According to the Department of Justice, there are around 2.5 million burglaries in the US. That’s a lot of households that need to implement some home security tips!
It’s not fun imagining someone breaking into your house. Your home is where you’re supposed to feel the safest and most secure. And criminals taking your stuff is often the least of your worries when you’ve got a family to protect.
But there are so many simple and actionable ways to keep your house safe. And once you’ve got a lot of these systems in place, you won’t have to worry about them again.
This is a list of the best nine home security tips. And some of these tips are low-cost or even free!
1. Change the Locks When You Move House
Building a secure house starts as soon as you move in.
It’s good practice to change the locks as soon as you move to a new home. You don’t know who had access to a key aside from the former owners. By changing the locks, you have 100% certainty that just you and your loved ones can enter your home.
Windows usually lock from the inside and aren’t often passed around, so don’t worry too much about changing those.
If you decide to change the locks, consider buying a digital door lock so you can lock and unlock the door even if you’re nowhere near your house.
It’s also good practice to keep your doors locked during the day, even when you’re at home. And never leave your key in the back of the door (or under the mat!) as someone could break a glass panel and unlock it themselves.
2. Make Your Front Door Impenetrable
If you want to learn how to prevent a home robbery, start with your front door. 34% of burglars enter a property through the front door. So, you want to make sure it is completely impenetrable to intruders!
You could invest in longer screws and security hinges, which would make it virtually impossible for an intruder to take off your front door.
Also, limit the amount of glass in your front door. If you have a glass panel by your door handle, a potential thief could break it and attempt to unlock your door from the inside.
Deadbolts and safety chains provide extra protection, too.
3. Install a Video Doorbell
Installing a video doorbell is becoming increasingly popular amongst households—especially those who own holiday rentals and travel a lot.
These are doorbells connected to your phone or computer so you can see and speak to anyone at your front door remotely. Motion sensors often trigger these doorbells, so someone doesn’t even need to ring the doorbell for you to be alerted.
More and more people receive online deliveries and groceries, so if you’re away during the day, you can see who is stopping by. And, of course, having video footage of a potential intruder massively increases your home security.
4. Check Your Windows and Garage Doors
Don’t just concentrate on your doors. One of the best home security tips is to check every possible entry point in your home, including all windows and garage doors.
When you check your windows, look for signs of rotting or cracks. Having either makes it a lot easier for intruders to pry open your windows. If you have the budget, install reinforced first-floor windows so they will be extremely difficult to penetrate.
More home security tips for your windows:
- Never leave windows open when you’re out
- Check your windows are still shut/locked after a contractor leaves
- Apply security film to your windows
- Plant prickly bushes under your first-floor windows
- Frost any windows you can (particularly in garages and basements)
Also, have the option to lock your garage door from the inside as well as the outside.
5. Create the Illusion That Someone Is Home
Do you want to learn how to have a safe home? Ultimately, the safest home is an occupied home.
If you travel a lot or have an empty home during workdays, find ways to make your home look occupied even though it isn’t. Nothing deters potential intruders than signs of people inside!
Tell your neighbors they can use your driveway when you’re on vacation and arrange a friend to pick up your mail. If you can, taking in a trusted housesitter is a great option.
Arrange to have your landscaper or cleaner (if you have domestic help) work during the hours you’re not home.
Also, turn the rigger off your landline phone if you have one. If thieves know your phone number, they may wait outside your house and listen for your phone to ring out as a sign you’re not home.
6. Install Motion Lighting
This is a simple yet effective home security tip because it just makes good sense as a safety feature. Intruders don’t want to be lit up while breaking into your house, and you don’t want to stumble when carrying groceries after dark!
Make sure you have motion lighting on all pathways in your front and back yard so everywhere is covered. You can purchase solar-powered outdoor lights, so you don’t have to worry about them losing power.
7. Invest in a Well-Disguised Safe
Nothing says “I have something valuable inside!” like a big grey box with a combination lock on the front.
If you want to stash your passports, important documents, or other valuables in your home, you can buy safes that look like everyday objects.
An intruder isn’t going to check every book on your shelf or every tin of food in your cupboard looking for cash or expensive jewelry.
8. Keep Track of Your Valuables
Should the worst happen and you lose valuable items, you need to be prepared. Not only for your home insurance claim but so you can make every effort to retrieve the stolen item.
Gather all of your valuables and follow these home security tips:
- Take a photo of every item
- Take a photo or keep the receipts
- Make a list of any identifying marks or dates
- Mark the items with a UV pen
Again, this is very useful for your home insurance claim. But doing all of these things will help if you want to post about the missing items on social media or visit pawn shops.
The mark from the pen will show up under UV light, so you, and law enforcement, will be 100% certain an item is yours.
9. Set up a Security System
Some of the home security tips listed are an excellent start, but there’s more you can do to set up a legitimate DIY home security system.
You could install glass break sensors, which is a great idea if you have sliding patio doors.
An alarm and code system might be necessary if you live in a high-risk neighborhood. And if you do get a professional alarm system, make sure you advertise it by sticking a sign in your front yard or displaying a branded alarm box.
You want to deter intruders from breaking into your house before they even set foot on your property.
Utilize These Home Security Tips Today!
Even if you install just some of these home security tips, you will have significantly reduced the chances of your house falling victim to a burglary or home robbery.
And you can sleep well at night knowing you’ve taken all the necessary steps to protect yourself and your family.
Check out our other articles for more home and lifestyle tips!