Tips to Securing Your Home

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Coming home and being greeted by the sight of a broken-down front door is probably one of the worst nightmares for any homeowner. The average burglar is impulsive and opportunistic, and will not be planning to spend more than 60 seconds on the break-in. As such, you can best secure your home by removing any appearance of an easy break-in and by setting up effective deterrents. These valuable tips offer you a range of ways to discourage potential robberies and make it difficult for burglars to gain quick access.

Use a smart home alarm system

Research has shown that homes without security systems are about three times as likely to be broken into. Smart home alarm systems deter burglars by alerting the neighbours and by automatically notifying you via text message or other means. These systems cost just a few hundred dollars to purchase and are easy to set up. Features include live video streaming, remote monitoring and control, lighting and lock control, and more.

Turn old phones into security cameras

If you’re looking for an inexpensive alternative to a full home alarm system, consider turning your old phones into security cameras. Download a phone app such as Manything or IP Webcam, and you can access live broadcasts of streaming video from another phone, tablet, or computer.

Secure garage windows and doors

Windows on garage doors can be tempting for burglars because they allow people to find out whether anyone is at home by checking whether there are cars parked in the garage. Consider having these filled in or covered. For garage doors that are rarely used, install several brackets on either side and secure with long wooden planks to seal off access completely.

Use an outdoor lock box

Avoid keeping an emergency house key outside your house, but if you absolutely must, why not use an outdoor lock box secured by a combination lock rather than hiding your house key under a rock? Make sure your lock box is installed in a discreet position, such on a side wall behind some bushes.

Install motion-sensor floodlights

There’s nothing like a strong floodlight to deter would-be burglars. Identify key areas of vulnerability around your house, such as spots with poor lighting or visibility. While they are a valuable home security measure, they are extremely easy to install and require virtually no maintenance. You can have floodlights installed or install them yourself, and the wide availability of solar floodlights saves you from the hassle of electrical wiring or battery replacement.

Reduce shrubbery and trees near entrances

Avoid giving burglars a convenient hiding spot for a quick break-in. Remove or cut back any trees and shrubbery around your doorways, windows, and other entrances. Even a big fence that shields burglars from anyone passing on the street can make it tempting to try break-in into your home, so if you have a fence you can’t remove, use floodlights and install cameras to let any burglars know they’re being watched.

Secure your sliding doors

If you have sliding doors in your home, secure these with an alarm as well as door guardians, which function as a secondary lock that prevents the sliding door from being opened. Often these feature a pin-style locking mechanism that is pushed either upwards or downwards. Sliding doors often have flimsy or easily picked locks, so take the extra step of securing them with additional locks.

Use window alarms

Window alarms let you know immediately if your window has been opened. These can be complemented with pins, locks, or screens that add an extra layer of security for these vulnerable entry points. Window alarms are also easy to install yourself.

Fit security screens

Security screens are probably one of the best deterrents and physical barriers against burglaries, as they’re highly visible barriers that make it impossible for would-be burglars to gain entry with a quick break of the glass. In addition, security screens give your house an aesthetic advantage, offer extra privacy, and keep insects and pests out.

Install smart door stops

Smart door stops require no installation; they simply need to be pushed into position. You can place these at the base of any door and the pressure-activated device will emit a powerful sound when the door has been opened.

Use automatic lighting

Whether you get home late from work or have significant periods throughout the day when you’re not at home, it’s a good idea to have timed lights in front-facing bedrooms so it looks like someone’s always at home. Similarly, leave a light downstairs on when you’re heading upstairs for bed. The more brightly lit your house is, the more likely burglars will be deterred by the idea that someone’s at home and awake.

When you’re away

Your house is most vulnerable when you’re away on holiday, so take measures to make it look like someone’s home. Have a neighbour pick up your mail every day or use a mail direct services for the period that you’re away. Keep a car parked in your garage, and use timed lighting to make it look like someone’s home at night.