Home security systems have grown in popularity over the years but the simple truth is that there are ways you can ensure your home security aside from using a security system. While having a system is a good idea, it is not the only idea. There are things that you have to do to ensure your family’s safety and the safety of your home and many of these things will cost you nothing.
From remembering to lock the doors when you leave to always keeping your windows locked, some security steps are not expensive nor are they time-consuming. Whether you are leaving on vacation, going to work or even staying at home, you want to know that your home, family and possessions are safe and secure. We have put together a list of things that you can do to better protect your home and family.
You can try one of these tips or try them all. You simply can never be too safe. These tips are effective, easy to initiate and best of all, many of them are completely free.
Use Alarm System Decals – Even If You Don’t Have An Alarm
You can buy fake alarm system decals that will deter would-be burglars. eBay sells them or you can pick them up in yard sales and other places. Although you will know that you don’t really have an alarm system in your home, burglars will certainly think twice about trying to enter when they see the decals that say your home is protected.
Keep Your Landscaping Neat
Criminals love places to hide so if you have untrimmed bushes near your windows, this is virtually like inviting them to enter your home. If you are going to be away from home for some time, it is particularly important that you keep your lawn mowed and bushes trimmed to give the impression that you are still at home.
Get a Dog
You don’t actually have to get a dog, but studies have shown that barking dogs deter burglars. If you don’t have a dog and don’t really want one, there are alarm systems that sound like barking dogs when they are triggered. Would-be burglars will worry about confronting your canine friends and will be gone before they can do any damage.
Keep Your Mail Picked Up
If you are planning to be gone on vacation, ask a neighbor to pick up your mail every day while you are away. You could also ask the post office to hold your mail and cancel newspaper subscriptions until you return. A mailbox filled with uncollected mail is the first indication to a burglar that no one is at home.
Keep Electronics Boxes Out of Sight
Leaving boxes from major electronics on the curb or on your porch lets criminals know that you have these things in your house. Security experts recommend you tear down the boxes or haul them to the dump right away. If needed, you can just cut them up into smaller pieces and hide them in your trash can.
Buy Light Timers
Keeping your indoor and outdoor lights on timers is an excellent way to give burglars the impression that you are at home, even when you are not. Timers are inexpensive and will turn on your lights at a certain time every evening. This is also a good idea for when you arrive home late at night. You won’t have to worry with forgetting to turn on lights when the timer does it for you.
Don’t Broadcast Your Plans
If you are going to be on vacation, you shouldn’t really broadcast the fact that you will be away. While you may want to hit Facebook and alert all of your friends that you are heading to Maui, it is best to wait until you return home and then let them know what a good time you had. A broadcast that you are going to be away from home could fall into the wrong hands.
Install Dummy Surveillance Cameras
You don’t need to purchase expensive surveillance cameras. You can actually trick burglars by installing cameras that seem like they are watching your home, even if they really aren’t. There are some great ways that you can install webcams and turn those cameras into security cameras that allow you to keep an eye on your home no matter where you are.
Bar Doors and Windows
Sliding doors and windows give burglars good opportunities to enter your home. By simply placing wooden dowels or metal bars on these areas, you can secure them so that burglars can’t open them. You just cut the dowels so that they fit into the tracks whenever the doors and windows are closed.
Leave Tracks in the Snow
If you are going to be gone during winter, burglars will actually look for tracks around your home in the snow. Have a neighbor come to your house and track up your yard so that it looks as if you are home. Untouched snow is a certain indicator to burglars that you are gone, particularly if it remains untouched for a couple of days.
Keep Ladders Put Away
If you have a ladder just sitting up against your house, you can bet that a burglar is going to use it to enter your upstairs windows. Most won’t bring their own ladders and you certainly do not want to make their jobs easier. Put ladders away in the garage or work shed when they are not in use.
Reinforce Door Jambs
If your door jambs or frames are weak, you want to reinforce them so that they are not easy to kick in. When burglars cannot jar the locks, they may resort to kicking in the doors and if you reinforce those doors, you make their jobs much harder. Most burglars will give up when they cannot easily enter a home.
Invest in Tougher Windows
While this is not a free security tip, it is an important one. Even if you do everything else right to deter burglars, if your windows are easy to break then someone is likely to intrude your home. You can get double-glazed windows that are much tougher to break so that burglars are not as likely to come inside.
Close the Garage Door
When you are gone you should always keep the garage door closed. If you forget to close it regularly, a timer may be a good idea. You can simply set the timer to close the door for you after a specific amount of time has elapsed so that burglars can’t get inside. The sensors are easy to install and relatively cheap considering the alternative.
Check Your Door Locks
If the only locks on your doors are knob locks, you need better locks. You should never rely on knob locks as your only form of security. Top locks make your home much more secure and are relatively easy to install. Deadbolts along with knob locks make it twice as difficult to pry the door open and enter.
Set Up a Neighborhood Watch
This is a completely free tip that will help you to protect your home and the homes of your neighbors. If you don’t already have some sort of neighborhood watch in place, you may want to talk with your neighbors and set one up. Studies have shown that you can reduce the level of crime in your neighborhood by as much as 26 percent when you have a neighborhood watch program in place.
Get a Safe
Safes are really inexpensive and great for keeping things safe from burglars as well as fires. You can find many different kinds of safes so it is completely possible to get the perfect one for your needs. whether you want something that you can hide in the wall or just something that you can shove under the bed, important documents, expensive jewelry and other valuables should always be protected by a safe.
Motion Sensors Are Essential
Motion sensors are not terribly expensive and come in very handy when protecting your home. Most home security systems today offer these sensors and you have the choice of a low monthly fee or a low upfront cost. You can install the sensors yourself, saving you a lot of money over professional installation.
Install a Peephole
If your main door does not have a peephole, you should install one. You want to always be able to tell who is at your door before you open it. It takes just a little time to install the peephole and it can be a great addition to your home security lineup. No matter what type of door you have, there is a way to install a peephole.
Build a Hiding Place for Valuables
If you have valuable jewelry, cash or other items that you really want to keep hidden, you can build your own hiding place. Burglars have gotten smart enough to check under the matters and in the freezer but there are numerous other places in your home that will work for a hiding place that they would never think to check.