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Your home should be your castle, but is it really safe when you leave for work? Considered one’s sanctuary, your home should be your place of safety; it’s one of the only places where you have control over who can get close to you and your family members, so it goes without saying that you should do everything in your power to protect it and your family living there with you from criminal intrusion.

In the US alone, burglaries happen around every 15 seconds of the day, and becoming a victim of home burglary can leave you feeling vulnerable and violated. Burglars tend to target homes where there isn’t any obvious activity and often gain access to the house through the easiest access route with the best amount of cover and the quickest escape route.

It’s a basic human instinct to want to protect your “cave” as well as your family members, and most of us already have the basics down like always locking the doors, never letting strangers in and making sure that you don’t get followed home from work. But the troubles mainly arise when you AREN’T there to enforce the safety measures yourself…

Essentially, this post is all about how to make your house as unattractive as possible to burglars, minimizing the risk of your home being burgled. We’ll take this on by sections of the house:

Doors and Locks

Burglars know that the garage door is often the weakest point of the house, followed by the back door. These entrances also usually have the most cover, letting them get in and out without being seen.

  • To keep lock pickers and twisters away from the locks on your doors, use Grade 1 or 2 locks on all exterior doors.
  • When possible, make use of solid core or metal doors for entrance points.
  • Install a 4 screw, heavy duty, high security plate into the entrance door to make the door sturdier and impossible to kick down.

Windows

Because windows have latches and not locks, you should have some sort of secondary blocking device installed that prevents them from being slid open from the outside.

  • If you need to keep the house ventilated, ensure that windows are left open no more than 6 inches.
  • Make use of anti-lift devices which will eliminate the risk of the window being lifted out.
  • Use motion detection or crime prevention alarm decals on ground level windows.

Lighting

A dark home at night is an obvious sign that nobody is home and just makes your home that much more attractive for being burgled. Consider having some timed light fittings installed to make sure there are always some lights on inside when you aren’t there.

  • Have exterior lights installed that allow 100 feet of visibility
  • Make sure that there are always some lights on at night and consider having an auto tier installed for the television, which will mimic the normal pattern making it seems like someone is home.
  • Always ensure that the pathway up to your front door has good lighting installed
  • Consider having infra-red motion sensor lights installed on the rear side of your house

The Alarm System

Alarms can be one of the most effective tools for home security use, when they are installed and used properly. They increase awareness in criminals, making them doubt entering the home in the first place and tend to have burglars just head to the next house that doesn’t have any alarm company signs on it.

  • Always ensure that your alarm system is properly installed and activated when you are not home.
  • Make use of an alarm system that has an audible horn or bell for maximum efficiency.
  • Never – ever – write down the code to your alarm system anywhere near the control panel.

The Safe

All criminals know that the valuable stuff goes in the safe, but having something that is light enough to pick up and run with isn’t going to keep your valuables safe.

  • Make sure your home safe is anchored into the floor or permanent shelving.
  • Protect the safe with a code and make sure to change it regularly
  • Never put the safe near the master bedroom or closet

Read more tips on home security systems.

Keeping what we just mentioned in mind, here are some basic rules you should follow for home security:

  1. Don’t let burglars know that you’re not there. If you’re going to be away for extended periods of time consider things like having the lawn cut or snow shoveled when you’re away, using timed automatic drape and curtain openers and have your neighbor collect your mail and newspapers for the time being, so that it will still look like you’re following the normal day-to-day pattern as if you were there.
  2. Make it harder for them to get in. Simple things like never hiding keys to your house outside where it can be found, installing a hardened steel casing that has been beveled on door locks, using at least one long screw in attaching each door hinge to further secure the doors against forced entry and reinforcing glass doors with security film can really make it much harder to get into your home, forcing criminals to turn the other way.
  3. Don’t give them anywhere to hide. Always ensure that you trim back or remove any shrubbery next to doors and windows and make use of outside lighting too illuminate access doors. Another great idea is to use exterior motion activated lights in the backyard and driveway.
  4. DO make use of a Home Security Alarm System. They might not be a solid guarantee that your house won’t be burgled, but do tend to ward off potential criminals, making them weigh out the options of being caught. A great idea here is to have glass-break sensors installed that sets off the alarm at the sound of a window or glass door being broken.
  5. DO get to Know the Neighbor. Some of the best home security systems come in the forms of neighbors. They look out for you when you aren’t there. Initiatives such as neighborhood watches have law enforcement agencies available to help out with. An idea like this not only keeps your family safe, but also your neighborhood as a whole, making it a safer environment to live in.

 

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