14 Essential Tips For Keeping Your House Safe From Break-ins
Your home is supposed to be your safe place, where you can relax and let your guard down without fear. However, that level of security doesn’t come by itself; you need to take certain steps to improve your security features to ensure your house remains your safe haven. While no house or building is a hundred percent secure from breaches, there are a number of things you can do to bolster your security and deter most potential criminals.
Talking to the experts, we have put together a thorough list of all you can do to achieve that level of security for your home;
1. Make Sure Ground Floor Windows Are Reinforced Or Have An Extra Layer Of Security
“According to data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 27% of break-ins have a window as their entry point. This makes windows the most vulnerable part of a home. Ground floor windows need to be reinforced by more than just a pane of glass. Such reinforcement can either be through physical security, such as physical barriers to breaking the glass pane, or through means to alert a homeowner if someone is approaching a window.
“These additional reinforcements can include:
- Installing stronger glass panes, such as polycarbonate panes which cannot be smashed quickly;
- Installing security bars on the outside of windows;
- Adding motion triggered lights above windows;
- Adding sensor alarms to windows that alert someone when a window is being approached or opened.”
Volodymyr Barabakh, Co-Founder & Project Director Fortress Home
2. Upgrade Door Locks
“The advancement of technology has been a great help when it comes to elevating the security level of every home. One of them is by upgrading door locks, which eliminates the chance of possible break-ins.
“In today’s time, there have been massive innovations in terms of door locks such as smart locks which can be accessed by personal fingerprint. Aside from that, these smart locks have built in cameras that can be monitored on mobile phones. It will also give you alerts for possible intruders trying to break in.”
Nicolas Holand, Founder GooseSmurfs
3. Motion-Activated Lighting
“Install motion-activated lights around your property, particularly near entrances. Provide more lights with motion detectors at entrances and especially gloomy parts of your property to shine a spotlight on a possible intruder before he could even reach your doors or windows. If you live in an apartment, request that your landlord install adequate lighting in corridors and hallways to minimize dark spots.”
Tal Shelef, Realtor and Co-Founder CondoWizard
4. Use Sturdy And Strong Exterior Doors
“Exterior doors must be at least one-and-a-half inches thick and made of metal or solid hardwood. Door Frames should be built of the same sturdy material as the doors, and each door should fit snugly into its frame. Even some of the most effective locks will not prevent a determined thief if it is installed in a frail door. A peephole or a wide-angle viewer in the door is safer than a door chain for recognizing guests.”
Erin Zadoorian, CEO and Executive Editor Ministry of Hemp
“The idea is not to attract burglars or attackers. When leaving or arriving at your home, become vigilant (situational aware). Make your home as unfriendly to a criminal as you can. Criminals will usually look for the easiest mark, the darkest area, and the most overgrown foliage, so make them want to move on.” says Harland Adkins, “Some of the things you can do, without costing much money, are:
5. Eliminate Hiding Spots Around Your House Exterior
“Keep the outside of your home clear of heavy shrubs and trim overgrown tree limbs. You do not want windows or entryways covered by foliage where a criminal can hide.” (Harland Adkins)
6. Light Up!
“Light up the outside of your home with bright dusk-to-dawn and/or motion sensor lights (LED’s). Keep entry door areas well lit. Leave a light (or lights) on in the house and consider timers.” (Harland Adkins)
7. Use Padlocks
“Padlock the side gate that leads to your backyard. Make the criminal work in order to get to the spot where he loves to do his handy work.” (Harland Adkins)
8. Block Visibility into The House
“Keep your window blinds (or curtains) shut. No need to tell the criminal the lay of the land and if there are interesting items to steal.” (Harland Adkins)
9. Reinforce Your Doors
“While most burglaries are done in the daytime, home invasions seem to be done at just about any time of day or night (although nighttime invasions seem to be more prevalent). That means reinforce your doors (use 3” or longer screws for the striker plates and hinges). Cut wood dowels to place in sliding windows and sliding doors.
“Cut the cord on your overhead garage door and a zip-tie so the locking mechanism can’t be pulled down and released. Inexpensive barricade devices can also be added to your weakest doors, but these are used for when you are in your home.” (Harland Adkins)
10. Get a Dog
“I don’t usually suggest getting a dog. But if you are considering a dog, get it for the RIGHT reasons and get it from an animal shelter. You’ll save a dog’s life, you’ll have a loving companion, and the presence of a dog may deter a burglar or home invader.
“Just know, there is no keeping out a determined criminal if he thinks the rewards will be worth his/their time and effort. By reinforcing your house, you may have the time you need for the cops to arrive (or for you to leave). All the above cost you a reasonable amount of money (except for the dog), and most will take some work (especially the dog).” (Harland Adkins)
11. Security Systems and Firearms
“As far as other things you might want to consider, but will indeed cost quite a bit of money: home security system, security camera system, and finally, a firearm. If you have only limited experience with a firearm (or none at all), take safety and shooting classes, and hit the range fairly often.
“Also, remember that the firearm is just the start of your expenses, and costs can escalate rapidly (ammo, safes, cleaning equipment, cleaning/lubricating fluids, first-aid kits, gun and/or rifle cases, and the list goes on. Don’t go into gun ownership without knowing what is involved (physically, mentally, and financially).
“Every gun owner knows the tremendous responsibility he/she is taking upon themselves. Unless you are absolutely sure you want to take on that responsibility, it is probably better to consider a safe room (steel door for your master bedroom, properly anchored into the frame and studs, and with some type of barricade device.”
Harland Adkins, Founder and General Manager Fast Food Menu Prices
12. Invest In A Good Home Security System
“This is one of the best lines of defense against a possible house break-in. Security cameras are laced with sensors that detect movement and alert you when someone enters your space. Depending on the company you choose, they may even alert law enforcement on your behalf.” (Martin Orefice)
13. Install Outdoor Lighting
“For burglars, well-lit spaces are a big turn-off because they often eye blind spots. With ample lighting in your yard and garden, there’s a high risk of getting noticed that deters them from entering your house. A good idea is to invest in motion-sensor lights that light up when they detect movement. This will catch the burglars off-guard and scare them off.” (Martin Orefice)
14. Trim Your Shrubs And Trees To Eliminate Blind Spots
“Burglars often hide behind bushes and rocks before entering your home. Trimming the shrubs and overgrown trees expands your range of sight and helps you catch intruders if they manage to enter your yard.”
Martin Orefice, Real Estate Expert and the Founder of Rent To Own Labs