10 Home Security Tips
Expert Advice

Image: Deposit Photos, luckybusiness

Ready to ramp up your home or apartment’s security? There is no shortage of home security systems and devices to choose from. Let’s consider some proactive measures that you can take to protect your space. Here are some home security tips that will help protect your home and deter intruders.

1. Secure Doors and Windows

Locking all doors and windows is the easiest defense against intruders. Burglars often look for easy targets, and an unlocked door or window is the perfect entry point. It’s good practice to keep them locked at all times, even when you are at home.

Some devices can help you keep track of all entryways. Door and window sensors track whether a door or window has been left ajar, and smart locks can be scheduled to lock automatically at certain times.

2. Upgrade Door Locks

If you don’t have high-quality locks, make sure all exterior doors have a deadbolt, making it more difficult for intruders to break in. Make sure door frames and hinges are strong enough to endure an attempted break-in. Consider upgrading to smart locks, which you can engage remotely.

3. Install Home Security System

Home security systems are the most effective way to prevent intruders from entering your home and alert you when there’s a break-in. Data shows that a home without a security system is roughly three times more likely to be broken into. If an intruder spots a security camera or a sign indicating you have a security system, they will most likely move on to an easier target.

Home security cameras add another layer of protection and can alert you if there’s movement in your yard or on your front porch. Door and window sensors will let you know if someone has entered or is attempting to enter your home. Depending on your security monitoring company, they may also alert law enforcement on your behalf.

There are plenty of affordable security cameras and great DIY security systems, in addition to stand-alone devices, out there that you can install yourself on a budget.

4. Keep Valuables Hidden

Avoid keeping your expensive items where intruders can easily see them as they scope potential targets. Keep your garage door closed so expensive tools or bikes are not out in the open. Expensive electronics, purses, jewelry, cash and other big-ticket items should not be seen in front of open windows. Consider installing window treatments like curtains or blinds to keep out spying eyes.

5. Install Outdoor Lighting

Since crimes are often ones of opportunity, outdoor lights may encourage the intruder to keep moving. Instead of keeping your outdoor light on all the time, invest in motion-sensor lights that illuminate the yard when movement is detected. The light will catch an intruder off-guard and potentially scare them off. Boosting your video-surveillance system with outdoor security cameras goes hand in hand with outdoor lighting as the perfect deterrent to crime.

6. Keep Garage Locked

The garage can be an easy way to gain entrance into your home. Be sure any doors and windows to your garage are locked. Consider keeping your garage door opener in the house rather than in your car where someone could steal it. Keep the interior door from the garage to your home locked as well. That way, if someone does enter your garage, they cannot get into your home. Purchase a retrofit smart garage door opener. These devices allow you to check the status of your garage while away and control it remotely.

7. Be smart about Hiding a Key

If you have a house key under a doormat or flowerpot, it’s time to rethink that placement. Intruders know these popular hiding places and those are the first places they will look. Consider giving the extra key to a trusted neighbor or friend. If you must have a spare key outside, there are safer alternatives such as a concealed combination lockbox or a fake rock and use a discreet and unexpected location far away from your doorway.

8. Make it Look Like Someone Is Home

Most burglars do not want to enter a home when people are there.  One of the best ways to prevent a break in is to make it look like someone is always there. During the workday or while out in the evening, consider leaving on interior lights and keeping the TV on. When you’re gone for a longer period, such as a vacation, make sure to have someone collect your mail or have the USPS hold your mail until you return home. Smart lights can create an even more convincing effect: many can be programmed to turn on and off periodically to simulate a person being home.

9. Buy a Safe

Consider buying a safe to keep cash, jewelry, important documents, and other special items you do not want to lose. Make Laptops, tablets, and other electronic devices more difficult to steal by putting them in a concealed place when not in use and while away from home. Thieves want to be in and out as quickly as possible, so the smallest deterrent can help to make sure they steal as little as possible.

10. Deter Porch Pirates

Home security includes your front porch, so that means protecting your delivered packages from porch pirates. Billions of packages are delivered every year in the US alone — especially during the holiday season — and many of those delivered packages sit unattended for hours, attracting thieves. One recent study found that 43% of respondents reported having a package stolen in 2020, which is up from 36% in 2019.

With porch piracy on the rise, there are several ways to keep your items safe, such as purchasing a porch lockbox. You can also require a signature upon delivery to prevent your packages from sitting unattended until you get home.

Final Thoughts

You can keep your family and belongings safe by implementing these home security tips. Focus on just a couple of items at first. Once you have those down, you can move on to other suggested tips. Each improvement will ensure your home and loved ones are more secure.