Home security isn’t just something to think about during home security month or before a vacation. In fact, the FBI found that more than 50% of burglaries occur during the day while people are at work. So, whether you’re heading to work or going on vacation, use these simple and affordable home safety tips to protect your home every day.
#1. Lock Up
While locking your windows and doors goes without saying, forgetting to do so could be the difference between an attempted burglary and a successful one. Before you leave, do a quick check of the locks.
For new renters, businesses, or homeowners, it may be time to update your locks as you don’t know who was given keys by previous tenants. This is particularly important if multiple vendors, staff, or other people had access to the property via their own key.
#2. Assess Your Home’s Security Status
If you’re wondering how to protect your home conduct a home security assessment to help you identify vulnerabilities. Some things to consider include the entry and exit points and status of any existing security equipment. Use our home security checklist to learn how to assess your home security and what issues are the most critical.
#3. Make Security Cameras Visible
A visible camera is actually a powerful security deterrent. Researchers found that burglars were more likely to move onto a different house if they spotted security cameras. The best security systems usually include both visible and hidden security cameras. Some people even use a mix of real and fake security cameras to further deter burglars.
#4. Keep Up Appearances – Landscaping & More
If you’re wondering how to protect your home from the outside, landscaping is key. Keeping your landscaping manicured can help deter intruders by eliminating hiding spots behind overgrown hedges or trees. Furthermore, overgrown landscaping can lead some burglars to believe the residents are not frequently around, making the home a target.
Aside from your home’s landscaping, keeping up appearances that someone is home can deter uninvited guests. The following home safety tips are relevant every day, not just when traveling.
Don’t let your mail clutter – Check your mail often and ensure mail does pile up, especially if the mailbox is visible to anyone. If you’re heading out on vacation, ask a neighbor or friend to collect your mail, and if you are gone for an extended period, you can have the Post Office hold your mail.
Take your trash out – A telltale sign that someone is home, is the trash cans out front. For longer trips, it may be worth asking your neighbors to put your trash out while you’re away purely to keep up appearances.
Keep driveway occupied – Cars parked or lack of cars parked in the driveway can be a signal to burglars that you’re away – at work or on vacation. To create a “lived-in” appearance while traveling, some people ask neighbors to park in their empty driveways.
#5. Use Lights
External lights, especially those which are triggered by heat and motion, are a great home security feature. In addition to lighting entry and access points, automated lighting makes it harder for burglars to hide. You can also add smart lights indoors and turn them on and off from your phone to give the appearance that someone is home.
#6. Team Up With Neighbors
Your neighbors can be a great resource when you’re traveling by keeping an eye on your home and bringing in the mail. Today, many neighborhoods have an online neighborhood community through NextDoor. This can be a great way to stay up to date with events going on in your neighborhood and form a neighborhood watch.
#7. Store Valuables
This is another obvious one but something that can easily be overlooked and doesn’t just apply to valuables. While it can be tempting to leave bikes on your patio or in the side yard, this is an easy target for burglars. For valuables inside the house, keep them away from windows and potentially invest in a lockbox or safe. Keep your wallet, keys and mobile phone near you at night.
#8. Limit Social Media Posts
Today, we often don’t think twice about sharing photos from their vacations while away or even while we’re en route. However, you’re essentially advertising to potential intruders that you’re away. Save your posts for when you’re home.
Taking steps to protect your home proactively is easy and can be as simple as collecting your mail regularly. For people who only want to monitor their entry or exit points, a wire-free security camera is easy to install and affordable. Make some or all of these home safety tips part of your daily habits.