There are many inexpensive ways that you can protect your home against burglaries and home invasions! Here is an outline of 12 steps that you can take toward making your home a safer place to live. To view the more detailed list, click here.
1. Pick your location carefully. Choosing a neighborhood that fits your budget is important. But your safety and the safety of your family is more important. If you can afford to rent or buy in a neighborhood that has a proven record of safety, highly consider it. Do your research before moving in, or ask your trusted Real Estate Agent. (“Real-estate agents can help point you in the right direction but they can’t — at the risk of committing housing discrimination — offer detailed guidance, so you must do your own research before you move”)
2. Get smart. Lock your doors! Even if you know every neighbor on every corner, use the locks that you have to keep your home protected from a burglary. Start a nightly routine, educate your children on home burglaries, have family discussions on what to do if a burglary occurs during the night, et cetera.
3. Call the police. Many departments have a home-security inspection program where an officer can come and inspect your home for weaknesses and give advise on alarm systems, locks, et cetera.
4. Join a Neighborhood Watch Program. Or start one yourself! This is a great way to get to know your neighbors while ensuring that there’s always a person on watch, protecting your neighborhood.
5. Get a dog (or pretend to). Place a “Beware of Dog” sign outside your home, whether you really have a dog or not. This will surely making burglars think twice about messing with your home.
6. Upgrade your house number. Make sure that your street number can be easily read in the dark so that police or firefighters can find your home immediately in case of an emergency.
7. Cultivate the lived-in look. If you’re going out of town, make sure that you don’t let things pile up in front of your home. This makes it obvious that you’re not there and makes your home prone to burglaries.
8. Other ways to fake it while you’re gone: Hold the mail delivery, buy digital timers to set a schedule of times that lights outside and inside your home should turn on and off (making it appear that you’re home), leave a vehicle in front of your house (or ask a neighbor to help you by parking in there), ask friends to cut your grass, and feed your pets, et cetera.
9. Secure your doors. Upgrade locks, reinforce the strike plate, get a better door.
10. Secure your windows. Upgrade to more secure windows, if possible, keep your windows from opening more than 6 inches, install replacements, add a laminated film to toughen the glass, et cetera.
11. Secure the perimeter. Add sensors to your outdoor lights, and possibly install a fence. By making sure that the outside of your home is secure, it can prevent the inside of your home from being a target.
12. Get a loud alarm. You don’t need to get an expensive alarm, just make sure it’s as loud and annoying as possible, making sure that your neighbors can hear it in case of a burglary.
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