How to Secure Your Home: 10 Tips to Discourage Thieves
Make criminals think twice about targeting your property.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there were about 1.1 million burglaries in the United States in 2019, the latest year for which statistics are available. While there’s no foolproof way to avoid becoming a victim of property crime, following these basic home security and safety tips can make your house a less appealing target.
Outdoor cameras can deter burglars who don’t want to run the risk of being recorded and recognized. Many of the best cameras record in 2K or 4K resolution and even feature night vision capabilities. Advances in technology make it more likely homeowners will get a clear view of a thief, and the criminals know that. You’ll want to ensure that likely points of approach and entry are within the view of cameras so thieves can’t take advantage of blind spots.
Burglars hate drawing attention to themselves, so setting up a security system with sensors around doors and windows can drive them away. Wireless technology has made installation much easier than in the past, and many companies offer subscription-based monitoring and emergency dispatch services.
Video doorbells can be especially effective in preventing package theft or catching porch pirates in the act. Many also allow for two-way communication so you can answer the door from inside, at work, or on vacation via a smartphone app.
Many alarm companies provide yard signs, stickers, or magnets to let everyone know you have a security system protecting the home. Display these in easy-to-spot areas as a warning to burglars.
Illuminating the perimeter of your house means people can’t take advantage of the shadows to conceal their activities. You can hardwire lamps or use wireless solar lights to provide coverage around the house. Outside lighting has the added benefit of making your security cameras more visible, increasing the deterrent effect.
Light timers have been around for decades and are especially useful for when you’re out of town. These simple devices let you set a time, or various times, for indoor lights to turn on and off. Doing so can create the illusion that someone is home, which is something burglars want to avoid.
Doors are a likely point of entry for intruders, so make sure to install a reliable lock set. Consider adding a deadbolt to the front, back, and side doors. There are various options for sliding doors, including security bars that prevent them from opening until you remove the obstacle.
It’s tempting to leave your windows open on a hot, humid night, but doing so creates a glaring weak spot in home security. Lock windows whenever you’re asleep or away from home to make it more difficult for thieves to enter.
An open garage door is a big vulnerability. Even if burglars don’t enter your home, they can access your car, tools, lawnmower, or anything else you’re storing there. Make sure the garage door closes all the way and cannot be easily lifted. If you have a manual door, consider buying a lock.
Neighbors may spot something unusual like a person sneaking around your yard or taking photos of the house. Keeping an eye on each other’s property when working in the yard or heading to the car might just prevent a break in. Don’t be nosy—just observant!
Taking home security seriously is an important part of protecting yourself, your family, and your property. While there’s no guarantee that you won’t be affected by crime, you can make criminals think twice before targeting your house.