Your home is your sanctuary. The last thing you want to think about is the threat of burglary or intrusion. With that in mind, here are some precautions you can take to keep your home as safe as possible.
1. Lock your doors and windows.
This is common sense, yes, but it’s not a universal habit. Many thefts occur as a result of a home that was left unsecured.
2. Know your neighbors.
Offer to call them if you see anything suspicious at their home, and ask them to return the favor.
3. Consider forming a neighborhood watch group.
A whole block worth of eyes is better than just one person or household.
4. Keep the exterior of your home well lit.
Don’t leave dark corners where someone could hide.
5. Landscape for line of sight.
The more your windows and doors are visible from the street, the less appealing they are to thieves.
6. Watch your social media habits.
Don’t announce your two-week vacation online or post about being out of town for work until you return.
7. Hold that subscription.
When you’re away, remember to ask USPS to hold your mail during that time. Also take care of newspapers and other regular subscriptions that are delivered to your door. Piling up paper is a sign that nobody is home.
8. Put those lights on a timer.
You can also consider turning on the television while you’re out.
9. Plant something prickly.
Roses, raspberries, or cacti planted underneath windows makes them an unattractive entryway.
10. Make sure your locks are solid.
Good deadbolts aren’t expensive, but they’re necessary. And don’t forget to use them!
11. Update those old windows.
Consider reinforced glass or window bars if smashed windows are an issue in your neighborhood.
12. Install a peephole in your door.
Add a lower one if you have wheelchair users or children at home. You should always be able to see who is at the door before answering.
13. Don’t leave spare keys under the mat.
If someone can see you hiding it from the street, it’s not a good spot. A hidden coded lock box around back is a better bet for your spare, as is leaving it with a trusted neighbor.
14. Lock up your valuables and weapons.
These should hidden as well as secured.
15. Trim trees away from upper story access.
Second story windows and balcony doors are more likely to be unlocked, and trees are a perfect way to access them.
16. Consider motion-activated lights.
These double as a security measure as well as a helpful addition when you’ve dropped your keys in the dark.
17. Need to leave payment? Don’t tape it to the door.
Let the person in question know that you’ll be leaving their money in a hidden location. Even taped out of sight on the inside of a back-facing storm door is better than out front.
18. Take your cell phone with you when answering the door.
If it turns out to be a dangerous situation, you have the ability to call or report it right away.
19. Turn down the volume on your home phone when you leave.
A phone that rings and rings without being answered is a sign that nobody is around. The same goes for alarm clocks.
20. A dog really can be your best friend.
There are many breeds that make excellent guard dogs.
21. Take good care of your home and surroundings.
Regular upkeep says “People care about this house and pay attention to it,” which is an immediate turn-off to potential thieves.
22. Be unpredictable.
Take a different car to work. Switch up your schedule. The less predictable your routine, the harder it is to plan to invade your home.
23. Get a home security system.
If that’s out of your price range, consider just getting signs that give the impression that you have one.
24. Install visible cameras.
The idea is not just to see who approaches your house, but also to let everyone know that you’re watching.
25. Report any suspicious activity right away.
Using an app like Torch takes all the guesswork out of reporting, which means you can feel confident that the tips you leave will provide the right information to the right people, leaving your home and your neighborhood safer than ever before. Click the button to download Torch today.