Home security systems can be expensive, but you know what’s even more costly? Experiencing a robbery. That’s why it’s so important that every homeowner takes steps to secure their home, even if they’re simple, DIY strategies. For safety on a budget, these five steps can protect your home against break-ins without breaking the bank.
Ditch The Hidden House Key
Many people hide a spare key on their property because it gives them a sense of security to know that they can get into their home if they forget or lose their normal key. Unfortunately, that key puts you at a much greater risk than just calling a locksmith or leaving a spare key with a neighbor. Additionally, most key hiding spots, from fake rocks to mailboxes and doormats are quite obvious. Burglars know how to find a hidden key and they will use it to get into your home. If you want a backup mode of entry, consider upgrading to keyless digital locks.
Consider A Camera
Home security systems come in all shapes and sizes, from professionally installed and maintained systems to basic smart home add-ons, which means most homeowners today can afford to install a security camera and alarm. In fact, some systems are even calibrated to be used by apartment dwellers.
For an affordable, easy to use home security solution, consider a smart home security device, such as the Canary All-in-One Smart Home Security Camera, Logitech Circle, or Nest Cam Outdoor. These systems allow for remote monitoring, are easy to install, and the presence of visible cameras deters burglars.
Provide Curtain Cover
Burglars don’t select target properties randomly; they scope out homes in advance to identify the best targets. But what do they look for? One thing they check for is the presence of valuables left out in plain sight, from expensive electronics in the living room to money or jewelry left on the counters. To make your home a less likely target, then, consider installing heavy curtains or blinds on your windows, especially on the first floor. Without the ability to see into the home, it’s harder for burglars to determine whether anyone is home and if there’s anything worth stealing inside.
Take In The Trash
When looking for homes that will make good targets, another thing that burglars look for – besides the ability to see into the home and the presence of a hidden key – are signs that the residents aren’t home. And two major giveaways of a vacationing family are trash cans that haven’t been taken in and mail and newspapers that are piling up. If you’re going to be traveling, get a neighbor, friend, or house sitter to bring in your trash cans and collect the mail. It also helps to put your lights on timers or have someone come by and turn them on and off to make it seem as though someone is at home, even while you’re away.
Reinforce Door Frames
Finally, it’s worth remembering that burglars aren’t afraid of using force; in fact, in interviews, a significant number of convicted burglars confessed to kicking in a door or being willing to do so. In order to keep this from happening, consider reinforcing your doors and windows. Replace old wooden front doors with metal ones and reinforce window locks. While most burglars won’t break a window because they risk getting cut, most standard windows are easy to pry open. If you have older, wood-framed windows, you may also want to upgrade them to something stronger as wood frames are especially vulnerable during break-ins.
While you shouldn’t dwell on the slight chance you’ll be robbed at some point in the future, you shouldn’t be too laissez-faire about the prospect either. The fact is, a home is targeted every 18 seconds in the United States, adding up to 4,800 burglaries per day. Though you can’t account for every possibility, with just a few low-cost changes, you can make your home a less desirable prospect to prowlers.
It’s time to step up your security.