Keeping your home safe and secure for you and your family is no doubt your number one priority as a homeowner. According to the 2019 Crime in the United States report as published by the Uniform Crime Reporting Program of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), “There were an estimated 6,925,677 property crime offenses in the nation, which resulted in losses estimated at $15.8 billion.” Here’s what you can do to help make your home secure.
Anchor Your Air Conditioner
Do you have window air conditioners? They’re easy to remove and can provide a quick access point into your home for a would-be robber. Be sure they’re correctly installed and secured with braces, brackets, and/or sliding window locks.
Call on the Cops
At your request, many police departments offer free home security audits to help you identify areas of concern within your home. They can offer crime prevention suggestions and tips, all designed to help keep your home off their police crime reports in the future.
Defend Your Doors
The first line of defense in your home are your doors. The main entryway should have a secure metal-clad or solid-core metal/wood door installed, which should always be locked with a deadbolt/heavy-duty strike plate whether you’re at home or not. Your garage door should always be closed and the inner door leading into your home should be locked at all times. If you’ve got sliding-glass doors, they’re easily opened by potential thieves so be sure to add a floor bolt or a safety bar.
Don’t Keep Your Keys Near the Door
We all do it. We enter our homes and drop our keys in a great organizational tray so we don’t have to look for them. But the problem here is that if you forget to lock your doors, these same keys are easily accessible to anyone. It’s better to secure your house and car keys in a drawer or a cabinet where they can’t easily be discovered.
Illuminate Your Yard
A well-lit yard is always a great deterrent for burglary as it’s risky for a crook to be spotted or even identified while trying to break into your home or access your property. Basic outdoor lighting with motion sensors can provide home security especially when they’re placed near your entry doors. You can also set up outdoor lights on timers such as around your garage or front porch, which gives the impression you’re expecting someone imminently. Be sure to keep your shrubs trimmed and away from the house so there isn’t any place for looters to hide in the shadows.
Kill the Spare Key
Let’s face it, most of us hide a spare house key somewhere near our front doors. While it may be convenient at the moment, robbers also know exactly where to look especially if you’re putting those keys under the doormat or stashed within a fake rock. It’s a straightforward solution to leave your spare key with a trusted neighbor instead.
Lose the Ladder
While it may seem like a simple solution to store a ladder against your garage or another outbuilding, it’s only an easily accessible invitation for a burglar to try and gain access to an upper balcony or high floor windows.
If you don’t already have a set of household safety rules in place, it’s easy to get everyone on the same page during a quick family meeting. Once the rules become routine, they will also become regular safety habits. Simple household safety rules for all members of the family can include:
- always locking all your doors and windows whether you’re home or not
- always using your monitored alarm system
- closing/locking your garage door
- never opening a door to someone you don’t know or aren’t expecting
- remembering to lock your doors even if you’re only out and about doing yard work
Secure With Signage, or Not?
Some experts suggest using fake security company signs on your doors and windows to deter any would-be thieves, while others point out you could be violating copyright laws if you’re using the name of a real security company. The best bet would be to install an actual security system that provides 24/7 monitoring to keep your family safe. Although, posting a simple sign such as ‘beware of dog’ doesn’t come with any legal downfalls but could be enough to deter a potential thief.
Secure Your Valuables
Many homeowners have small safes where they store their valuables such as jewelry and paperwork. But if the safe isn’t bolted down, a thief will simply take it with them and go through the contents later once they’re off-site. You can also store your valuables in a safe-deposit box and all of your vital household documents securely online with DomiDocs.
Time Your Lights
While it may seem like basic security 101, it’s important to always create the impression that someone is occupying your home. Today’s gadgets offer everything from simple light timers, which can be installed in every room of your house, to simulators that mimic flickering television lights.
DomiDocs can give you peace of mind in knowing you’re on top of your home’s security and safety. We can provide reminders for regularly scheduled maintenance and store your vital homeowner insurance policies within our digital platform. Be sure to check out our additional home safety articles:
Author – Connie Motz