According to the FBI, there is a burglary every 30 seconds.
But protecting your hard-earned valuables and maintaining a calm home environment isn’t as difficult as it seems. There are simple measures you can take to avoid becoming another statistic –and the key is to make your home look unattractive to criminals.
Here are six ways you can secure your home that will ensure that you’re not a soft target when crime comes knocking.
1. Install a Home Security System
The most effective way to keep intruders out of your home is to install a home security system. Not only do they prevent burglars from breaking in, but they also alert you if there are criminals on your property.
The presence of a home security system is known to deter criminals. When a burglar knows his cover has been blown, they are more likely to leave. In fact, studies show that homes without security systems are three times more likely to be broken into.
The best part about home security systems are all the options. You can pick up an inexpensive security system or install one yourself, so there’s no need to break the bank.
2. Secure Every Door and Window
The easiest way to prevent intruders from entering your home is to deny them access. Making sure all your doors and windows are locked securely at night is your first barrier of defense.
Criminals will look for soft targets – an open window or an unlocked door is practically inviting them in. Getting into a routine of locking everything up before you leave the house is the simplest way to keep your valuables safe. If you are at home, it’s even more important to lock all your doors and windows.
There are devices that you can buy to ensure that all your entry points stay closed – door and window sensors can track if a door has been left ajar or if a window has blown open. You can also install smart locks on timers to automatically lock everything up.
3. Upgrade Your Locks
While making sure every door is locked is the easiest and most inexpensive way to secure your home, you may also want to invest in some high-quality locks. This adds an extra layer to your line of defense.
Install deadbolts on every exterior door to make it difficult for criminals to break in. You can also upgrade your door frames and hinges to a more durable material so that they can withstand more force.
Old doors with exposed hinges are particularly flimsy and generally won’t hold up, so they pose an unnecessary risk.
The best way to block access to your home is to upgrade all door frames and locks – or, even better, you can invest in smart locks that you can activate remotely.
4. Keep Valuables Out of Sight
Most criminals will scope a house out to evaluate the risk before breaking in, and they tend to rob houses that hold more valuables.
Always keep your valuable or expensive items out of sight so that prying eyes can’t see them. Items like pricey tools and bikes should be kept behind a closed garage door, and electronics, jewelry, cash, and other costly valuables should be kept away from open windows.
Don’t ever leave boxes for expensive items out on the pavement or in the yard for everyone to see, and install blinds or curtains to keep what you own private.
5. Get Outdoor Lights
Criminals don’t ever want to feel like their activities are on display for everyone to see. They like to stay in the shadows so that their presence can go undetected. That’s why making sure your garden and driveway are well-lit can be a major deterrent.
Instead of wasting electricity by leaving your outdoor lights on all night, you can invest in fittings with motion sensors that will flood the yard with light every time they detect any movement. These lights can be extremely off-putting for burglars creeping around in the dark and can even scare them off.
6. Don’t Let On That You’re Not Home
The average robber doesn’t want to enter your home while you’re there. Potentially being spotted and having the cops called on them just adds unnecessary complications. Burglars want to enter and exit as efficiently as possible –running into someone in the house is usually the last thing they want.
Making it look like someone is home at all times is an effective way to deter burglars from breaking into your home. You can leave the TV blaring or leave a light on while you are at work.
When you’re gone for a longer period – like when you’re on vacation – get a neighbor to collect your mail so that nobody on the outside knows you’re gone.