If you're buying a new home or simply looking for ways to make your current home safer and more secure, there are a lot of things you can do. Many of the best ways to secure your home and your property aren't necessarily expensive or too time-consuming, and they can go a long way.
The following are some of the most important things to keep in mind when it comes to making your property more secure.
Add or Update Your Security System
Security systems are such an important part of keeping your family, your home, and your property safe. For example, according to one St. Louis alarm system company citing a recent study, 83% of thieves are deterred by the presence of an alarm system. Often if your home was going to be targeted and a thief sees you have an alarm system, they'll pick another property.
There are a lot of different features you can choose from to customize your residential alarm, including:
Home surveillance features
You can also go even further in the securing of your home with features like smoke detectors, gas detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors that are linked to your security system.
When you choose a home security system, consider the following:
If you add on security cameras, which aren't required, you can see what's happening around your home both when you're there and when you're not. Most will start recording footage when an alarm is triggered, and there are also video doorbells you can install.
This was touched on, but a key part of securing your home isn't just making sure you keep intruders out, but also that it's an overall safe environment. This means that you should choose environmental alarms and sensors, including smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. You can also add on an extreme temperature monitor.
Some people install panic buttons so you can quickly get help when you need it.
There's something called a garage door tilt sensor that can be placed inside your garage door, so you'll know when the door is open or closed.
While there are DIY systems, with professional monitoring, you get dispatchers who can alert authorities right away if something happens in your home.
What a lot of people do is integrate their security system with their smart home technology so you can quite literally control everything no matter where you are. This can include your locks, thermostats, lights, and more and it's all controlled from an app on your phone.
Secure Your Doors and Windows
Beyond having a security system, there are other things you can do to make your home more secure. A lot of these strategies should focus on your doors and windows. It sounds simple, but these tend to be the primary point of access for criminals.
In fact, it's estimated that 34% of burglars go through the front door.
You want to ensure your door has a strong frame with protected hinges. If you have a mail slot, ensure that it can't be reached into, to unlock the door.
If you move into a new home, change the locks right away, and always have a deadbolt on your doors.
You can also add a strike plate, and if you want to spend a little extra for the upgrade, go with smart locks.
Windows are another entry point for burglars, and if you have older windows you might consider replacing them. If so, choose windows with locks or levers that are operated by key.
You can install glass break sensors and window security film too.
It's also a good idea to have bushes with prickles or thorns located directly under windows on the first floor, as long as they don't become overgrown because that can mean they're a place for criminals to hide.
If your doors are in bad shape, particularly when it comes to the frame, you might give them a complete upgrade.
A security door can be wood, stainless steel, aluminum, or fiberglass. You don't have to sacrifice style for security.
Light Your Exterior
Lighting your home's exterior is good from both a design standpoint and also a security perspective. A criminal doesn't want to feel like they're in the direct path of light, so use lights activated by motion and put your outdoor lights on a timer.
You can place lights along your lawn in the front and back, along your pathways, and around your garage.
Check Your Garage
Another entry point is the garage, and criminals might not even have to go all the way into your home if they can get in there-they can find a lot worth stealing within the garage itself.
You should make sure your garage doors have locks, and that you also lock your door leading from your garage to your home.
You can use a smart garage door opener as well, and if you have home automation, you can make sure your garage door is never accidentally left open.
Integrate Design and Security
Some interior design tips can help make a home more secure as well. For example, curtains can prevent window shopping by would-be criminals, and they also tend to help your home be more energy efficient.
When you have smart home technology, you can turn on lights remotely from wherever you are so that it'll look like someone is home even when they aren't.
When you're doing your exterior design and landscaping, if you place trees in the proper places, it can help protect your exposed windows so that passing traffic can't see what's going on inside your home as easily.
There are simple things you can do that can go a long way to make sure your home is more secure. They can be design-related, or they might be related to smart home technology and security systems. Either way, it's always important to combine function as much as form when it comes to your home's design.