We’d all like to believe our home is secure 24 hours of the day, 7 days a week. Unfortunately, when we leave our home to work, go to school, and even run small errands, our homes run the risk of being prey to robbery and thefts. Increasingly, however, even being home might not stop the presence of a robber, and it can cause us to feel unsafe in our own home. What can someone do to protect themselves?
The Prevalence of Break-Ins
In the United States alone, there were 101,120 strong-arm robberies reported in 2019. In addition, over 80,000 firearm robberies, 23,000 robberies with other weapons, and 19,000 robberies with a knife or cutting instrument were reported. That’s a staggering amount of robberies that can prove to be deadly, and those don’t include robberies that involved no weapon at all! Break-ins are also an increasingly large problem, with the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics reporting over 3.5 million break-ins in 2010, and 2.2 million in 2019! Is there a reason these numbers have gone down?
It’s hard to say what has exactly caused the number of robberies to decrease over the past decade (though the numbers are still in the millions). One good guess might be the creation and implementation of brand-new security technology that has helped curb would-be intruders. Nowadays, it’s hard to find a home that doesn’t have at least one, if not more residential security systems. From live-feed footage to motion detectors, even a simple guard-dog, security measures and having the best home security plans are easily obtainable. It’s up to the homeowner to ensure that his or her home will be secured in case of a robbery. Moreover, the casing of houses, unwelcome intruders trespassing on property, or worse could be lurking near your home. Without the help of a security plan, it’s unknown if one can be fully protected from crime. Another statistic by the Bureau of Justice showed that nearly 7% of people were inside their homes while undergoing a robbery. Don’t take a chance, and protect yourself and your family. The 15 tips below are just the beginning of developing the best home security plans for your family. Add on to it as you see fit, and invest in help from professionals in the security industry such as a door locksmith, electrician, and light installer.
1. Replace Windows
A burglar or other criminal can enter your home through what is known as a weak point of entry. Though we would like to think that the window that’s always stuck is just an inconvenience, it could prove costly and deadly. Replace windows that are stuck in place, are more than 20 years old, and are showing signs of decay. Windows that no longer provide a good seal are indicators that a new retail or commercial window installer is needed. In addition, windows that have rotting wood frames should also be replaced, along with window locks. You can even add reinforcements to windows as an extra security measure as well.
2. Replace Locks
Moving into a new home can be exciting, and one might not even consider changing the locks that came on an old home. However, part of making the best home security plans is to be prepared for everything, including break-ins from faulty locks. Change locks that look rusted, have loose or short screws, or simply came with the house beforehand. Old homeowners might still have their old house keys with them, and if stolen or lost, this can prove to be dangerous for your home.
3. Install Doorbell Cameras
Now, more than ever, economic times are hard, leading even everyday people to commit burglaries from a front-porch! Known as “porch pirates,” these people steal packages that are readily available on the front porch of someone’s home. Unfortunately, not all homes are equipped with gates, leaving the front of your home open and exposed. Packages can be expensive, and having one go missing is like losing out on money not just for the product, but shipping costs and lost time! Installing doorbell cameras can not only help you know who is ringing your doorbell but also see who might steal your packages out front of your home. It is quite obvious now when a doorbell camera is installed, making would-be intruders that masquerade as another visitor think twice before ringing your doorbell.
4. Install Motion Sensors
Motion sensors are a great way to capture activity on camera while you’re away or even asleep. The best home security plans involve being able to gather evidence in case of a burglary even while one isn’t able to see the intruders or criminals. Motion sensor cameras are a great way to record people that are casing your property, possibly robbing your valuables in your yard, or even to capture wildlife that could prove dangerous such as cougars and coyotes.
5. Use Home Automation
Home automation systems are an essential part of the best home security plans. Home automation security systems can allow you to control your alarm systems, motion cameras, lighting, locks, and even doors remotely. A home automation system is fairly inexpensive, with some of the best such as SimpliSafe costing just under $300 dollars. It’s a small price to pay for not just safety, but also convenience. Imagine a house where you simply have to ask your system to turn on the radio and lights, set the home alarm, and even play music! It’s not a bad idea.
6. Install Secure Fencing
Many homes do not automatically come with fencing, which is troubling if you live in a neighborhood prone to break-ins. Getting professional fence installation on your home can allow you to have an extra layer of protection to your home, provide privacy, and even allow you to have gatherings in peace. In addition, installing a fence can allow you to remain confident that your packages and mail will be safe from intruders and robbers.
7. Always Repair Garage Doors
The garage might seem like the last place to pay attention to. After all, homeowners usually only spend time in their garage to park their cars, store old Christmas lights, or do laundry. However, garage doors are notorious for being weak entry points that can allow access inside your home. The best home security plans to prevent this involve repairing your garage door as soon as you notice it is no longer in working order. Replace damaged doors, damaged locks, and also consider frosting your garage windows for an added layer of security and privacy.
8. Cover Glass
Whether you’re sitting in your living room, washing dishes, or enjoying a view from your bedroom, chances are, you’re enjoying the view through glass windows. We’ve talked about replacing old windows, however, covering them is also an essential part of the best home security plans. To put it simply, not covering your windows allows intruders to know exactly where you might put your valuables, how many people are in the home and when, and worse, simply watch you for their own entertainment. You never want to fall victim to a stalker or intruder, so covering your glass windows is essential. Simple blinds and curtains can help. In addition, installing bars on your window is a great method of adding super protection on your windows. Though it might not be aesthetically appealing, bars on your windows are one of the surest ways to protect your home.
9. Get a Guard Dog
Dogs are amazing companions, not just for children, but adults and their homes as well. In fact, there are an estimated 500,000 service dogs in the US ready for duty. But did you know that more than service dogs, dogs can also be useful as guard dogs? Though we’d all like to believe that our pups would protect us at a moment’s notice, dogs are friendly by nature, inquisitive, and can easily be bribed and calmed with snacks. However, a well-trained guard dog can alert you to changes going on in your backyard, ensure you’re protected from intruders should they barge in and are intimidating for potential robbers casing your home. With the help of a guard dog that you love and care for, robbers are sure to be chased away.
10. Consider Automatic Gates
The best home security plans involve protecting not just your home itself, but also the property around it. If you have a long driveway or various entrances to your property, investing in commercial gates are a great idea. Commercial gates can be accessed through key cards, or even codes and can be equipped with speakers to allow you to know who is coming on to your property beforehand. Commercial gates are an excellent way to make sure your home is outfitted and fully protected, inside and out.
11. Install Lights
Not everyone knows that full-sized lamp posts can be installed onto one’s property fairly easily, and these full-sized posts in addition to extra lighting can be a great deterrent for intruders. Robbers work under the guise of night, and having a security system that uses motion sensor lights, or simply extra lighting can all help you keep your property illuminated. In addition, having lights helps if you have a large property and come home from work late at night. Patio lights are a good choice if you want lighting that is both secure and also aesthetically pleasing.
12. Don’t Share Details
With all the added security to your home, bragging and telling your friends and neighbors might seem like a good idea. However, sharing details on your security systems makes it easier for an intruder to know how to avoid certain areas and stop from getting caught. Keep your lips sealed, and trust that your security system will do its work if you don’t put it at risk! The best home security plans involve both preparation and secrecy.
13. Add Security System Signs
Cameras and sensors might be too small to detect on your home, leaving intruders to take a chance and still want to rob your home. However, if you add security signs to your home, this can lessen the chances of an intruder wanting to enter your property. This is especially true if you own a larger property or piece of land. For the best home security plans in action, make signs that are large enough to be read from the street, and install them everywhere on your property. Signs can easily be hung up on chain link fencing around your property, which is also a great security measure.
14. Don’t Share Vacation Photos
In the days of social media, it’s easy to get ahead of oneself and start posting pictures of your vacation, stories on your timeline, or updates on Instagram. If your account is not private, or if you have old friends that aren’t exactly close to you, these all pose the threat of having people share that you’re away from home. Once someone knows you’re away from home, this leaves your home open for security breaches. Don’t become a victim of a robbery because of social media, and refrain from posting your vacation pictures until after you’ve returned from your vacation.
15. Have Someone Collect Mail
When you leave for vacation or for a long trip, mail can quickly start to pile up in your mailbox and front of your home. This is a sign to nearby burglars and intruders that you’re not home! For the best security plans while you’re away by asking your neighbor to pick up your mail for you. If you usually get mail through a slot in your door and don’t have a trusty neighbor, this can also pose an issue. However, a door specialist can help you find a better solution and replace your door with a new, more secure option.