Your home should be your safe haven—a place where you feel that nothing bad can happen to you. But with one in every 36 homes predicted to have been burglarized last year, have you done everything you can to secure your home? The methods you take depend on your location like if you’re renting or a homeowner, budget and a number of other factors.
Here are some helpful tips to make sure your home sweet home stays a safe haven.
Home Security Systems
By far the priciest, but this is the most safe way to secure your house. When considering a home security system, which you should, you need to take into account three things:
- Type of monitoring
- Home automation
1. Type of Monitoring
The type of monitoring refers to the alert system. It can be linked to your landline, wirelessly or through broadband. Wireless monitoring is the most reliable and has the fastest reaction time since it’s independent of power outages or downed phone lines. Using a landline (note that the system itself is wireless, just not the monitoring) is the least reliable and slowest while broadband takes the middleground. If you are a homeowner, providers can help you determine which is best for your home, but if you rent, consider a wireless systems. With a wireless system, you own the equipment and can move it with you.
When it comes to installation, you can either choose to have it professionally installed or do it yourself. With a professional, you know that it will be installed properly and you can ask the technician any questions you have. However, it comes at an added expense and sometimes there are stipulations if you move. If you choose to DIY your installation, first, we recommend a wireless system. It’s much easier to install. Doing it yourself also means that you own the equipment and won’t have to purchase it again if you move.
3. Home Automation
Home automation refers to the extent of security you want from your system. Whether it’s just an alarm and motion detectors, or if you want to include mobile monitoring, light and temperature control, video surveillance, etc. It really depends on what you are looking for, but many providers will work with you to set up an appropriate package.
Mobile monitoring can be a huge load off of your shoulders. You can adjust any home automation from a click on your smartphone, and you’ll never again have to worry if you left the oven on. There are many apps you can connect to your system and many providers offer this as an option, too.
Do you need them? You may think that the answer is no, but cameras do so much more than just catch a burglar in the act.They’re not a necessity, but very handy if you find yourself away from home often. You can use security cameras for every day safety, such as:
- Make sure your kids are come from school (or if they miss a curfew)
- Check how your pets are doing while you’re at work
- Watch your home during vacation
- See who is knocking at your door
These are one of the most useful and common home security tools because they have so many uses. Adding them to windows and doors can alert you to unpredicted entries, ring the doorbell ahead of a guest and even detect broken glass. You can wire them to your lights to turn on with motion which is handy indoors and out. Inside it can save you money by turning off lights in unoccupied rooms, and outside it can detect movement within a programmed space. Burglars are less likely to attack when they feel they can be seen and flood lights certainly make that happen.
Don’t be deterred from motion sensors if you have a pet—many systems can be programmed to detect only human forms or disturbances of a certain size so that your pets can roam freely without setting off a false alarm.
Extra Tips and Tricks
Aside from home security systems, there are a number of budget friendly ways to keep your home safe.
1. Change Locks
Change the locks when you move into a new home. Who knows who has a key from the previous owner, and no one wants to find out the hard way.
2. Add Wood Rod to Sliding Glass Doors
Sliding glass doors are extremely easy to open since the only locking mechanism is a latch. Either invest in a new door with a better lock, or place a wooden rod on the guide rails at the bottom of the sliding door to keep someone from being able to open it from the outside. Also, check if you can lift the door off the rails and consider purchasing a new, safer door if you can.
3. Use Lights
Purchasing timed or motion detecting lights or flood lights can be a huge deterrent. Adjust them to illuminate any points of entry and make sure they’re timed to come on while you’re away.
4. Interior Hinges
Make sure all of your doors have interior hinges. If the hinges face to the exterior, a burglar and easily remove them to gain entry to your home.
5. Hide your Hide-a-Key
Everyone knows the mailbox or doormat are common hiding places for emergency sets of keys, so get inventive. Wrap the key in tinfoil and bury it in a can or plant, or find a unique place only your family knows of.
6. Don’t Disclose Your Absence
Never advertise that you’re on vacation, and make sure friends and family don’t either. Posting to social media that you’ll be away, or posting pictures while you’re away is an open invitation to rob your house. The gorgeous sunsets from your tropical island can wait until you’re home.
7. Reinforce Glass
Reinforce glass within 42” of a lock with security film. This keeps burglars from breaking the glass to unlock your door or window from the outside.
8. Protect Your Passcode
Never put your passcode by your keypad. Burglars can turn your alarm off. If you’re worried about forgetting your passcode, make it a memorable 4-8 digit date like a relatives birthday (never your own!) or memorable (but personal) pattern.
9. Get a Sign
Honestly, you can sometimes skip the expensive security package if you have an old, leftover sign. Making sure it’s prominently displayed can be enough of a deterrent. Given the choice between a home with a sign and one without, a burglar will choose the one that probably doesn’t have an alarm. That being said, it helps to have a security system.
10. Befriend Your Neighbors
Your neighbors can be the best way to protect your home while you’re away. Be friendly with them and they’ll return the favor by reporting suspicious activity to the police. If they know you’ll be away on vacation, they’re more likely to notice that odd car parked out front or bring in your mail for you. Plus, it’s just polite.
Do you need help with installing a new home security system? Use our instant estimate tool to get a price in seconds and find certified professional in your area. Get a price. Get a pro. Get it done.
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