Your home is your castle – and you must do all that you can to protect it. The best place to start is with a high-quality security system from a reputable company like ADT (see www.quortek.com ). Nonetheless, you shouldn’t rely on an alarm system alone to keep your home and family safe. It’s merely a tool – albeit a powerful one – used in a much larger home security strategy. Consider the following do-it-yourself tips to ensure the most comprehensive protection for your home:
Use your yard as a deterrent
Many people are unaware that landscaping plays a significant role in home security. In fact, it’s typically the first thing a burglar will check out when casing a neighborhood for potential targets. They will look for homes with unkempt lawns, tall hedges, privacy fences or anything that could potentially provide cover while they attempt to break in. Thus, you should make sure your yard is not only well maintained, but also well lit. Removing an intruder’s biggest asset – the ability to move around a property unseen – will do wonders in helping protect your home from unwanted visitors.
Replace old or damaged locks
There’s nothing more appealing to a burglar than a rusty or broken lock. Not only will it be easier to break in, but it’s also a clear indicator that the homeowner is unconcerned with security. Consequently, you shouldn’t wait to examine all the exterior locks around your home. Any locks that look to be worn or obsolete should be replaced with a high-quality deadbolt.
At the very minimum, you should make sure all your windows are furnished with quality locks. In many scenarios, particularly in residential neighborhoods, simple locks provide sufficient protection since the risk of breaking a window or attempting to crawl through one is likely to draw attention from neighbors or passersby. If you’d like to take it a step further, consider investing in security bars or safety glass. These upgrades will make it markedly more difficult for an intruder to force entry through a window.
Perception is reality: Make your home look occupied
It’s important to remember that burglaries are crimes of opportunity, and a thief isn’t likely to attempt to break into a home that appears occupied. For this reason, it’s helpful to manufacture the illusion that you’re home – especially when you’re not. This can easily be accomplished by leaving a television, radio or a few lights on. You can also take it a step further by purchasing a random light timer, which costs around $20-$30 at your local Home Depot. These nifty devices can be programmed to turn lights on and off at random intervals to make it appear like someone is home.
Don’t hide a spare key in obvious places
First and foremost, it’s never a good idea to hide a spare key anywhere outside your home. It’s always better to give a set to a trusted neighbor or friend instead. However, if you absolutely must hide a key somewhere outside, avoid putting in obvious hiding places such as under a potted plant, rock or doormat. Most burglars know to look for spare keys in the most common hiding spots.