8 Security Hacks Every Homeowner Should Know
Everyone feels the most comfortable and safest in their own homes. It is, after all, our sanctuary; where we can be free to just let go and not have to worry about anything. However, nobody is 100 percent protected against possible break-ins. Even if you live in some of the most secure and safest cities in the world, there’s still a chance that a burglar could come and take the things you hold dear.
Fortunately, there are several ways for homeowners to reduce the likelihood of a burglary at your home. Whether you want to make your personal space less vulnerable to outsiders or want to install a full-fledged home security system using the latest technology, the security hacks we’re going to note here will boost your sense of safety even more. Even if you’re not an expert DIY-er, you can make these techniques happen — and some don’t even cost a thing.
Before you implement these safety techniques, you should first assess your home for areas where security might be weak. Identify the vulnerabilities of your home, such as a faulty lock at the back door, a rusting window hinge, or a fence that’s too low or non-existent. By pointing out which areas are likely to be a security problem, you can devise more targeted solutions, in addition to having general protection.
Here are 10 home security hacks we’ve gathered to help make your home (or place of business) a more secure place.
- Lock your doors.
This is a VERY simple rule but is often taken for granted. Even when you’re in the house, lock main points of entry. It’s not that you are paranoid. One can never be too cautious when it comes to protecting the family against a burglary. In fact, many reported break-ins in the US have happened WHILE the owner of the house is at home. Consider it a proactive approach.
Gather the family and agree to always lock the doors whenever they go in or out of the house. If you tend to be forgetful, or just want to ensure that nobody forgets, you can install an electronic lock on primary entryways, or a self-locking tool that requires one to key in a code upon re-entry.
- Be extra clever with your extra key.
Everybody knows the most popular places where the spare keys are hidden include under the welcome mat, above the door, or under the flower pot. You’ve got to be extra creative and sneaky now when it comes to hiding your spare. Place it somewhere that’s less obvious. Experts say it should be at least 50 feet away from your home because burglars will likely be looking around only where it’s close.
To be extra careful, you can opt to change your traditional key-driven locks with those digital keyless types that only you and your family members know how to operate. That way, you won’t need to keep thinking up ways to hide your spare key, only to forget all over again.
- Make it look like somebody’s home.
If somebody appears to be home, it is less likely to be burgled. Majority of thefts happen when there’s nobody around to catch the thieves. That can be during the day when everyone is either at school or at work, or when the entire family is on vacation. Burglaries can happen in broad daylight so don’t be too confident that thieves don’t strike in the morning. You can leave a light or two on if you’re going out at night to make it appear that someone’s tending the house.
If you’re going to be gone for a while, arrange for a temporary stop to your mail so no envelopes get stacked at your doorstep. You can also schedule a regular yard maintenance service or ask a trusted friend to drop by and check the house from time to time. Also, thanks to technology, you can install special lights that turn on and off via your smartphone (even if you’re a thousand miles away) just so you can make your house look alive.
- Change your front door.
You can enhance your home’s protection by changing your front door with those special burglar-proof models, instead of the usual wooden ones. Replace your main entryway with a steel core model to prevent break-ins, even the forcible ones. If that’s not in the budget for now, you can just change the lockset that was preinstalled on your door with a long-throw deadbolt. To avoid having to open the door to strangers, you can also install a camera so you can see whoever is ringing the doorbell even before you open it.
- Invest in home security cameras.
Take your home security a notch higher by installing surveillance cameras that cover all angles of your house from the outside. These cameras help you see whoever is lurking around your home, so you can immediately call for help. In the event that your house was, indeed, broken into, security cams will also help identify the persons responsible.
There are plenty of security camera models in the market. Some are equipped with light and motion sensors, some have night vision, and some even have built-in Wi-Fi capabilities so you can watch your house in real time while you’re away.
- Don’t expose your valuables.
If a burglar gets inside your home, his or her first instinct is to go to your bedroom dresser to search for jewelry, electronic devices, cash and any other expensive items that can resold or pawned. Make it difficult for the thief to search for your valuables by hiding them in unlikely places. Alternatively, you can get yourself a safe that cannot be carried and is locked by a code. You can also not be obvious about it by getting a safe that doesn’t look like one at all. In fact, there are certain models that look like regular household decorations and furnishings.
- Burglar-proof your yard
Make sure that burglars don’t have a chance to survey your home or hide. Trim your bushes, secure your sheds and outbuildings, or, better yet, build a fence.
- Secure your garage.
Most of our most expensive equipment are stored in the garage and these include the likes of golfing equipment, bikes, large audio-video components and more. The most basic hack to protect your garage is to keep the door closed. Exposing your stuff to so many people only makes them talk about it and attracts the watchful eyes of thieves. Install a solid door for your garage so passersby cannot see what’s inside. Also, if your garage is electronically operated, never leave the remote in your car, especially if it’s just parked outside.
Overall, securing your home is more of a proactive endeavor that does not really require too much spending. While investing in a home security system and electronic locks is highly recommended, especially in these times, the simple rule of locking the door and being clever about your home management techniques will go a long way towards warding off interest from unscrupulous individuals.