How to secure your home effectively
If you could afford it, of course, you’d install an alarm system, since it’s an excellent way to protect your home. But if you don’t have that kind of money, there are still inexpensive ways to secure your place of residence ~ numerous steps you can take yourself, and others you’ll want to hire a professional to do for you.
No property is completely impervious, but you can adhere to one main goal: Keep out potential intruders as best you can, and make it as difficult as possible to prevent a burglar from entering. Here’s how:
Establish home rules. Set up a brief list of rules, and involve everybody in the family, so everyone can cooperate to make your home safe and secure:
- Don’t answer the door, unless you know the person. (Install a peephole if you don’t have one already.)
- Whenever you’re not using your garage, keep the garage door closed and locked. Leaving it open tempts a potential prowler.
- Whenever you leave, and before you turn in for the night, lock all the windows and doors.
Don’t have a “hidden” key. A thief will locate that extra key you stash inside the mailbox, above the door, under the mat, or beneath the flower pot. Even if you have a fake-rock keyholder, a burglar will probably already know what it looks like. It’s better to trust a neighbor or friend to keep aside a spare key for you.
Don’t keep keys and remotes next to the door, visible to someone peeking in. Instead, hang them on hooks inside a cupboard door or hidden in a drawer.
Install outdoor lighting. Install a light at each door, and surrounding the perimeter of your property. Better yet, put them all on timers. Motion-sensor floodlights illuminate anytime anyone passes by. Some exterior lights respond to fluctuations in temperature, sound, and daylight. Some light systems can be connected with your smart device so you can be alerted to any suspicious activity and immediately respond.
Keep some indoor lights on whenever you’re away. If you’re gone during the day, or out for a longer time, you can make it seem like you’re still home by attaching timers to lights, TVs, radios, and stereos. You may want to add smart-device capability, so you can monitor all household activities, and make it look like it’s occupied the whole time you’re out.
Bolster your air conditioner. You can prevent an intruder from getting in through an unsecured window by adding corner braces, a bracket, or a sliding window lock.
Inside, keep your valuables out of sight. Shut blinds and drapes and if you have unusual possessions. Keep expensive jewelry, treasured objects, and emergency cash hidden in unexpected locations.
Outside, don’t put valuables on display that would attract a potential robber. For instance, if you have a luxury car, store it inside the garage.
Don’t be obvious. A criminal will case your neighborhood before pulling a job, staying on the lookout for everyone’s comings and goings. If they notice that you’re home during the daytime, they’ll likely go on to the next house. Compare your place to your neighbors’, and tone down your home’s façade accordingly. Display only modest responsible upkeep rather than extravagance.
Don’t have windows near or on your doors. Windows obviously increase the risk of a break-in, because glass can be shattered. If a door has glass, install premium-quality deadbolts. If you have a sliding glass door, a latch lock actually isn’t worth much. Enhance your security by adding a wooden dowel cut to exact size, or an adjustable safety bar, in the floor track. You can also put in a floor bolt.
Reinforce the doors. A hollow door is susceptible to break-in. A solid-core door made of wood or metal is far superior.
Make it difficult for a prowler to hide. You don’t want a trespasser to be able to hide, so keep your shrubs, trees, hedges, and all other plants trimmed. Avoid tall fences, also.
Don’t leave your ladder out in the yard. A crook could pretend to be a contractor or handyman, and climb up your ladder to enter through your balcony or a second-floor window.
A guard dog can be a good deterrent. If you don’t have a dog, play a recording of a big dog barking whenever you’re away, and post a “BEWARE OF DOG” sign.
Put up warning signs. Post a “NO TRESPASSING” or “TRESPASSERS WILL BE SHOT” sign. You can even stick an alarm company logo on the front door or front window (even if you don’t really have an alarm system
The following measures are more costly, but worth considering. If you want additional security at your property, there are some more measures you can take:
Install an electronic gate. Depending on your living situation, investing in a security gate can enable you to approve which individuals can enter your property. With a keypad, an intercom system, or even more sophisticated features such as biometrics, it’s possible to select various security clearance levels.
Buy a home safe, especially one that anchors to the floor, which will guard important documents, emergency cash, and irreplaceable valuables. Choose one with an appropriate level of fireproof and waterproof certification.
A video surveillance system might be worth the investment, depending on your circumstances and location. Decide on the level of image resolution you desire, and think about additional technical aspects. Do you want to record 24/7 footage? What about software with capture capabilities ~ time-and-date stamp code, vehicle number plate recognition, facial recognition, and so on? The decisions you make will depend on your environment, your budget, and your property. When people with criminal intentions see any aspect of your access control system, they’re liable to think twice and move on.
Do your research. There are so many ways to augment your home security. If you live in Atlanta, Georgia, you should hire a reputable locksmith company such as Atlanta Fast Locksmith, where expert staff mobile locksmiths work 24/7 to assist you, and free consultations are available.