Few things are more terrifying than a home invasion. Even if no one is present when a break-in occurs, the sense of violation can leave you with psychological scars.
With that in mind, you owe it to yourself to do all you can to keep your home safe. Here are five ways to improve security you might not have thought of — but should.
1. Secure First Floor Doors and Windows
Safeguarding your home against invasion requires you to think like the enemy. Thieves aren’t there to play “Mission: Impossible.” They’re seeking the quickest and least conspicuous way to get in, grab their haul and leave. The best approach is to walk on through an open door — your neighbors might think it’s a repair person or dog walker if the wrongdoer appears confident.
If you have loved ones, it should scare you that one in five people fail to lock their doors when they’re home. Please train your kiddos always to lock up, even if their “grownups” are present.
However, throwing the deadbolt isn’t enough. Roughly 23% of all break-ins occur through a window, typically on the first floor — your average thief isn’t Spiderman. It costs little and takes next-to-know mechanical knowledge to screw in small brackets to make screens impossible to remove from the outside. You’ll also get added peace of mind that your kitties won’t accidentally plummet when they sit on the sill.
2. Maintain Your Landscaping
If you like your privacy, maybe you went the route of planting tall trees and shrubbery that hide your abode. However, doing so might make you a more attractive target for thieves, who can use all that foliage to conceal their actions as they break into your home.
Ideally, you want to increase your home’s street visibility by keeping all bushes and hedges trimmed to no higher than three feet. You get a bonus for cutting those adjacent to your house — it makes it harder for insect pests like tiny ants to climb in through your screens.
You can go further to safeguard your home by choosing the plants and substrates for your adjacent gardens wisely. Plant thorny bushes near possible entryways like first-floor windows. If you live in the desert southwest, you have no shortage of plant options, but roses flourish nearly anywhere. You can also use gravel as a substrate — the sound of boots crunching outside your window will alert you if an intruder lurks.
3. Talk to Your Neighbors
Many people don’t know their neighbors anymore, which threatens their security. Forming bonds makes it more natural to ask them to pick up your mail and keep an eye on the homestead when you go on vacation.
Change occurs when one person decides to take positive action. If you have time to organize it, consider starting a neighborhood watch. Thieves do monitor neighborhoods, and they’re less likely to target those they know are protected by strong citizen watchdogs.
4. Light It Up
You can use lighting to your advantage, but you have to be smart. Going overly bright with your exterior lights can create blind spots when you move from an illuminated area to a dark one. You’re safest by sticking to warm, soft tones — these also inhibit light pollution and have a less damaging effect on creatures like fireflies.
You don’t necessarily want to make your house look like a holiday display all year — it’s draining on your electric bill. However, motion detector lights can alert you to outdoor movement and act as a disincentive to thieves to keep moving.
5. Rearrange Your Furniture
While many burglars plan their crimes, others act on opportunity, performing a quick smash-and-grab only when they deem it safe. Even if you have bars on your windows, a savvy thief might break glass when your home sits empty and pull out the flat screen you have perched in plain view — and reach.
You know to hide your computer and cellphone when you take them along in your vehicle, but you shouldn’t get lazy at home. Keep any valuables like game consoles and electronics away from windows where passersby may spy them and catch a case of itchy fingers.
Keep Your Home More Secure With These 5 Tips You May Not Have Considered
The sense of lost safety following a property invasion is often a greater loss than the items taken. Keep your home more secure with the five tips above that you may not have considered.