Tips for Keeping Your Home as Secure as Possible
With so much uncertainty plaguing our world today, there’s already enough to worry about without second-guessing your home security. Everyone deserves to live in a home where they feel protected and secure. However, with such a wide range of options for home security, it can be difficult to know what’s best for your family. Is it enough to simply lock the doors at night, or is more active protection needed? We’ve compiled the best tips over our years of experience to help you keep your home and family as safe as possible.
Spruce Up Your Yard
It may sound simple, but keeping up with your home’s landscaping is an important first step to deterring potential intruders. Overgrown bushes and trees can provide easy hiding places for trespassers, and long branches may give unwanted visitors access to your second story. Make it a point to spend time pruning back any disorderly areas of your property, especially the ones that are closest to any points of entry. You can also further obstruct intruders’ paths by planting thorny bushes or flowers beneath your windows. Showing any unwanted visitors that you keep a close eye on your property will make your home a less appealing target.
Get to Know Your Neighbors
It many areas, it’s easy to keep your head down and avoid new neighbor introductions, but your neighbors can be an important asset to your home’s security. When you have a good relationship with the people living near you, you benefit from extra sets of eyes watching your property, especially when you’re not there. If you’re planning to be away from home, ask your neighbors to keep an eye on your house and let you know if they notice any suspicious activity. Ex-burglars have noted that simply having a nosey neighbor can be enough to spook them away from the neighborhood permanently. Just be sure to return the favor and keep an eye on your neighbors’ properties while they’re gone.
Watch Your Windows
Windows are great for letting in sunlight, a nice breeze, and unfortunately, wandering eyes. To keep your house completely secure, be sure to keep windows closed and locked at night and any time you’re not at home. Unfortunately, though, even locked windows can still provide an easy view for someone lurking around your neighborhood. When the sun goes down, shut your blinds or close your curtains to protect your home from nosey eyes. If you have skylights or windows in other uncommon spots, don’t forget to check the locks on those entries as well. For an added level of security, you can also install sensors to your windows for an automatic alert if someone attempts to enter through them.
Invest in New Locks
Any time you move into a new place, one of the first things you should do is install new locks on all the doors. It’s a good policy to make sure that you and your family are the only ones who can access your new home. If you haven’t taken that step at your home, it’s not too late to start now. A new standard lock will work fine, but a smart lock can add extra protection to your home with minimal additional cost. A smart lock gives every member of your family their own unique entry code for your door, eliminating the need for physical keys. Some brands, like our Kwikset Smart Lock, even let you control your locks from afar using a mobile app. Many smart locks are also “bump-proof,” meaning your lock can’t be forcefully hacked by specially cut keys, which is a really useful safety feature.
Take Precautions When Living Alone
Many people love the freedom of living by themselves. There’s no one to complain about dishes left in the sink, and you always get full control of the TV. However, living alone also comes with increased safety concerns. People who live by themselves, especially single women, are seen as easier targets for break-ins. To safeguard against this heightened risk, be mindful about what you post on social media and avoid mentioning that you live completely alone. You may also consider turning off location services on your phone to make it harder to track when your home is left unattended. Some people also choose to adopt a dog to help protect their home. A loud bark may be all it takes to scare off potential intruders, and a furry friend can make it more difficult for thieves to target you when you’re on the street, too.
Reinforce Vulnerable Areas
In any home, there are certain areas and entry points that tend to be more vulnerable to intruders. For example, sliding doors can be easier for burglars to shimmy and force entry through. To further reinforce these doors, simply add a bar into the open space at the bottom of the frame. When a thief discovers that breaking in is going to take more time and force, they will likely decide it’s not worth the risk.
Additionally, many people don’t think to protect the wiring box for your home or building’s security system. This small step will prevent burglars from disconnecting your system from the outside. Professional security companies will take this into account when installing a new system today, but older systems, especially those in place at apartment buildings, may still be vulnerable to attacks. Thankfully, these systems can still be retrofitted with junction boxes to protect the wiring and shield the property from clever intruders.
Bring the Noise
One of the best ways to keep your home secure is to make sure no one can come in silently. Adding chimes to all of your entry doors is a simple way to avoid surprise entrances from unwanted guests. In the event that someone did break in through your door, the chime would let them know that someone is now listening to them. That little alert may be all it takes to scare them off. A doorbell camera can be another helpful device for banishing potential burglars before they step foot in your home. For example, the Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro can be set to emit an LED light deterrent and loud alarm whenever motion is detected at your front door. You’ll also receive a notification on your phone that someone is outside your house, helping you stay fully informed and prepared to protect your home.
Make It Obvious
There’s nothing more discouraging to a potential burglar than seeing a home fully outfitted with a security system. If you do choose to install a professional home security system (which we highly recommend), make sure your equipment is conspicuously placed on your property. Obvious signs of home security along with a Vivint yard sign will warn thieves that your home is not an easy target. Start by keep porch lights on at night to illuminate your doorbell camera and equipping cameras with alarms that will sound if motion is detected. These features will make it nearly impossible for burglars to sneak around on your property without being caught.
Access Your Home While You’re Away
Advanced security systems can essentially turn your house into a smart home. In addition to cameras and motion sensors, you can also install smart thermostats, speakers, lights and locks, allowing you to automate many of the devices you use every single day. Then, with the convenience of a mobile app, you can access all these gadgets set up across your property with just a few clicks. The next time you forget to turn off the lights or lock the back door before you leave, you can head to the app and make changes no matter where you are in the world. If you want to always stay in complete control of your house, a smart home security system is the solution you need.
Trust the Professionals
It may be tempting to install a home security system on your own, but for guaranteed protection, it’s best to rely on the professionals. If left on their own, many people end up feeling overwhelmed and simply don’t know where to begin placing the equipment. Experts can help point out the most vulnerable spots on your property and install cameras and sensors accordingly. Many may be inclined to do the work themselves because of the assumed costs involved with professional installation, but some smart home security systems, including Vivint, include free installation with their products. It’s best to take advantage of this valuable feature to make sure your system will protect your home and family as effectively as possible.