Home security doesn’t have to be an expensive investment. Often, a series of small changes in your day-to-day activities paired with basic home maintenance can have a big impact on the overall safety of your home.
Read on for five tips to make your home safer without breaking the bank.
1. Lock and Secure Doors and Windows
The International Association of Certified Home Instructors found that 34% of burglars enter through the front door, 23% through a first-floor window, and 22% through the back door. Therefore, one of the most effective ways to protect your home is to secure these common entry points. Here’s how:
· Always lock doors and windows. Use deadbolt locks whenever possible.
· Don’t hide spare keys in your yard. Instead, ask a trusted neighbor to keep them secure within his or her home.
· Fix or replace doors and windows that show sign of wear and tear or decline.
· Keep your garage door closed when not in use, and always lock the door connecting your garage to the interior of your home.
· Don’t use a window air conditioning unit, as these are easy to kick in to gain entry into your home.
· Lock your car in the driveway, especially if it has your garage door opener in it.
· Invest in a basic monitored alarm system to ensure 9-1-1 is contacted in the event of an emergency.
2. Maintain Your Home’s Outward Appearance
Burglars and robbers will often look for dark or discreet places to hide in your yard during a break-in attempt, or use your landscaping against you. To combat:
· Trim bushes and shrubs around windows and doors so they can’t be used as hiding spots.
· Cut trees or branches that a burglar could climb to access upper-floor windows, roofs or balconies.
· Don’t place trellises or lattices in areas where they could be scaled.
· Use landscaping strategically as a deterrent. For example, consider thorny bushes (like rose bushes) or gravel, which is noisier than mulch.
You’ll also want to ensure that your home looks lived in. An unkempt yard can signal to a burglar or robber that you are away or less attentive. If going out of town:
· Ask a neighbor to cut your grass or shovel snow, so that it appears like you are around.
· Put a stop on your mail and newspaper delivery, or ask a neighbor to collect it for you until you return.
· Ask a neighbor to park in your driveway on occasion.
3. Use Lighting to Your Advantage
A well-lit yard can deter mischief on your property. People will be less likely to cause harm if there is a greater chance of them being seen. Light can also be used to trick others into thinking you’re home, when you are not.
· Ensure lampposts and other outside lights work properly.
· Consider motion sensor lights for areas close to your home (example: front porch), or that might be a good hiding spot for burglars.
· When away, use smart home automation to time indoor lights to turn on and off or leave some lights on, so it looks like you’re home.
4. Don’t Advertise Wealth
Burglars and robbers will be much more enticed to break into a home if they think the reward for doing so is great. To make your home less attractive:
· View your house from the outside both during the day and at night. What can you see when looking in the windows? Strategically re-position expensive equipment and electronics, so they are out of sight from window “shoppers.”
· Break down boxes and packaging from new purchases (like TVs), and place them in a garbage can versus putting them on the curb for pickup.
· Use high-quality blinds or curtains to conceal your home from prying eyes.
5. Practice Smart Fire Safety
From 2013-2017, there was an average of 354,400 home fires each year, resulting in more than 2,600 deaths each year. Don’t let your household become a statistic with these fire prevention tips:
· Install smoke detectors on every floor of your home.
· Change the batteries in smoke detectors, and check that they are working properly at least twice a year. (A good best practice is to do this at the same time you move your clock forward or backward).
· Keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen.
· Never leave your stove or oven on unattended.
· Remove lint from your dryer before each load of laundry.
· Keep flammable materials away from heat sources like candles, space heaters or fireplaces.
Need help securing your home at an affordable cost? ADS Security’s basic home security package includes free professional installation, security panel, 24/7 monitoring, Wi-Fi and cellular backup, mobile app, smoke detector, and door and motion sensors—all with a lifetime guarantee. Contact us today to learn more.