Part of the pleasure of being a homeowner is claiming a bit of land and shelter, taking pride in that safe space and adding a personal touch to make it feel like home.
This sense of sanctuary is challenged if your security is threatened, so it’s no wonder most home shoppers contemplate neighborhood safety when searching for a new home, and many homeowners go to great measures to secure their properties.
Follow these six guidelines to increase home security, deter criminals and feel safer.
Replacing the locks is the first step to take when you move. Also, be selective about who has access to the house key. Rather than give a key to a neighbor or relative in case of emergencies, use a lock box with a coded entry. This ensures everyone knows the location of the key, and it offers the extra security of being able to change the passcode. Avoid common hiding places such as under a doormat, in a mailbox or in a hide-a-key doorstop or statue.
Install a Security System
A variety of alarm systems are available with prices as low as about $100. Keep in mind that higher costs ensure greater monitoring and security. Consider the difference between a system that sounds a loud alarm, verses one that sounds and notifies a company that monitors the alarms who can alert police. Modern options even include smart home features that allow you to unlock the door or turn on the lights remotely from your cell phone.
Implement Scare Tactics
A blinking red light or vendor sign in the front lawn or window can be deterrent enough for burglars. Even if you don’t have a dog, consider posting a sign warning the ‘mailman’ that there is a dog on the property. Installing motion-detecting lights is a relatively inexpensive option, and they can be placed around any entrance to shine directly on a trespasser.
Attempt to Break In
Try breaking into your own home, and pay attention to the obvious access points and ways to bypass your security. Some homeowners leave ladders out, creating quick access to a balcony or second story window. Others don’t think to lock their sheds, leaving bikes and expensive tools unsecured. After you stage your own break-in and notice weak points, bulk up security in these areas.
Launch a Buddy System
Make friends with a neighbor to create a safety system. Neighborhoods often have a formal or informal block captain who organizes gatherings and disperses information. Get in touch with the captain to share contact information, and agree to watch out for and report any questionable activity. Once trusting relationships are formed, notify a neighbor if you’re leaving town so they can keep an eye on your property.
Create a Vacation Strategy
Nothing says “no one’s home” like a pile of packages on the porch. When you plan to be away for a while, have your mail and packages held at the post office, or hire a neighbor kid to collect them. Be sure to lock everything up, placing serious valuables in a safe. Draw the curtains or blinds, especially in rooms with electronics. Lastly, turn on a few lights or the television. Some televisions have timers to turn them on or off automatically, which helps the home appear occupied – and unwelcoming to burglars.
Take these few steps to safeguard against intruders who may threaten the sanctuary of your home.
Guest Post by Tali Wee