Home security is a must and a great way to protect your house or apartment from being burglarized and having your things stolen when you’re not around. CCTV, motion detectors, ring cameras are a few tools people are using. Home surveillance can go a long way when done right. Here are eight great ways the Local Records Office suggests homeowners and renters gear up for thieves.
Home Security Tip #1: Don’t Be a Show-Off
One thing you don’t want to do and it might be the most simple thing on this list is don’t leave certain things laying around in the front yard. Certain things like expensive bikes, scooters, or items could lure thieves onto your property. Your house would catch the thieves’ attention and would be an easy target with all the items lying around.
When purchasing new appliances (refrigerator, stove) or a new flat-screen television DON’T leave the cardboard box where thieves that are walking by could easily see it, new appliances could cost big bucks on the streets. It may also leave them wondering what other expensive items you have inside your house.
Placing your television or expensive electronics in plain sight or near windows is not a good idea. Open your curtains and walk around the house and see what’s visible.
Home Security Tip #2: Simulate Your Presence
If the crook can tell that someone is home, there’s a greater chance that they won’t attempt to break in. You have to remember most break-ins happen during the day while many people are at work. For that reason, when you leave the house create make-believe that you are still there.
Leave the music playing, leave the lights on, and or the television to be on the safe side. Of course, you are going to be burning electricity but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Make sure you’ve installed compact fluorescent bulbs that last longer, are cost-efficient, and are better for the environment.
Another smart idea will be putting home security signs around the front yard and on your back gate or garage door (if any). This won’t guarantee they won’t test if it’s any good but it could fool them. According to many Police agencies, most thieves stay away from houses with such signs.
Home Security Tip #3: Secure Windows and Sliding Doors
Some sliding doors are so easy to break into that all you need to do is pop them off the frame, even when locked. It’s a bit harder to do it newer models but you should still take extra precautions since they can be an inviting entry for burglars. Simply by putting a metal rod or wooden stick and sliding it into the back groove you could easily secure it. That way, even if they could pick the lock, the rod will stop the door from sliding.
Even though you should always lock your windows when leaving your house, extra precaution is always good. If you have a wooden window frame a simple nail on the top of the window will prevent you from opening more than it should. This will add an additional layer of security in case someone removes the outer window screen. By using a hammer and hammering a nail or screwing a screw on the window frame you could drill a hole to the height desired. You can remove the stopper if you want to open the window completely and put it back for security. Also, remember to check window air conditioning units. If you can jimmy the window up from the outside, add a stopper to that frame.
Home Security Tip #4: Leaving a Spare Key Out is a Big No
It may seem like a good idea to leave a spare key for emergencies or for the kids but in reality, leaving a spare key under a flowerpot or under the doormat is not a good idea. In reality that’s an opening invitation for a burglar to walk in without any difficulty. Someone could also see you hide the key at some point and give away your hiding place.
The new tool thieves are using is a “bumper key”. At first glance, the bumper key looks like any ordinary key but the only difference is that it works as a master key, and with a little kit to the key, the bumper key will skip over all the inner lock grooves and open the door with ease.
Instead, give your spare to a trusted neighbor or friend who lives nearby. Since most people own a cell phone nowadays you could easily call for help or walk to that person’s house. Another option is to put your key in a combination look and hide it somewhere outside the house. This is one of the most common but remember to never put personal information on your keys. Someone could easily use that to break in or easily make a copy of it.
Home Security Tip #5: Secure Your Yard
A yard is a place where people keep a lot of valuables like expensive grills, electric tools, washers, and dryers, and with a yard like this, it catches a lot of crooks’ attention.
Overgrown weeds and bushes are a great place where thieves could hide until the coast is clear. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to cut every plant in the yard. Just keep things trimmed. Low plants in front of windows cover the thieves from light and view of others when they’re trying to break in. Cutaway any tall branches.
Home Security Tip #6: Get the Helps of the Police
Police can stop crimes from starting before it happens. When you take your vacation or go on a trip, call the police to let them know you are going to be out of town so they could occasionally drive by. In many counties, police stations offer free security evaluations for your property. If your local jurisdiction has a crime prevention officer, find out if he or she can survey your property and help you identify any security steps you can improve.
Improving your relationship with the officer that patrols your neighborhood will be a good idea since they will recognize your home. Successful community policing has been linking to lowered crime and healthier neighborhoods and could lower the chances of break-ins.
Home Security Tip #7: Before You Vacation, Prepare Your Home
July and August are the months with the highest crime rate as people set off on summer vacations. The best thing to do is if you’re going out on a summer vacation and you’re going to be out of town is to give the local police a call and let them know. Also, let your neighbors trust that you are going to be out of town and ask them if they could keep an eye on your property during that time.
More importantly, don’t leave signs that you are gone. That would be like a giant red flag for thieves. If you still have a home phone, don’t change your message to alert callers that you are gone. Avoid having piled-up mail, overgrown lawns, and newspapers spread all over your yard. If you don’t have a garage ask your neighbor to move your car periodically to make it seem like you’re home. In the winter if you live in a cold climate consider having someone shovel your driveway and in the summer arrange for someone to cut your grass.
Home Security Tip #8: Know Your Neighbors
Getting to know your neighbors is one of the most important steps you can take. Close neighbors look out for each other. Letting neighbors know when you’re going out on vacation is a great way to have your home looked over for by neighbors.