Homeowner Tips: 9 Ways to Amp Up Your Home Security

Posted by Laine Smith on 10/30/16 12:58 PM

Topics: Home Ownership

A home burglary takes place approximately every 18 seconds in the United States, according to SafeWise. With holiday travel and winter vacations fast approaching, now is a good time to make sure you’re taking preventative measures for your home’s security.

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Home Automation

Make your home looked lived in, even when it isn’t. Many of the newest smart home devicesinclude lighting automation, which start with automated light bulbs as low as $15 and can be controlled to turn on directly from your phone. If you’re going to be gone, set certain lights to come on for periods of time to make it appear that you’re indeed home.

Trim Back Unruly Shrubs

Even if your landscape style is whimsical, it’s a good idea to keep shrubs and overgrown plants trimmed back to minimize hiding options for anyone trying to gain access to your home.

Properly Light Your Exterior

There's no doubt that nighttime is a good time for burglars to slink through your yard unnoticed, so make sure your yard and entrances are well-lit as a deterrent. Motion detectors are a great option for areas without constant lighting.

Treat Every Door Like Your Front Door

Many home security experts say that one of the biggest homeowner mistakes is not treating every door like your front door. According to SafeWise, nearly 30 percent of burglars enter a home through an unlocked door or window.

For instance, if your garage door is compromised, an unlocked door leading from your garage into your home serves no purpose.

Do Away With the Hidden Key

In the mailbox, under the welcome mat, or hidden away in a faux rock; these are all blatantly obvious places homeowners keep spare keys and would be the first place someone would look to gain easy access. Smart home devices have made home security extremely achievable.

The Kevo Kwikset allows homeowners to transform their smartphone into their door key. Need to give a neighbor or family member access to your home for a period of time? Simply send an eKey to your guest via the smartphone app.

Upgrade Your Deadbolt

According to an article by Angie’s List, the latest FBI statistics say that out of all burglaries, 59 percent were the result of a forced entry and the majority of those entries are through a doorway. So it may be a good idea to upgrade your deadbolt, if you’re still using the standard, baseline model.

Consumer Reports recommends the Medeco Maxum 11*603 door lock. It will run you close to $200, but this high-security lock excelled in Consumer Reports’ tests – including picking, kicking-in and drilling.

Garage Door Timer

This feature is a good investment for the forgetful homeowner who often leaves the house in a hurried manner only to return and see they left the garage open for several hours. A timed automatic garage door closer will run you around $40 and can be set to close automatically after a certain amount of time has passed and can be overridden for the days you want to leave it open while organizing the garage.

Secure Sliding Doors

Sliding doors are great for letting in natural light, but they’re also relatively easy to compromise with their uncomplicated locking mechanisms. Though it doesn’t rule out the possibility of breaking glass, a sliding door security bar can keep an intruder from gaining access if they get past your lock.

Deter With a Decal

Even if you don’t want to make the initial investment of a security system, you can make it appear that your house is constantly monitored with a sticker decal.

Interested in purchasing your first home? Download our free Mortgage 101 Handbook for everything you need to know about purchasing your first home.

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