If you’ve just recently bought a new house, the last thing you would want is a burglary. Of course, the real estate agent promised it’s a very nice neighborhood with a very low crime rate.
However, high-income, “safe” neighborhoods are exactly the kind of neighborhoods the most cunning of home intruders always target.
If you have to safeguard your home against burglars and thieves, it’s imperative you have a well-designed constantly monitored home security system. Apart from that, you should also avoid a bunch of common mistakes most homeowners make which leaves them more prone to theft and robbery.
Here are our top 10 tips to ensure your house and all your belongings stay safe and protected.
Safe Ways to Secure Your New Home
- Safe Ways to Secure Your New Home
Deadbolts on your doors
Most of the times, robbers just waltz in through the front door. The first precaution you need to take is to ensure that you can’t reach in through the mail slot and unlock the door from inside.
You also need to ensure that your cat and dog hole is not large enough for a human to stick his torso in and unlock the doorknob. No glass fixtures near the doorknob as well. Those glass panels are begging to be smashed!
Put in a deadbolt behind your doors so it can’t be pried open. Pair it up with an electronic lock for even more security. Electronic locks require a password on a keypad or a fingerprint match. This adds an extra layer of security to your doorway.
Needless to say, your door frames and hinges need regular maintenance, and if you want to be extra careful, consider investing in a door break sensor or a glass break sensor.
Burglar-proof your windows
If it’s not a door, windows are the next most common entry point. Thus your windows deserve the same amount of attention as your doors. Unfortunately, most manufacturers just put in some flimsy latches which any burglar worth their salt will be able to crack open.
You can put up bars behind the windows and put in key operated levers. Glass break sensors also work very well.
If you have any air conditioner units sticking out of the house, they can be used as entry points too, or thieves might just steal only the air conditioner itself.
It is recommended to have your locks rekeyed after moving to a new home, create a key copy pass it onto your emergency contact, and also saving the number of a local emergency locksmith that you actually trust is an idea worth considering.
Light up your yard and walkway
Thieves and robbers thrive in darkness and anonymity. If you light up your place, it doesn’t only give the impression that someone’s at home or expected back, it only gives your neighbors a clear line of view.
Put in ample and bright lighting near your walkways, backyard, front yard, and in front of the garage. It would also be a good idea to put in motion activated flood-lights all from your gate right up to the front porch.
If you’re going to be away for a couple of days, program those lights to turn on and off according to a timer. If you’re worried that it will eat up a lot of power, there are plenty of solar-powered options you can utilize.
Remember your garage, tool shed, and garden
If these structures are directly connected to the main building, they can serve as entry points into your house. If not, they can still house a lot of valuable stuff which might get stolen.
Thus always remember to keep your garage door opener in the house. Never open the garage door from outside and keep the remote inside in a secure location.
If you still want to open the door from the outside, remember to use a keypad and never, ever open it in front of delivery men, the mailman or anybody else you don’t personally know. Secure it with an extra padlock if you are going out of town.
Also, consider having a dog and make him a kennel right in front of the garage. It doesn’t have to be a huge German shepherd, it just has to be a dog which barks a lot and makes a lot of noise whenever snoopy strangers stumble by.
Have a security system
Your home security system should encompass everything from fire safety, to gas leaks to breaking and entering. Smoke and gas detectors should be placed in every room of the house. These detectors should send off a warning to you and the local fire department.
Apart from that your door and some windows should be equipped with motion and pressure sensors, such that if the glass is broken or there are any signs of tampering, it automatically sends off an alarm to the local police department.
But even before that, your in-house alarms should be loud enough to wake at least your neighbors if not the whole street.
All these devices should also be wirelessly connected to your control hub, ie, your personal laptop. Smart homes are the way of the future, and you should get in touch with a reliable and trustworthy company which will install your home security system.
Put a clamp on your wi-fi network
If you’re using a smart home or your doors and windows are controlled electronically, it’s very important to lock down your Wi-Fi to protect it from hackers and the like.
A skilled hacker won’t just get access to your personal information, but can also use it to turn off your alarm system and then just stroll into your house.
Secure your router, enable WPA2 encryption, and then hide your network. After that, the next step is to limit the total number of connections so that your network does not accept any unknown connections.
We would also suggest having two separate Wi-fi connections in the house – one for your home automation and security and another for your own personal use. We would also suggest getting a firewall and using strong passwords.
Close circuit cameras
Why do every convenience store, government office like a bank or a post office, and even cop cars have security cameras? It’s because they are the ultimate deterrent to robbers everywhere.
Even if you don’t get caught red-handed, if there’s video footage of you, you will definitely get caught later on. There is simply no escaping security cameras.
Thus, you definitely need to install security cameras everywhere around your property, and some of them will be well hidden, while others should be in full view of everyone.
Robbers typically come in at night, thus your outdoor cameras should be outfitted with a motion sensor and night vision as well. These cameras usually come pretty cheap. Also ensure that the cameras send continuous feeds over your wi-fi to your mobile phone and computer, so that you can monitor everything on-the-go.
You should have cameras indoors as well. Outdoor cameras are for warding off burglars, and indoor ones are for catching them in the act of stealing. Your indoor cameras should be smaller, more compact, and better hidden. They should be as invisible as possible. Check out these indoor security camera reviews to select one that’s suitable for your needs.
Get rid of any and all hiding places
Robbery requires stealth and cover. But if you just remove all the cover, then there’s nowhere left to hide.
This suggestion particularly applies to large hedges or tall shrubs and bushes. I know you like having trees in the house, but thieves can use them to climb up and come in through the attic. Or they can just hide up there in case your alarm alerts the neighbor.
Trim everything down and keep small flowers and bushes to take away any potential hiding spots for burglars. Also, make sure you don’t have a lot of loose furniture on your yard – definitely keep an eye out for ladders and stools.
Use a safe
Everybody has a lot of valuables – money, jewelry, bonds, passports, and so much more. A safe is the best place to keep all these items.
However, we suggest two different safes. One safe should be placed in a position which will be easily discoverable by burglars – this is a decoy. This one won’t have any valuables in it, but it should be equipped with an alarm. Therefore, whenever someone opens this safe – accidentally or otherwise, it will send you an alarm.
Your real valuables should, however, be kept in a more secure safe which is preferably better hidden and by that, we don’t mean behind a painting. This safe should be fire-proof, waterproof, and heavy enough that you can’t run away with it. They should also have redundant locks – two or more locks. The more locks, the harder it becomes to lockpick them.
Don’t look too fancy
The most important step in not getting robbed is to make it look as if you don’t own anything worthy of robbing.
Thus you shouldn’t advertise on your doorstep that the so-and-so security system protects your home. Nor should you have really expensive furniture out in the yard, as that is a good indication that the rest of the house is just as fancy.
If you’ve got an expensive car, keep it in the garage. If you’ve got an expensive flat screen TV, keep the blinds drawn. Don’t appear to have anything too valuable. Take a look at all the other houses in your neighborhood, and make your house look at par with them. No need to put a sign out that says, rob me.
Well, that’s it for today. While all the tips mentioned above will definitely do wonders to amp up your home security, there really is no substitute for constant vigilance. The only way you keep your property guarded is by perpetually guarding it, not physically per say but paying attention to lock the door every time, ensure cameras work before leaving the home would help for sure.