Home security is something that most of us took for granted, or doesn’t regularly check on. Indeed, we do not consider securing our homes or going about it meticulously until it is too late and something untoward has already happened. Here are some common-sense tips to protect and secure your home.
1. Put up a fence.
You might want to consider putting up a fence with a locking gate. This will hinder anybody from easily walking into your property and stealing the things you have left outside (believe it or not, even ugly garden gnomes are not safe!). Having a fence make thieves hesitate about entering your house because they know that it won’t be easy to get in and, escape.
If you already have a fence, make sure that you fix broken sections.
2. Protect your yard.
Regularly mow the loan and trim hedges and bushes. Overgrown greeneries can only provide hiding places for would-be thieves. It also makes them think your place is abandoned. On the other hand, you might want to plant cacti and other thorny plants near and around your fence to deter anybody from jumping over the fence and into your property.
If you have expensive equipment, bicycles and tools stored outside, you might as well secure them in a shed or garage that can be locked.
3. Install outdoor lighting.
Having a well-lit surrounding is one good deterrent for crime. Bright lights can discourage would-be thieves because they do not have enough places to hide into. Also, lights can help you see just who is outside your door, or in your front yard.
4. Get a watchdog.
A watchdog can scare away would-be thieves and can serve as an advance alarm system for you. If you do not have one, or if you deem caring for a watchdog too tiresome, you can fool people into thinking you own a watchdog by putting up "Beware of Dog" signs.
5. Shred all documents before throwing them out.
You may not know it, but somebody could easily pose as you or as somebody you are supposedly expecting by rummaging through your garbage and finding personal stuff and information in it. This includes your credit card bills and other documents that bear details about your identity, your lifestyle, or certain of your activities. Thieves might use this information to enter your property. For instance, you are expecting an insurance agent but unknowingly welcomed a thief into your home.
6. Get a home security system.
Investing in a good home security system can give you peace of mind. Install an alarm or sensors to alert you of intruders on your property or inside your house. You could also install a home security camera system that allows you to monitor your home even while you are away or at the office. Having this security camera footage recorded offsite could also help you contact police and catch the thieves in the event of a break-in.
7. Put all your valuables in a safe.
Get a safe and hide it behind paintings or in holes in your walls. If ever thieves gets into your place successfully when you are not at home, they will not be able to find or get your jewellery, cash and other valuables.
8. Fortify your doors and windows.
Fix broken doors and windows. Check if the locks are working. If you have not done so, install double locks where necessary. This goes for every outbuilding you have like your garage, garden shed and others, not just for the main house. Be sure to lock doors and keep windows closed when you leave the house or retire to bed for the night.
To be extra sure, you might want to add a metal or wooden bar across the door or window to make sure that they cannot be forced open.
9. Beware of the delivery guy.
Most intruders get into your house because you let them in yourself. They pretend to be someone else like a police officer or a pizza delivery guy. Before you let any stranger into your house, ask for identification. If they are delivering something, ask for the full address (if they are impostors, they would not know your full address, or memorize it!).
10. More common-sense tips:
* Leave your radio on, preferably switch the dial over to talk radio, when you are leaving the house for a short time. This creates an illusion that somebody is inside the house.
* Make sure that all the rooms in the house where you spend a lot of time in have a working telephone line.
* Make sure light switches are easily accessible.
* Do not leave keys under pots or on windowsills! It is better to entrust spare keys to neighbours you trust.
* Install smoke detectors in every room.