The good news is that there are some simple steps you can take to help improve the security of your home and reduce the risk of theft. Here are some easy tips that can help improve your safety and overall peace of mind:
1. DECORATE GARDENS FOR SAFETY
Landscaping can help beautify your home, but it can also help protect you from intruders. For example, according to Angie’s List *, planting thorn bushes under windows can deter a break-in attempt. Shrubs near windows and doors should be kept trimmed, as neglected plants can provide a hiding place for thieves, according to Angie’s List. Additionally, installing decorative lighting, including motion-activated lights, on your property can serve as a deterrent.
2. STOP PACKAGE THIEVES
Online shopping has its advantages, but doorstep deliveries can be a temptation for thieves. Consumer Reports * suggests working with courier companies on security, requiring a text message when a delivery is made, requiring a signature, or simply asking that packages be left in a less prominent location. Another option, according to Consumer Reports, is to install security cameras around your home to monitor activity.
3. KEEP VALUABLE ITEMS HIDDEN
If a passerby can see into your home and take an instant inventory of your valuables, then so can a criminal, warns the Insurance Information Institute (III)*. Organizing suggests rearranging your furniture so that it is less visible from the door or a window. This also goes for car keys, which in many homes are often left on a shelf or hung on a hook near a doorway. Consumer Reports recommends storing * these inside a cabinet or drawer to keep them hidden from view.
4. STRENGTHEN ENTRY POINTS
The III suggests having exterior doors that are metal or solid wood, and are at least 1 3/4 inches thick. Windows can be protected with locks or burglary-resistant glass. If your house has sliding glass windows or doors, reinforce them with a metal bar, says the III. A security alarm is also useful, of course. The III recommends an alarm that alerts an external service when the system is breached.
5. ADOPT SAFE BEHAVIORS
Your personal habits can also play a role in home security. The III encourages homeowners to get into the habit of securely locking doors and windows and activating the alarm system when leaving your home. If you’re going away for a while, the III suggests giving your home the appearance of being lived in: leave the blinds in their usual positions, make a plan to defer mail and other deliveries, and use light timers in various areas of the home ( smart home devices * can help with this task). Another tip from the III: remove your house keys when you leave the keys with a parking attendant. The reason for doing this is that tech-savvy thieves can duplicate your house key* just taking a picture of it.
Common sense practices like these can help keep your home from being an easy target and can go a long way in keeping your family, home, and belongings out of harm’s way.