5 Ways to Better Protect Your Home

Burglars strike every 30 seconds,1 so if you haven’t yet, make your home security your top priority. From low-effort, no-cost chores to pricier projects, here are five ways you can better protect your new home. 

Criminals scout potential targets through windows, so keep curtains and blinds closed when you’re away from home. You can also create the illusion that someone is home by using timed lighting and gadgets that simulate a TV being on. 

1. Lock Your Doors and Windows 

It may seem obvious, but many homeowners forget to lock their doors and windows. Burglars look for easy-to-access homes, and a locked door can keep them out of yours. 

The majority of burglars enter through the front door, and locking yours is an important first step in a comprehensive home security system. Installing a doorstop, for instance, can help prevent your door from being opened even when the lock is broken. 

It is also a good idea to block visibility into your windows so that criminals cannot see valuables and learn about your family's routines. You can also upgrade your locks to make it more difficult for burglars to break into your home, regardless of how they gain entry. These extra measures are simple and relatively inexpensive, making them a worthwhile investment in your family's safety. 

2. Upgrade Your Locks 

Your doors are your first line of defense against intruders. Make sure to keep them as secure as possible by repairing any broken locks, installing new ones, and keeping the exterior well-lit. Motion-sensored lights are a great deterrent, and smart doorbells like Ring can help you see who is outside before answering the door. 

For an even better security upgrade, talk to a locksmith about having the strike plate and hinges’ set screws lengthened. This simple, inexpensive trick makes it more difficult for a burglar to kick in the door. A door chain is another helpful security measure, especially for renters who may need to let in maintenance or repair workers. It allows you to open the door a few inches and engage someone without giving them free access to your home. 

3. Keep Your Windows Covered 

Burglars often look for easy opportunities to enter homes, so they can get in and out quickly without being noticed. Tall hedges and large fences offer them plenty of cover, while unattended first- and second-story windows are attractive targets. 

Make your home a harder target for thieves by keeping blinds closed, especially on ground-floor windows. Leaving blinds open gives criminals a clear view into your house, and it takes only a quick peek to notice there is nobody home. 

Consider smart window treatments that can close on cue or on a schedule to fool opportunist burglars into thinking you’re still at home. Installing a smart doorbell or video camera can also help deter unwanted intruders from targeting your property. They can be easily accessed with a smartphone and help you keep an eye on your home 24/7. 

4. Make It Look Like Someone Is Home

A deserted home is more likely to be broken into than one with an occupant, so you should make sure that your property looks as though it's being regularly used whenever possible. This will make it harder for burglars to spot that your home is empty and they might decide against committing a crime. 

It's tempting to post vacation photos on social media but doing so is essentially announcing that your house is unoccupied, giving burglars more reason to strike. Instead, ask a friend or neighbor to check on the property while you're away. 

You can also use smart devices like lights and radios that can be controlled remotely to fool opportunist burglars into thinking that someone is home. For example, setting timers so that your lights turn on at different times each day and then off again can make it look like you're in the property when you're actually not there.

5. Keep Your Valuables Out of Sight 

With one burglary occurring every 15 seconds, it is important to take a closer look at your home's security and make a few low-effort and no-cost improvements. Start by walking around the outside of your house to see what is visible from the street or sidewalk. 

For instance, if you have expensive electronics packages sitting out by the curb for trash day, that gives potential thieves an idea of what is inside. Consider storing these items in your garage or shed. 

Similarly, don't display any valuable jewelry or cash on counters or tables in sight of windows and doors. You can also hide items in a locked closet or a safe. Finally, plant dense thorny shrubs and trees on your property to deter burglars. Burglars and robbers can rob you of expensive items from jewelry to even appliances! An appliance repair cost a lot less than having to replace one altogether. Do what you can to protect your home.