Given all of the frightening headlines regarding homes being easily broken into and burglarized, people are becoming more and more concerned about the safety of their home and families. Believe it or not, you can make your home a whole lot more secure without paying thousands of dollars for a high-tech home security system. There are simple things that you can do that cost little to no money that will increase the overall protection of your home, they just involve a little bit of smart thinking and good habits!
1. Pick your location carefully. Location is the biggest factor when it comes to home security. Chose a home that you can afford in the safest area possible. Real estate agents can guide you in the right direction but can not tell you to pick one neighborhood over the other because they would be committing housing discrimination.
It is best to do a little bit of research before you decide to move; the internet is a great source. There are several websites that provide statistics to the crime of certain areas. Also, look for warming signs of a troubled neighborhood. Homes that have bars on the windows and feature many alarm company signs in front of homes, are major giveaways to neighborhoods that are prone to crimes.
2. Use the police. Most police departments in the United States offer a home-security inspection program. You can call your local police department and they will send a designated office to your home. Upon arrival, they will perform a walk through of your home where they will look for signs of security flaws. Once they are done, they will provide educated advice on how you can make your home as safe as possible.
3. Form a neighborhood watch program. Many crime-ridden neighborhoods have been able to stop burglaries right in their tracks with these reputable programs. These groups build team-work within neighborhoods to help reduce crime and reinforce property values. Members of these programs will all keep an eye on each other’s homes to ensure there is no chance of potential burglary.
4. Adopt a dog. A dog does not reduce the risk of burglary to your home 100% but it certainly makes your home less approachable. Nine times out of time a potential burglar will not approach a home if he hears a dog barking. If you don’t want a dog, it is perfectly acceptable to place a “beware of dog” sign outside your home as it will provide your home with just as much security as a barking dog would.
5. Create a “lived-in” look. When you are away from your home for a long period of time, do not let things such as mail and newspapers accumulate in front of your door. Make your home appear to be as if someone is there at all times. A home that appears to be vacant is the number one red flag to a burglar. Burglars look for things such as porch lights on 24/7 days a week and trash cans out on Friday for a monday pickup. All in all, a home that appears to be lived-in is less likely to be broken into.
6. Secure the perimeter. Secure the perimeter of your home by performing a few simple fixes. Replace your porch lights with an affordable motion-sensor bulb, these usually range anywhere from $20 to $50. You can also secure your home with a fence. Even a short, 3-foot fence creates a psychological boundary to burglars. Last but not least, eliminate all hiding spots such as trees and shrubs. A pruned and maintained landscape robs burglars of any possible hiding places.
Many people shell out tons of money installing electric alarms and wireless security systems, but these simple tips and tricks are sure to help protect your home against theft without having to spend a lot of money. After all, it is your home and you deserve to feel safe in it.