You want to try to make your home as secure as possible for your family. What do you need to do to make it the safest home in the city? There are several things you can easily do yourself to make your home less attractive to a burglar.
You should know there are about 2 million burglaries a year in the US. The surprising fact is in 2010 there were only 18% of homeowners that had a security system in the house. Future trends show 30% of homes in US will have a security system by 2020.
You can also do many other things to the home to secure it and repel burglars. Let’s look at what you can do to better secure the home.
Man’s best friend is also man’s best home protector. You can get a dog to help with security of the home. We have an article on the top breeds for guard dogs it is called the 18 best guard dog breeds. There are several breeds you can get for a guard dog. If you have kids please look at getting one of the more kid friendly guard dogs.
You can also look at getting a medium size dog or a small dog. They may not be able to attack someone of they broke into your home but they can bark to warn you.
Beware of Dog
You can also put a beware of dog sign in the yard. It does not matter if you have a dog or not to use this tactic. You just want the burglar to believe you have an attack dog. If you do not have one but they believe you do then mission accomplished.
Home security system
I know this is obvious but remember only 30% of homes will have a security system by 2020. That leaves 70% of the homes without an alarm if there is a break-in. You should get an alarm system for the home. There are 2 different types you can choose from to buy.
This security system you usually have to install yourself. These are not too hard so most people can do this. Once you have installed the system and loaded the app on your phone you are ready to go. The way these alarm systems work if you are away from home and someone broke into the house then you are responsible to call the police. The alarm system is only set to notify you. You are the monitoring center when the alarm is tripped.
Monitored by professional monitoring company
This system you can install or have a company install it for you if they give you that option. The alarm systems are similar no matter if you do self-monitor or have another company monitor your home for you. The big difference is saving $29 to $59 a month not paying monitoring fees if you go with self-monitor.
The big benefit is if you are sleeping at night. The monitoring company will call the police even if you do not answer the phone if the alarm goes off. You would need your phone on you all the time and you need to be monitoring it in case the alarm is tripped.
Alarm sign yard
This is just to let a burglar know you have an alarm. You can also put an alarm sign in your yard even if you do not have an alarm. They would not know for sure unless they broke into the home and see there was no alarm system. Get a sign and stick it in your yard because either way it is a great deterrent.
You need to have motion sensor lights in the front and back of the home. The lights will come on when anyone walks past them. Having the yard well-lit at night is just another deterrent for a burglar. They want to hide in the shadows with no one seeing them entering or leaving your home. If you do not have the motion sensor lights then a porch light on for the front and back of the house is better than nothing.
Outside security cameras
Outside security cameras work really well to prevent a burglar from targeting the home. A camera system set up around your house with well-placed camera positions covering the entrances. This will make it difficult for a thief to break into a home and not record their face plus body type. Burglars do not want to be on camera because it is too easy to identify them.
You should install cameras at each entrance to the home. If you have three doors then make sure you have the camera placed to cover all three doors. You want to learn more about home security camera placement then go to our article where to place home security cameras.
If you are looking for cameras to install yourself then check out our products page that may be able to help you.
Landscaping and fencing
The landscaping needs to be very clean in the yard. You do not want big bushes or trees blocking the entrances to the home. You need to cut back the brush to make it easy to see a criminal trying to break in.
Fencing in a yard is great but it also gives the thief a chance to hide their movement and get into the home unnoticed. The prying neighbor eyes will not see the robbery due to the high fence. .
Lock your doors and windows
The numbers say 30% of break-ins are done by the burglar just walking through an unlocked door. When people leave their home they will forget to lock the back door, front door, garage door or window. You want to keep your house and family safe then lack the doors.
Set alarm but did not lock door
You can still set the alarm system even if you forget to lock the door. Once the alarm is on whoever walks in the front door will have tripped the alarm. Once it is tripped that will hopefully scare them away. The number one way a burglar breaks into a home is through unlocked doors and windows. I always check my door and garage doors every night to make sure they are locked.
Kick in the door
You are at home with the door locked when someone kicks in your door. Several guys rush into your house to steal and possibly hurt your family. The question is what do you do about securing the doors from a kick or other device used to open the door forcibly.
You need something like Door Armor to re-inforce the door jamb from kicks or crow bars. This is a product we recommend because it works so well. You install on your door and the door frame itself. The device makes it nearly impossible to kick in the door. That is the time you need to call police or get a weapon to defend yourself.
Vacation and trips
You can actually set up timers for the interior lights to go on and off at any time you may be gone. The one thing you want to make sure of is that you set up timers for your lights when you are on vacation or traveling. You want to make sure it looks like there is someone home when you are gone. The lights turning on and off at set times will make the house look occupied.
Car in driveway
Leaving the car in the driveway will let a burglar know someone is home. If you leave on vacation or you are gone all day at work leaving a vehicle in the driveway deters break-ins. Not all families have extra cars so this one may not be feasible for everyone.
Radio or TV on in the house
Leaving the radio or TV on in the house will stop a burglar from breaking in. The last thing burglars want is to rob a house with someone in it. Their chances of getting caught go if there are people in the home. I do this with my rental properties if they are vacant in between tenants. I leave a radio and turn it up loud so people can hear it just outside the door. This makes it look like someone is home.
Bars on windows
You can put steel bars on the windows to prevent a break-in. If you are in a really nice neighborhood you would not want to do this for home value and aesthetic purposes. Living in a bad neighborhood you may need bars on the window. The only dangerous part is if there is a fire and it would be difficult to get out of the windows with bars on them. You need to leave at least one window without the bars.
I have had people break –in through the basement windows. I started putting glass block windows in my rental properties to stop them from going through those windows. You will not get through glass block that is for sure.
Video doorbell camera
I have a video doorbell security camera on my house. It works really well for letting me know when someone is at my front door. I got it last winter during Christmas. The postman told me there had been some package thefts in the area. That is when I decided to get the video doorbell. The app works great I can talk to anyone that comes up to my door. I can also get video of anyone that walks up no matter if it is a friend or thief taking my packages. It is a great deterrent for would be robbers because they all know what it is when they are targeting the package on my front porch.
We have a few video doorbells cameras we recommend on our products page.
You need to be aware of what is going on in your neighborhood. Look around when you drive to see if there is anything suspicious going on. If you see a car parked too long and you do not know them call police. You can also have someone go up to the car to ask what they are doing parked in front of your house. Safety reasons I would have an adult male go up to the car.
Do not answer the door
You have a stranger ring the doorbell and you immediately answer the door. How do you know who it is or what they are there for? You need to have a video doorbell camera so you can see who it is on your app. You can also install a peep hole in your door if it does not already have one.
Ask through the door what they want but do not open the door. There is no reason to put yourself or family at risk. If you do not know who is at the door then do not open it.
Sliding glass door
The sliding glass door is an easy way for someone to enter your home easily. You will need to better secure the door besides using the cheap factory latches that come on the door. I have had a sliding glass door and I would put a wooden stick in the door runner so someone could not pull hard to break the latch and open the door. You can also get a bolt like lock to put on the door to secure it even more. You should not just rely on the latch with the door when it comes to home security.
We hope this answers any of the questions you had on how to prevent break-ins. We all want our family to be safe in our own home. To be safe you have to make your home safe. You need to set up almost everything we have suggested above. You do not have to do everything we suggested, just do what makes sense for your home and protection.