According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), a burglary is happening every 26 seconds. That’s two burglars attacking two different homes every minute. If someone breaks into your home, you are looking at about $2,800 of damages and loss, the average US average. This does not include the emotional and psychological toll on your family.
If upgrading your entire home security system is not within budget yet, there are cheap and clever ways to add layers of security to protect your home from intruders. Here are few:
Repair or Replace Damaged Doors
he entryway to your home possibly experiences the most traffic in your home as you and your family follow your daily routines. As such, doors can take abuse from repeated opening and closing, which makes them vulnerable. You may have the most expensive home security system, but a well-placed kick can allow someone inside in a matter of seconds.
Start by checking your home’s entryways, such as doors and windows, for any possible damages or signs of wear-and-tear. If possible, replace exterior doors that are weak or broken. There are professionals who can install a new door for you and even offer options to improve your home’s security.
You can also add a security bar or a door barricade for additional support. Check out your local hardware stores for door reinforcement kits, which include hardware to strengthen your door, such as strike plates. If you have a sliding door, installing an auxiliary foot look or a dowel will prevent anyone from forcibly opening it.
Clean The Exterior of Your House
Nothing makes a burglar’s job easier than a messy yard with overgrown bushes. They can easily hide and wait until you leave for work. Large trees near doors and windows can be access points to your home as well.
Pruning and trimming bushes around your yard will improve the overall cleanliness and visibility of your home. Cutting tree branches close to your windows and doors will prevent easy entry as well. Another great idea is planting small plants near your house. You may even consider thorny plants to deter break-ins.
Besides locking your house when leaving for work, make sure that you secure your garden shed. Your gardening tools can be easily used to break glass windows or wooden doors. Of course, avoid leaving these tools out. Furthermore, if you are using a ladder outside, immediately put it away as it provides access to your windows.
Store Your Valuables in Safes and Vaults
Avoid leaving your valuables such as cash, jewelry, and other expensive possessions around the house where visitors or even people outside can see them through the windows.
Safes and vaults come in various sizes and functionalities. You will have to get in touch with an expert to help you properly install safes. If you have existing vaults, you can also have a professional assess it for repair assistance.
Having one at home is a great investment, aside from protecting your money and valuables. If you own any firearms, the safest way to store them is inside a vault. This is especially vital if you have kids at home. Additionally, installing your safe in a discrete area of your home keeps your valuables out of sight. That means you can go on vacation with peace of mind. Lastly, it protects not only your valuables but important legal documents during fires and other natural disasters.
Make Your House Look Occupied
According to SecurAmerica, most burglars attack between 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM, when most people are at work or at school. And they are quick too! Most burglaries happen within 90 seconds to 12 minutes. In most neighborhoods, this is not enough time for anyone to notice that something is amiss and call the police.
One effective way to deter a thief is to make it appear that someone is at home. When they hear noise from the TV or the radio, they are more likely to move on. There are various ways to do this:
1. Do not leave your mailbox full
A stuffed mailbox tells a potential burglar that no one is at home. Cancel any subscriptions or circulars that you do not use. Make it a daily habit to clear your mailbox.
2. Have lights on timers
For a couple of bucks, you can purchase smart switches or smart plugs that you can link with your phone or smart devices like Amazon Echo or Google Home. You can set your lights (interior or exterior) to turn on and off at random intervals, which make it appear that someone is at home.
3. Install motion-activated lights
If your home needs new exterior lighting, then consider motion-activated lights. It is especially important if there are areas that get dark at night. These can scare off potential intruders whether you are at home or not.
4. Leave a small radio on
Leaving your TV on while you are away is not a smart way to deter criminals as it can lead to disasters such as fires. Instead, you can leave a small radio in the living room or near an entryway. Turn it on and turn the volume enough for someone outside to hear (not too loud, though!). Additionally, there are “Fake TV” devices that project lights that mimic those coming from a TV screen.
Repair Your Garage Doors
Aside from your doors and windows, your garage doors are also vulnerable to burglars. Make sure that you always lock these doors even when you are at home. If you are planning to leave for quite some time, consider having your locks inspected by a professional locksmith. They can even provide repairs and replacements in case you need them.
If your budget allows it, consider automated garage doors instead. This advanced layer of security provides convenience and extra protection. By having an access control system, you do not have to worry about losing your keys. You can use fingerprint scanning, key cards, face recognition, or even connect it to your mobile device for easy access to your garage in seconds.
Improving your home safety does not only mean upgrading your home security system. While it is ideal, many do not have the budget immediately for such an expensive service. However, there are clever steps that you can take to minimize the likelihood of burglaries. From keeping your yard clean to storing your valuables in a safe, these are things that are often overlooked. Furthermore, it is important to consult home security experts, especially when doing assessments, repairs, and replacements in your home. Invest in your family’s safety!