Top 10 Ways to Improve Home Security

In Home Defense Tips by homedefense

How secure is your home? Home security is one of those things people overlook because usually other priorities come up that are more pressing and we tend to forget about the safety of our home. Most people take a real hard look at their home security only after they have been robbed. You really need to look at home security now more than ever. The family wants a safe home to live, play, eat and have fun. Securing your home the right way will make home security one less thing to worry about.

Let’s look at ten ways to improve your home security. Consider these ideas and insights that will keep you and your family safe.

Top 10 ways to secure your home includes:

  1. Turn on your outdoor lights.

Having outdoor lighting is such a simple tactic to use to prevent a burglary. Make sure you turn on your outside lights or use an automated system. Having additional lights for your yard is also an excellent way to protect your home. The more lights you have at night the less likely someone will come onto your property to try and break into your home.

I personally think you should get motion sensor lights for the back and front yards. The minute someone walks by the light it automatically comes on. I wish I had a motion sensor light for my first home. It was late one night during the week and I was thinking of going to bed. I heard a loud noise coming from the area of my shed that is in my back yard. I had a bi-level home so the sliding glass door was on the second floor. It went onto a second story deck overlooking my backyard. I turned on the flood light for the backyard and there were two teen boys trying to break into my shed.

The light scared them so when I opened up my sliding glass door to yell at them they had already scattered like roaches. If I had a motion sensor light they probably would have run as soon as the light came on. They did not get the door open and there was not much in there to steal even if they did. Lights are an excellent deterrent for any possible offender, for the simple fact that they do not want to be seen- and caught! who is.

  1. Beware of scams.

Scammers are out there and they are trying to find a way to steal your stuff. If you have a security sign in the yard the scam they do now is to tell you that their company bought out the security company you are using. They will ask if they can come in to update your system or maybe schedule a time to come back and do a system update. I don’t believe anyone who comes to my door. When they tell you that their company bought out your security company then tell them thanks for the information and you will call your current company right now. Close the door and lock it just to be safe. Then look up your security vendor and confirm if they were bought out or not.

I never click pictures or links on emails sent to me from a business or person. I confirm the information in the email by calling the company at their direct number to see if they sent this email. There are way too many scams so you need to be careful.

  1. Keep your security codes private.

We need to get real on this one. You should not be giving out your alarm security code or garage door code to anyone. I gave our garage door code out to my mom and dad but other than immediate family no one else should have it. I know we want to trust people but this is your home and security. I recommend that you do not give it out unless it is critical.

You also need to have a talk with your teen kids because they should not be giving that out to anyone. You have to really stress to them that no one gets the code.

  1. Lock your parked car in the driveway or on the street.

People can sometimes forget to lock their cars, especially when they are parked right in the driveway. Why would this jeopardize your home security? If you are like me I have a garage door opener in my car that I park in my driveway. You leave your car unlocked and BAM someone has your garage door opener to press the button and steal everything in the garage. They will also have access to the home since most people do not lock the door to the garage.

My garage door has a button I can press to lock the door and prevent it from opening at all. If you pressed the lock every night this would secure the door but not every garage door system has that feature.

  1. Keep your curtains closed.

Keeping the curtains or blinds closed at least in the areas of the home where people can walk by and see inside is a good idea. Having a laptop on a desk right by the window with the curtains opened just screams steal me. You just need to keep valuables out of sight of prying eyes.

  1. Secure you ladders, tools, toys, etc.

Ladders – You don’t want anyone to have access to your ladder so they can climb to the second story of your house to climb through the open window. Many homeowners leave their ladders up against the back of the house. This is just asking a burglar to use it to get to an already opened second story window.

Tools – Don’t leave tools lying around the outside of the house. A burglar could use any of these tools to pry open the window or open the lock. Most burglars will bring their own tools but no reason to make things easy for someone to break in.

Kids toys, bikes, scooters and other fun things 

This will depend on the area of town you live in but you should not leave toys, bikes or other fun things in the yard. You need to put these items away once the kids are done playing with them. I had planted a few new shrubs in the front of my rental property. A few days later I had to stop at this rental to do some work and what do you know the neighbor actually ripped out my bushes and planted them in their yard.

  1. Trick the thieves into thinking you’re home when you’re not.

Burglars do not like to go into homes when someone is there. They usually like the home to be vacant when breaking in to steal your valuables. You can put a device in your front window called Fake TV. When you put this near the window it makes it look like someone is inside watching TV. This would be great for a vacant rental when looking for new tenants or use while you are on vacation. You can also use a radio to make it sound like someone is home.

I have also read that burglars look to see if all cars are gone from the driveway. If you leave one of your cars in the driveway this would deter a burglar. They equate seeing a car in the driveway to the homeowners being home.

  1. Don’t post pictures on social media while on vacation.

You know what the first thing you should do on vacation? Post on Facebook and Twitter that your whole family is on vacation and your house is wide open for someone to break into. I’m joking. DO NOT DO THIS.

I just went on vacation with my family and my daughter wanted to post pictures on Instagram of our trip. I know that is fun but it is not a good idea to let everyone know you are not home for a week. You are asking someone to rip you off. You need to wait till you get home to post pictures of your trip. This is the safe way to do it.

  1. Use a camera system.

A thief does not want their face captured on a video or camera while they are committing a crime. Setting up a CCTV system at your home is one of the best ways to protect you and the family. The cost for a camera system has really decreased over the years so most people can afford them. You can hire a professional to install a system or buy a DIY system. I have a video doorbell that captures people walking up to my front door. This video doorbell system has a motion sensor and night vision to capture people at night. When anyone comes to the door, my app for this system alerts me and opens up the video feed so I can see who is at the door. I can even talk with the person at my door using my smart phone. If you cannot afford the more sophisticated CCTV systems, then just get a video doorbell system.

  1. Install an alarm system.

You want security 24/7, so it would be wise to install an alarm system for the home. You can buy a DIY system or hire a company like ADT to install an alarm for you. You can find a nice alarm system to fit your budget and still secure the home. With alarm systems today, you can set them up to use motion sensors or devices that are put on windows and doors. These devices have one contact on the frame and one contact on the door or window. The minute someone breaks the device connection by opening the door or window, an alarm will sound. The monitoring company will contact you to see if it was a false alarm and if you do not answer they send the police or fire department. If you get an alarm system, make sure you check with your city about needing an alarm permit. I had to get a permit for where I live.

If you need more information check out our article on do home security systems deter burglars.

I hope these ten ways to improve your home security taught you a few things to secure your home and property. There are many more things you can do to protect your family and your home. These were just a few things we thought would be helpful. Make sure you do as many as you can on the list and your home will be that much more secure from intruders.