Homes that have visible security features in place are 4 times less likely to be targeted by criminals. By creating an intimidating security presence around your property, you can deter thieves and vandals and force them to move on to somewhere else. Here are some simple ways that you can make your home unattractive to criminals.
KEEP YOUR YARD CLEAR
Take a walk around your property and look for areas that could provide good hiding spots for burglars.
- If you have large shrubbery or foliage, consider trimming it down
- Does your side yard or shed area require lighting? Motion sensor lights are an effective and inexpensive solution since they turn on automatically when movement is detected
UPGRADE YOUR LOCKS
If you have recently moved, updating your locks should be a high security priority. You can never be sure how many copies of the key are out there.
- Get deadbolt locks from your local hardware store. They offer much more protection than the standard locks that most builders use
- Upgrade the screws that hold the lock and door hinges in place. Most standard locks are installed with 1 inch screws, but if you upgrade to screws that are 3 or 4 inches long, you make it almost impossible for someone to kick the door out of its frame
SECURE ALL WINDOWS
Patio doors and sliding windows can be easy entrance points for criminals.
- Keep windows locked when you are away from home
- To prevent sliding doors and windows from being opened, cut a piece of wooden dowel (about 3/8” diameter) to the length of the window and fit it into the track. This causes a jam when someone tries to slide it open
- Paint the dowel the same color as your window frame and it will be virtually unnoticeable
DON’T ADVERTISE YOUR VALUABLES
This is especially important during the holidays. If you get a new TV, computer, or other valuable item, don’t put the box out on the curb for recycling. This lets people know what you own.
- Turn the box inside out, bring it directly to a recycling depot, or destroy it
- Keep your curtains closed, especially at night
MAKE IT LOOK LIKE SOMEONE IS HOME
If you are going away for more than 2 days, take these steps to secure your home in your absence:
- Use caution when telling others that you are going away for an extended amount of time. Use caution when posting information about your trip online or uploading photographs while still on vacation
- Ask a neighbor or relative to pick up your mail, cut your grass, or park in your driveway
- Plug lights and radios into appliance timers and set them to go off at different times
- Set the alarm before you leave. 40% of alarm-protected homes get broken into because the alarm is not actually turned on