What areas of your home are vulnerable to invasion? When was the last time you updated the security of your locks, windows, doors and other remote entrances that are attractive to burglars? Start thinking about the unique features of your home security that work for you and against you. Consider the following security tips if you are installing a high-tech home security system.
1. Use plants and other obstructions to your advantage
Sometimes the best defenses are natural defenses. Any sort of large obstruction on your property can help keep would-be burglars away. Planting trees, bushes, and hedges is a great way to keep windows from being easily accessed. A would-be invader would have to climb through bushes, causing noises and injury, making entering through the windows less appealing.
2. Keep All Blinds And Shades Drawn.
Before you leave the property, make sure all windows are outfitted with blinds or shades and that they are drawn shut. So many people forget to install shades and drapes in places where burglars commonly enter, like the bathroom and basement windows. Keep the shades drawn makes these entry ways less noticeable, and also prevent criminals from taking a look at your possessions inside. This psychological trick deters the criminal from entering, keeping your home safe.
3. Leave Lights On, Especially In Unfrequented Parts Of The Property.
While you might always turn your lights off upon leaving to keep electic bills low, this might actually be an invitation for a home burglary. If you plan on being away for an extended period of time, it is crucial to leave your home illuminated. Even with the shades or blinds drawn, any criminals would be hard-pressed to assume there wasn’t anyone home based on the use of light. This is double true for locations on your property you visit infrequently. Make sure they are constantly lit at night using a timer, and that someone is keeping an eye on any remote or secluded property.
4. Get A Dog For Companionship Or Protection.
Besides making great companions, dogs are a natural protection against home invasion. Most dogs, regardless of any training or size, will bark at noises and people that are unfamiliar to them. This can result in many unwanted barking episodes, but in the end, you will be glad that Fido was able to scare off a burglar. Before considering a dog as a security weapon, be sure you have the time, resources, and funds to properly take care of the dog based on its needs.
5. Install Security Doors
Having sturdy strong security doors is the most basic yet powerful preventer of burglary and home invasion. Old homes and buildings often have flimsy main entry doors that make it easy for unwanted intruders to enter using simple tools. Inside the property, be sure to replace any old doors that might lead to especially vulnerable locations like bedrooms and offices. If your doors are up-to-date and strong, make sure all the locks are updated and working properly. Installing additional locks on doors at important points in the house is highly recommended.
6. Use Safes For Storing Valuables.
While securing all entry points of your property is the first step in protecting any valuables, the next step is keeping them stored in a concealed and locked location. Of course a safe deposit box at your local bank is the safest method to store away valuables, but if you like to keep your heirlooms at home, safes and lockboxes are an important layer of protection in preventing property loss from a burgalry. Assuming an invader makes it inside, valuables like jewelry, cash, and firearms can be hidden and even if the safe is discovered, a good safe should be impenetrable and unmovable from its location.
7. Let The Post Office Know Of Your Travel Plans.
Never let mail pile up in your mailbox while you are away. Unchecked mail is a giveaway for would-be burglars that the homeowner is away on a trip. If you are leaving for a trip longer than a couple of days, notify the post office to hold your mail and packages. Try not to make any online order that would be delivered by UPS or FedEx when you are away. Chances are that the package would be left on your doorstep. If you must have a package delivery in your absence, ask a neighbor, friend or family member to collect the package for you. If you have the tracking number of the package you are expecting, you can call the carrier and ask the package to be held at a nearby UPS or FedEx Kinkos store.
8. Secure All Windows And Sliding Doors.
Not all windows and sliding doors are built with secure locks you can trust. Some old windows tend to lack locking mechanisms entirely, or an old window can have a non-working window lock. Watch out for flimsy locks on some sliding glass doors that are easily broken. Be sure to examine each window or sliding door in your house well before you plan to go on vacation. If any windows are old or cannot support the installation of new locks, consider replacing them. The same goes for sliding glass doors; if the locks are weak or there aren’t any, consider replacing the door. While this might seem like an expensive hassle, there is nothing worse than having your property broken into and all of your possessions stolen.
9. Notify Your Neighbors
Let your neighbors know if you are leaving for an extended period of time. If they are going to be in town while you are away, they can keep an eye on your property and notify you of any suspicious activity.
10. Install Warning Signs.
Putting up warning signs around strategic points on your property is a surprisingly good way to deter crime. A “Beware of Dog” or “Property Under Surveillance” sign can go a long way in making any would-be criminal think twice before breaking and entering. Because these signs work psychologically, they can be successful deterrents even if the stated threat doesn’t exist.
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