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Home Security Tips For Today’s Homeowner

How secure are you in your home? As our world changes and crime rates rise, it is becoming more and more important to make our homes as secure as possible. But what does this really mean? Home security requires us to be vigilant and aware of our surroundings and assess the possible vulnerabilities that a criminal might try to exploit. Good home security is important because it reduces the risk of property loss and, most importantly, personal injury to yourself or others.

The first step in making sure your home is secure is to take a basic assessment of your property. Try to look at your home as a thief might. What would be the fastest or easiest way for an intruder to gain access to your home? These are the areas you will want to address. Here are some things to keep in mind as you go through this process.

Do you live in a well-lighted area? Criminals will usually shy away from homes and businesses that are well lit. If you have a streetlight on your property, then you have adequate lighting already. If not, you might want to consider adding some lights, and possibly some that are motion sensor triggered. Try to focus on areas where there are still shadows, and particularly areas around secluded doors and windows.

Does your property have a natural barrier, such as a creek or pond? If so, this may be to your benefit, as criminals will typically seek the path of least resistance. Trees and shrubs can also work to your benefit. Many homeowners will plant thorny bushes underneath low windows, making them difficult to access from outdoors. If you don’t have any natural barriers, man-made barriers are another option. If you don’t already have one, consider adding a security fence to your yard.

Do you have any pets that may alert you to an intruder? Many people mistakenly think that they need a guard dog that is very vicious. This is not true, and in fact, guard dogs can be a major liability rather than an asset. If you’re thinking about getting a pet for security purposes, consider a watch dog. Watch dogs are animals that aren’t extremely vigilant and tend to make a lot of noise if they sense anything out of the ordinary. Terriers and other small breeds make very good watch dogs, and yet they are not particularly dangerous animals. If you are unable to own and care for a pet, consider putting a beware of dog sticker on the back windows or door. This inexpensive alternative may deter a possible intruder.
Next, you’ll want to assess your home’s various points of entry. How secure are your entry door locks? The standard for door security has almost always been the deadbolt. For maximum security, invest in double deadbolt entry locks, and preferably ones that are bump proof. Lock bumping is a very easy means by which criminals can enter your home, and this method of forced entry is gaining in popularity. Bump proof locks are becoming more of a standard, but if you cannot find them in a local store, try searching online or in a specialty store. When upgrading the security for your entry doors, don’t neglect side and rear entrances, as these are the area’s most likely to be targeted by thieves.

Lastly, you can always consider installing a home surveillance system or monitoring system. Some systems are considered do-it-yourself alarms that you can wire up to your home telephone system. If the alarm goes off, your phone will autodial the police or other emergency personnel. There are also many companies that sell home security systems and monitoring services, as well.

Remember, good home security is one of the most important investments you will ever make. When it comes to protecting your property and family, it’s worth taking the time to do a home evaluation and identify areas that need improvement. With a relatively small monetary investment and some good common sense, many home break-ins can be prevented.