Surveys have shown that one of the primary reasons most folks have for wanting to own a home is for safety and security. It feels wonderful to come home to your own home and know that you have a place for all your “stuff” and a place for your family to feel secure and that everything is there as you left it. But what if you come home and find that someone has been there? Not a good feeling at all!! That happened to me and my family a number of years ago and I can still remember the uncomfortable feeling of having strangers invade my private space. So what steps can you take to prevent this from happening? My personal opinion is that if someone is determined to break in, they will, but there are definitely some things we can do to make it more difficult and give them a reason to look elsewhere for a target! If someone is going to steal from me, then at least they’re going to have to work for it! Here are some ideas to get you started:
The yard: Privacy fencing so that what you have outside is not on display to everyone! Gates should have a lock. Check with your homeowners association or city codes regarding fences around the front of your property.
Landscaping and lighting: Install exterior lighting, possibly with motion detectors, to deter burglars. Also consider interior lights–put a few on timers, especially when you’re going to be away, to give the appearance that someone is inside. Keep bushes and landscaping trimmed below windows so you’re not providing a convenient hiding spot or blocking views from the street.
Garages: Garages often hold a treasure trove for burglars, not the least of which is your car! But other items like tools, bicycles, sports equipment may also be great targets for a burglar. Consider installing a garage door opener to help deter a thief. Also secure the entrance from the garage into your home.
Entrances: And speaking of entrances into your home, be sure all have dead bolts and secure locks! A peephole in the front door is also a good idea. If you use a double-locking deadbolt, which is definitely more secure that a single bolt type, be sure to keep a key nearby each door for safety–in case of a fire or other emergency, you don’t want to lock yourself in! But don’t keep the key in the lock! Keep your windows locked when closed, and especially when you’re away! And keep your windows covered to prevent people from looking in to see what you have.
Alarm Systems: This is perhaps the best deterrent to burglary, especially if your system is monitored. Consider having glass breakage added as a trigger to the alarm, particularly if you have exterior french doors that can easily be broken. Having your system monitored comes with a cost, but it may be worth it if something happens that prevents you from summoning help. Knowing it’s on the way would make a burglar think twice. And if you have a family member with health concerns, having a monitored system that can send help definitely gives peace of mind. A bonus–you may be able to get a discount on your homeowners insurance with a monitored alarm system!
These are a few ideas, you probably can find more ways to secure your home. The peace of mind is worth it!