If you aren’t ready to install a technical home security system with access control, video monitoring, and all the other bells and whistles, it doesn’t mean you need to live like an easy mark for burglars.
Arm your home with the following and the chances of a home invasion will go down drastically. You can probably get a lot of this done on any given Saturday.
Install Motion Activated Lighting
These lights have motion sensors that turn on bright lights around your home at night when someone crosses your threshold – and sometimes just walking along the sidewalk. Have you ever been on a late night walk and passed one of these houses only to suddenly have the lights come on? It’s a clear deterrent. You might have even picked up your pace a little even though you had no intention of snooping around.
Limit Street Visibility
Thieves rarely bust into a house without knowing what’s in it. They typically scope the area out and look for clear signs of valuable items – big screen TVs, expensive furniture, etc.
There are of course ways you can arrange your house so these items aren’t basically put on display for anyone passing by, but if that’s not really an option for you, invest in some high quality window treatments – shades, thick shutters, etc. – that will protect your home from prying eyes.
Upgrade Your Doors & Locks
Many rental homes have doors made of cheap plywood secured with locks that are about ready to fall off. It wouldn’t take much force to bust in.
Upgrade these. You want solid wood or even metal doors, as well as deadbolts and security chains.
Secure Your Windows
This especially goes for your ground floor windows, which are typical access points for home invaders.
Make sure these are all locked and secure.
It’s also a good idea to plant some monstrous thorny bushes just outside of them for good measure.
Make Your Backyard Harder To Access
A waist-high chain link fence isn’t going to cut it. You want a tall wooden fence, preferably with angle cuts at the top.
This is especially important if your backyard isn’t in clear sight of your neighbors. If your backyard just leads back into an alley, you need to seriously limit access.
Buy A Dog
If you’re a dog person, now might be the time to purchase one. Large breeds are ideal here – and don’t worry, there are plenty of breeds that appear intimidating and can seriously mess up an intruder, but are gentle giants when it comes to their owners and family.
That said, even a little dog (or two) is going to act as a deterrent. Think of them as little furry, mobile alarm systems.
Never Leave The Impression That Your Home Is Empty
- Use light timers to go off periodically when you’re away from your home for long periods of time.
- Never post vacation dates on social media.
- Put mail and newspaper deliveries on hold for a while if you’re leaving town – burglars look for piled up mail as an indication that the homeowners or renters are away.
- Keep a car parked in the driveway or in front of the house. If you’re a gun owner, some IRA stickers are always a nice touch.