exterior lighting
Exterior lighting will nearly always make a potential robber think twice about burglarizing your home. A well-lit entrance is an effective deterrent because burglars will always look for houses they can enter without being seen. Install a light near every exterior entrance to your home.
Motion-activated floodlights are especially effective, especially if you’re planning to be away overnight. Put them in both your front and back yard so when anything moves nearby, the light comes on.
The first thing a burglar thinks when a darkened area is lit up is that he’s been spotted by someone in the house.
From that point on, he will never be 100% sure whether he’s been seen or not. Most often, he won’t want to take any chances and will vacate the area to be on the safe side.
In addition to motion detectors, you can turn your lights on by using a timer. This is especially effective with inside lights. Even though they are actually activated by a timing device, burglars will think that someone is home and turning the lights on and off.
#2 – Lock your doors & windows
Sure, this is obvious, but home security systems are not going to work if you leave the front door unlocked. If a burglar can walk right in through your front door, it’s your fault when everything you cherish winds up being taken away.
Lots of times, burglaries take place because doors or windows are left unlocked. To keep this from happening, double-check and make sure all of your external doors are locked securely. Yes, this means the front, back, and side doors of your home.
Even if you’re going out for a short walk about the block, lock every single door and window in your home. And don’t forget sliding glass doors. If it opens, lock it. Place a metal rod or dowel into the track of the door to supplement the door’s lock.
Any window that can be opened more than six inches is an invitation for an intruder to slip in. Dowels placed along your window tracks are a simple and effective deterrent.
Balconies can also provide burglars easy access to your home. If there’s a door or window there, keep it locked. And don’t forget to treat garage doors the same as any other door in the house and lock each one.
Also, be sure to lock any other door or window that leads to the inside of any part of your house.
#3 – Don’t leave notes
Never leave notes on your door. Even if you are out working in the back yard, a note left for a delivery service, friends, or visitors, will be like advertising that you are away from home. Thieves look on your porch for packages or loose items to steal.
If they spot a note on your door, the first thing that comes into their mind is that you are not there. It’s an open invitation for them to burglarize your home at their first opportunity.
#4 – Make your home secure
When you’re away from home, don’t leave the curtains open. Thieves love to scope out a house before they rob it, and if the curtains are open, they can see inside. The more they see, the more they think they will be able to take when they break into your house.
Hide any valuables in unexpected places where they can’t be seen, like inside an empty box. Don’t hide anything valuable in a sock drawer. Any thief worth his salt is going to look there first.
Even if you’re only going out for the evening or for a single night, always be sure to close your blinds and curtains so no one can see inside your home.
#5 – Don’t hide spare keys outside
Never leave a spare key to your house anywhere outside. No matter where you think a key might be safe, it won’t be for an experienced and persistent burglar. This is especially true if you try hiding a key in an obvious place, such as under the welcome mat or in with a potted plant.
Remember that thieves check the most obvious locations first. When they find the key you’ve hidden, they’ve gained easy access to your home.
If you’re afraid you’ll accidentally lock yourself outside your home and want to have access to a spare key, give it to a trusted neighbor, friend, or close relative. If you feel you must have a spare key, then store it in a place that is secured with a lock.
Your hiding place can be:
- A key hider that can hold your key but looks like a real stone;
- A drop box，or key vault, that you can unlock when you enter the correct security code or opened by your smartphone when you’re in range.
- Another option could be securing your door with an electronic lock instead of a manual one that opens with a key.
Make sure if it’s a combination lock, and that it opens with a sequence that only you know and no one else will be able to figure out.
#6 – Leave the stereo & TV on
When you go out, leave something on that will make a burglar think someone is actually home.
In addition to having the lights on a timer and motion sensors outdoors, leave the stereo or TV on when you’re gone.
Sure, TV sets will dim over time, especially the old plasmas. LCDs, on the other hand, don’t, so no matter how long you’re gone from the house, your TV will probably not suffer any consequences.
Leaving the stereo or TV on when you’re gone makes it seem to someone outside that there are people in your house, even if you are actually not there at all. Thieves who think a house is inhabited will nearly always think twice before trying to break in.
#7 – Ask friends for help
If you’re going to be away for a longer time, ask a friend, neighbor, or close relative to come by your house a couple of times a week to check the house out, bring in the mail, pick up any newspapers or packages, put out the trash, and bring in the empty bins.
If you’re going to be away for an extended period, they should have the lawn cut and hedges trimmed to make the house lived in.
Having someone inside your house while you’re away is a great way to discourage potential thieves.
But you also might consider picking up a couple of old mannequins from a local department store and, before you leave home, place each one inside the house where peeping toms will see them from outside.
A mannequin will make a would-be burglar who glances inside think someone is always home. The idea is to discourage potential thieves who would be tempted to rob a house if no one was staying there.
#8 – Install a security system
Alarm systems are one of the best and most common forms of home security. Whether you’re home or away, if someone breaks into your house, the alarm will alert the local authorities and send you an alert.
A home security system, such as SimpliSafe and ADT, will also scare off a persistent burglar. If one does manage to break into your home, an alarm will likely scare them away before they have a chance to steal anything.
Even the most inexpensive do-it-yourself security setup can help keep you safe, but a professional security system will add much better protection.
The nice thing about a professionally-installed system is that a technician who knows what he’s doing will set everything up for you. Then, he will explain how and why the system works so you don’t have to figure it all out by yourself.
If you’re considering a professional home security system, ADT is considered the top choice. ADT home security systems are designed to help protect your home in a way that works for you and your budget. That’s nice to know.
#9 – Get a dog
Give burglars the impression that you have a dog. They seek out easy houses to rob, and if a burglar is convinced that you have a guard dog on the premises, they will probably avoid breaking in.
Get a dog that is comfortable being inside the house, and not one that you leave tied up outside. A burglar who sees a dog chained up outside will simply enter the house from the other side so he can steal you blind even if the dog is barking.
And even though small breeds aren’t going to sound like a vicious attack dog when they’re yapping, they do make excellent watchdogs and can make a whole lot of noise. Most burglars will stay away from a home where any sort of dog resides.
#10 – Don’t advertise expensive purchases
Anytime you buy something expensive that’s big and comes in a box, never leave the empty box outside where people you don’t know can see it as they walk or drive by. Putting the box from an expensive TV out next to your trash cans is an open invitation to thieves that it’s something they can break in and steal.
Break all of these large boxes down and dispose of them so you don’t advertise to the world you’ve bought something that’s new and valuable and waiting inside your home for them to break in and haul it away.
#11 – Install decent locks
The locks on your doors most likely came from a local hardware store and are worth a couple of dollars at the most. If you want to see someone laugh, ask any locksmith how secure they are to the average burglar. Spend the dough and install high-grade locks and deadbolts on your front and rear doors.
Even if your current locks are good quality, if you’ve moved into a new house, always have them re-keyed. And anytime you’ve lost your keys, replace or re-key all the locks to be on the safe side.
#12 – Leave a car in the driveway
When thieves drive through a neighborhood, the first thing they look for is an empty driveway.
Even though leaving a car in your driveway for several days may make the house a potential target for auto theft or vandalism, when a car sits in a driveway, it adds an additional layer of home security to your house.
When a burglar sees a car there, he automatically assumes it means someone is home and will usually move on.
The FBI reports that over two million home burglaries occur every year in the United States. That’s one every fifteen seconds. Don’t make your home an open invitation for burglars to gain entry.
Home security systems are designed to keep your house from being an attractive target and to deter would-be thieves to go somewhere else.
With these helpful tips, your home will be a lot safer and you’ll feel a lot more secure about a possible home invasion of your property.