Although it’s often your most expensive investment, your home doesn’t always need a high-priced monitoring system to keep it safe. Often it’s the little things that prompt thieves to give your abode a pass as shown by these 14 low-budget ways to make your home more secure.
1. Get a law enforcement check. Many police departments offer free home inspections. An officer walks through your home and recommends ways for beefing up your security.
2. Trim the foliage around doors, windows, and other entrances of the home. Burglars won’t be able to use your trees and bushes for cover when casing or breaking into your home.
3. Add motion sensors to all external lights. A sudden burst of illumination may be all that’s needed to scare a criminal approaching your home. You don’t need to replace the light fixture. Versions are available that screw into the light socket. You then screw the bulb into the sensor.
4. Put fake security signs on your windows, which are cheaper than alarm systems. But make sure the companies displayed in the signs are real because criminals can Google them. A “Beware of Dog” sign also works even if you don’t have a dog.
5. Don’t hide a key outside the house. Thieves know all the hiding places.
6. Put a peephole in your door so you won’t have to open it to know who is on the other side. If you don’t want to drill a hole, a video doorbell installs where your current doorbell is and can give you a real-time view of visitors via smart phone even when you’re not at home.
7. Secure patio doors. A thick stick in the track works but can be inconvenient to remove if you open the door often. A foot lock that installs at the bottom of the door is more convenient because you step on it to hold the door securely.
8. Replace indoor switches with timers. Easy-to-install timers work as regular switches when you’re at home. And when you’re not, they turn your lights on and off to give the home a lived-in look. Use them in rooms that are visible from the street, such as kitchens and bedrooms.
9. Don’t announce vacation plans or plans to leave the house on social media. Criminals browse Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see what houses are going to be empty. If you must post your vacation pics online, do it after you get back home.
10. Stop newspaper subscriptions and mail when you go on vacation. A sure sign of an empty home is a pile of newspapers by the front door or an overflowing mailbox.
11. Exchange phone numbers with your neighbors. They’ll be the first ones to notice if you left the garage door open, your sprinkler system has sprung a leak, or someone’s breaking in.
12. And while you’re at it, start a neighborhood watch program, which can be an effective way to make your entire community safer. Your local law enforcement agency can help.
13. Use a security mailbox to prevent thieves from stealing your checks, bills, or credit card offers. It allows the postal carrier to deposit mail through an opening but requires a key to retrieve the mail.
14. Don’t keep your garage door opener in the car. A thief can break into your vehicle, find your address from the registration card, and use your opener to enter your home before you realize anything is wrong. Instead, use a keychain remote that you can take with you when you leave your car.
For more tips on keeping your home safe or if you want to tour a model with built-in security features, please contact us.