No matter how safe your neighborhood seems, there’s probably a thief somewhere close by looking for an opportunity to make a score. Take some easy steps to protect your home and possessions with these burglar-proofing tips.
First Steps for Everyday Protection
Use these tips to keep your home safe day and night, whether you’re there or not.
- Change the Door Locks
Most people don’t change the locks when they buy a house. This is a mistake. Think about it; you have no idea what the previous homeowner (or renter) was into or how many keys they lent out to their family and friends. Invest in heavy-duty locks (here are some of our favorites) for all your doors. Since most burglars enter through an exterior door, keep them locked all the time.
- Check Your Windows
Finding broken or weak locks can be like winning the lottery for criminals. Check every window and make sure the locks are strong. Replace any rotted wood that could be easily ripped off to block access to someone trying to enter. Slap a security system sticker on a few of your windows to further deter thieves.
- Install Motion Lighting
When a light comes on, those with nefarious plans will usually cut their losses and run. Get some inexpensive motion lights and add them around your garage and doors. If someone with ill intentions steps too close to your property, the lights will illuminate them AND give you notice that something is amiss.
- Add Cameras
Mounting security cameras outside your property makes your place far less enticing to criminals. Who wants to be caught in the act? Find a few online and add them to your doors on each side of your home for a full view. Sync them up to your smart device so you can keep tabs on them whenever you want.
- Close Your Blinds
Many burglaries are crimes of opportunity, and it’s your job to shut those down. Close your blinds and curtains so thieves don’t have a straight sight of your giant TV and expensive laptop.
- Burglar-Proof Your Sliding Doors
Sliding doors have long been an easy entry point for burglars because they can be jimmied within seconds. If you have sliding doors, address this security issue Block this entrance by purchasing a sliding glass door lock and/or adding a security bar in the track.
While You’re Away
Criminals love vacation season and take full advantage of unoccupied homes. Take steps to make it harder for them to figure out you’re gone.
- Ask a Friend to Help
Piled up newspapers and unmoved trash cans are green lights to thieves that your house’s contents are there for the taking. Ask a neighbor or friend whom you’re close with to drop by every few days. They can bring your trash can in from the curb and pick up your mail so it looks like someone is staying there. Ask them to also leave different lights on every time they visit (or set your lights on automatic timers).
- Maintain Your Lawn
An overgrown lawn is another way burglars figure out you’re not home. If you decide to take a trip that’s a week or longer, get a friend or a landscaper to cut your grass. Your home will still give the appearance of being lived in even though you’re miles away.
Don’t Forget Your Other “Entrances”
Sometimes we focus on our physical security and give little thought to our cybersecurity. Since most of us use online shopping and digital banking, there are lots of opportunities for thieves to net some lucrative information about us online. Burglars hacking into our computers and email accounts should concern us just as much as breaching a door or climbing in through a window.
- Password-Protect Your Wi-Fi
A lax password is the equivalent of an open door to your private online life. Use a long password with a combination of numbers, letters, and symbols and don’t share it with anyone outside the family. Protecting your wi-fiis critical to keeping data like banking and credit card information out of the hands of cyber criminals.
- Sign Up for Email Statements
Pilfering through your mailbox is an easy way for thieves to gain lots of valuable information about you. Nip that by setting your bills and credit card statements to deliver electronically. Cutting down on waste and helping the environment is a nice side benefit to this security step.
Guard against your home being broken into and losing your most valued possessions. Proactively invest in these security measures you can use every day, and take extra precautions when you’re going to be out of town. Making your home more difficult to break into will hopefully discourage thieves and keep everything safe and out of harm’s way.