These days, there are all sorts of ways to make your home a safer and more secure place to live. But which security systems really work, and which discourage neer-do-wells from even considering breaking into your home?
A lot of avoiding burglary is about making yourself an unattractive target – making your home obviously well-secured and looked after – the kind of place someone would regret breaking into.
Detailed below are some of the ways you can use technology, physical barriers, and common sense to your advantage in your quote for home security. These methods vary in time and money requirements, and all are one of many ways you can improve your home security. Consider employing multiple of these methods in tandem to really crank up your level of protection.
Don’t Make it Easy
The #1 thing burglars are looking for is an easy target. The sticky bandits from Home Alone simply aren’t realistic – if your house is booby-trapped Kevin McAllister style, chances are an intruder is going to run out screaming. But in the absence of that kind of time or creativity, there are very simple ways you can keep your house from being a target at all.
Your expensive belongings are what a would-be burglar is after. Avoid temptation by placing these items out of site. Close your windows when you’re not home or at night so people can’t spot your TV through your window. Park your car inside your garage if you have one, and don’t leave out items like grills or bikes. Signs advertising gun or dog ownership may seem like a deterrent, but they actually just tell a possible burglar that when you’re not home, an expensive item is sitting unsupervised in your house, and the alarm isn’t on. This boils down to one rule: don’t advertise. Keep expensive items under the radar and don’t let anyone know what’s going on inside.
Burglars will also target a home if they know nobody is there. Keep in mind that your possessions are the target, not you, and so a robber is trying to figure out when they can get in and get out with the least possible hassle. Don’t make your schedule obvious. If no one is home during the day, consider leaving a light on upstairs one day, downstairs the next. Make your schedule difficult to pin down and learn. If they aren’t 100% sure nobody’s home, a burglar is much less likely to attempt a break-in.
Like the Great Wall of China or the oceans on each side of North America, a physical barrier is a great deterrent to invasion, even when it comes to your personal property.
A fence around your house is a great way to make it more secure and less inviting to criminals. This allows you to have things like patio furniture or lawn decorations without feeling as though you’re leaving them out begging to be stolen. In addition, a fence around your property makes it more difficult to see inside the home, meaning windows can be left open more often without it advertising all your belongings to the world.
A fence also makes it more difficult for vehicles to enter your property. It is hard to burgle a place if you can’t easily carry your stolen goods, so lack of quick and efficient access to a vehicle will hinder burglary plans. A gate for your driveway is a great way to add extra security to your home without sacrificing style. This keeps unwanted guests from entering your driveway without sacrificing your own convenience and ease of access, especially if that driveway gate is automated. A closed driveway gate gives the appearance of security even when nobody is home, and keeps you safe when entering or exiting your property with a timer keeping anyone from tailgating you.
Burglars like easy targets because it means they are less likely to fail or get caught. For this same reason, lights on the outside of your house can do a lot to keep the area safe. Exterior flood lights make it much easier for a burglar to be spotted or identified by a neighbor or security system. Motion sensor lights can be an especially good asset, as they will alert you to the presence of others and scaring them away at the same time.
Working in harmony with lights and fences, technology today allows many ways to keep an eye on your property whether you are there or not. Classic security systems like alarms scare off those who are afraid of being caught and alert people nearby that law enforcement should be called. Anyone trying to make a quick and quiet getaway will be scared off by a blaring alarm system set whenever you’re not home, or when you and your family are sleeping upstairs.
ADP agrees that video doorbells are a strong layer of security as well. These can allow you to see who is at your door before answering it, but also see who approaches your house at any time you desire. They may not be enough to completely keep intruders out of your house, but they are certainly a disincentive, as nobody wants their face caught on camera.
Whether it means making a new installation to your home in the form of a fence or exterior lights, or simply leaving a light on in your home daily, there are many actions that can be taken to protect your home from burglars. What it comes down to is this: make yourself look tough, and use your common sense. Make the outside of your property visible to you and the inside invisible to everybody else.