According to the FBI, more than one million burglaries are committed in the United States each year. Fortunately, there are some proven tactics you can use to decrease your likelihood of a home invasion.
Most burglars are looking for easy access with minimal risk. A monitored security system can be an effective deterrent, but it isn’t the only way to protect your property. Here are seven strategies to help you maximize your home’s security and minimize your chances of being targeted by intruders.
- Check Your Doors and Windows
The most common entry point for a burglar is an unlocked front door followed by a first-floor window or back door, so securing these points of entry is essential.
Evaluate the condition of your doors and locks.
- Make sure all doors have a solid core.
- Pair them with a Grade 1 or 2 deadbolt lock and a reinforced strike plate.
Add window locks and security film.
- Install aftermarket window locks on first-story windows.
- Consider using security film on windows that are adjacent to a door.
- Landscape for Security
Thieves target homes that they can enter and exit without being detected.
Increase visibility from the street.
- Trim overgrown trees and shrubs that obstruct the view of your property.
- Remove privacy fences or hedges that offer criminals a place to hide.
Utilize best practices for environmental design.
- Plant thorny or sharp-leaved bushes beneath windows.
- Add some loose gravel that crunches when disturbed.
- Light Your Exterior
A well-designed outdoor lighting system can make your home both safer and more attractive.
Install landscape lighting.
- Eliminate pockets of darkness around your home’s perimeter with outdoor lights.
- Use a combination of flood, spot, and pathway lights to add visual interest while increasing visibility.
Use motion-activated security lights.
- Startle intruders with a motion-activated floodlight.
- Choose a smart version to receive notifications when there’s movement on your property.
- Make It Look Like You’re Home
Most burglars will avoid breaking into a home if there are signs that it’s occupied.
Turn on your TV and leave a car in the driveway.
- If you’re away from home, connect your TV to a timer or smart plug.
- When you travel, leave your car out or ask a neighbor to park theirs in your driveway.
Install a video doorbell.
- Let intruders know you’re watching by utilizing a video doorbell.
- See, hear, and speak with visitors remotely from your smartphone—so they’ll never know you’re gone.
- Keep Valuables Out of Sight
Security experts caution against placing valuables where they’re easily visible.
Check sightlines from your doors and windows.
- Avoid tempting robbers with a clear view of commonly stolen items, such as cash, jewelry, and electronics.
- Take a walk around your property to ensure valuables aren’t visible from outside.
Secure items in a safe.
- Limit access to expensive items when you have workers inside your home.
- Lock up firearms, sensitive documents, and valuables in a safe.
- Highlight Your Security Measures
In surveys, convicted burglars admit to avoiding homes with obvious protective measures in place.[6,8,9]
Install outdoor cameras.
- Place security cameras where they are easy to spot.
- Record the footage so you can share it with police if you do experience a robbery.
Post warning signs.
- Prominently display a security system placard and/or beware-of-dog sign.
- Back up your threats with a noisy alarm and loud barking dog for maximum impact.
- Limit What You Share on Social Media
On social media platforms, it’s easy to reveal more than you’ve intended.
Delay posting photos or travel updates.
- Avoid “checking in” to places or events, which can signal that your home is unoccupied.
- Wait until you’ve returned home to share vacation photos on social media.
Set privacy restrictions on your accounts.
- Think twice about connecting with strangers or casual acquaintances.
- Limit your followers to those you truly know and trust.
YOUR HOME IS SAFE WITH ME
I take home security seriously. That’s why I have screening procedures in place to keep our clients and their homes safe when they are for sale. I also remind our buyers to change the locks before they move into their new homes and provide referrals to locksmiths and security companies that can help. To learn more about my procedures and how to stay safe during the real estate process, contact me to schedule a free consultation!