6 Simple Ways to Make Your Home Safer
The thought of someone coming into your home can leave you feeling completely helpless. The good news is that there are plenty of simple steps you can take that will make that opportunistic thief skip past your place. Here is a list of 6 quick ways to be sure that you’re not setting yourself up to be the perfect mark.
One: Smart Landscaping
I know it sounds a bit ridiculous and low tech but the plants you pick and you how you prune your tress can make a serious difference. For example, when picking bushes to put underneath your windows go with a variety that not only blooms but is also thorny. No one wants to tangle with a holly bush no matter how big your TV is.
Next, keep your yard neat and trim. Keeping bushes from getting overgrown and/or covering entryways, like basement or first story windows, will help them stay in plain site. You’ll also want to be sure that any large trees are pruned back so that branches aren’t creating a quick entryway to your roof, attic space or second story windows.
Two: Don’t Allow Silent Entry Through Doors
Allowing someone to come into your home without any type of notification can lead to nasty surprises that are easy to avoid. You can accomplish this by adding a quick door chime onto your door for as little as $20. Or you can go super low tech and grab an actual bell that attaches to the top of your door.
There is even a doormat that gives out a chime when someone steps on it. As you see, no matter your preference, there is a way to automatically be alerted when someone gains entry into your home. That way if it’s a welcomed guest it’s nice to be sure you’re ready for them and if it’s an unwelcomed guest that sound alone is enough to make them turn tail and run.
Quick Tip: There are driveway chimes that you can put into place that will alert you in your home when someone comes up your driveway. This is a very smart way to be aware of someone on your property when you live back from the road.
Three: Be Sure to Know Your Neighborhood
I know it can be easier to not introduce yourself to all of your neighbors and keep your head down when grabbing your mail or coming from your car but that behavior can be dangerous. Having a comfortable relationship with your neighbors, letting them know when you’ll be gone and even asking them to keep an eye on your place can make all the difference. There are plenty of ex-burglars that will tell you that one nosey neighbor looking a little too closely at them was enough to make them move on to a different neighborhood permanently.
You’ll also want to keep an eye on any vehicles sitting where they shouldn’t be for too long or unfamiliar faces spending a little too long walking the neighborhood. Be proactive and say hello to anyone who gives you the feeling something is off. It’s okay to put on the ‘Howdy Neighbor’ Ned Flanders’ act and get into their business a little. If it’s someone out enjoying the air or a legitimate service tech they will just assume you’re a little too friendly – no harm done.
If things feel really off then call your local police department and report it. There are countless crimes stopped or even prevented by an anonymous call by a neighbor.
Four: Lock Your Gates
It may seem a little redundant but with that gorgeous privacy fence comes…well privacy to anyone (good or bad) in your yard. If you plan to leave for any long period of time then be sure that you have locks on those gates. You can also do one better and get a quick lock pad for your gate that requires a 5-digit combination code to get into. They cost as little as $30 to buy. This type of lock makes it simple for you and the kids to access the yard quickly and impossible for a burglar to it without either breaking the gate, which is loud, or trying to climb over it, which is way harder than it sounds.
Five: Remember Your Windows
Yes, everyone is telling you to lock your windows – even on the second floor – and this is smart advice you should take to mind. However, you will want to go a step further to ensure your safety.
Start by pulling your curtains at night. I’m sure you’ve walked or driven the neighborhood at night to look over at a home lit up with everything in plain view. Do your family a favor and don’t be those people. When the sun goes down or before you leave the house lock the windows and close those curtains. Do the same thing when you’re leaving for the day. You don’t need to give people on the street a clear shot of your house and the fun things you’ve got in it.
You should also consider adding solar window film to those windows, which is great for your family’s health and makes it harder for people to see clearly into the house. Many homeowners also add a layer of break proof film to any basement windows. This simple film gives you the added protection of someone having to work really hard to get the glass out of your windows and can be added to a window in about 15minutes.
Six: Choose Your Door Locks Wisely
Ever heard of a bump-proof lock? Well, it’s a lock designed to not allow specially cut keys to be used to enter your home. Standard locks can be vulnerable to this type of entry and no one is going to look twice at someone who just walked up to your front door and opened it with a key!
So, take a good look at the locks on your doors and consider an upgrade to bump-proof locks, Medco locks, or other name-brand high security locks because it’s worth the added investment long term. Unfortunately, you get what you pay for with those cheap standard door locks.
Anytime you’re interested in upgrading the security on your home you can ask your trusted security alarm company to come do a quick assessment of your home to get a real expert perspective. Or you could always recruit your buddy and you could take turns trying to break into each other homes to see how far you can get – the first one in buys the drinks.