When you’re at home, you should feel completely safe and comfortable. The last thing you want is to be worrying about whether someone might break in or your house being a target.
There are about 2.5 million burglaries a year, with the majority occuring in the home. Fortunately, there are also some easy home security upgrades that can help you live a worry-free life.
1. Invest in a Smart Doorbell
Did you know that about 65 percent of home burglaries happen during the day while homeowners are away at work and other activities? One way to avoid this is to install a smart doorbell. Essentially, the doorbell teams up with a camera. If the burglar rings the doorbell to test whether anyone is home, you can activate the device via your smartphone and say, “Who’s there?” or inform them you’ve called the police.
There are several different ones on the market, so choose the one that works best in your area and falls within your budget.
2. Install Better Lighting
If you’re worried about nighttime break-ins, add lighting around your home, particularly in dark spots, such as a back patio or rear basement windows. Lights allow your neighbors to glance outside and see what is going on and call law enforcement. They also give you a clearer view of the outside of your home through a window or via a video surveillance system.
3. Reinforce Your Garage Door
Even though your instinct is to secure doors and windows, don’t forget to secure your garage door as well. Thieves exploit any vulnerability they can find, so make sure your garage door isn’t one of them. Expand your current security to cover your garage door, never leave a remote outside in a parked car and even add a garage door timer for those occasions when you forget to put your garage door down. Plus, you can block your door’s emergency release with a zip tie if you’re worried about it being jimmied.
4. Add Security Cameras
Since most burglaries occur during daylight hours, the ability to check in on her home throughout the day gives you a lot of peace of mind. You may have pets at home alone that you worry about, for example. Security cameras can also record activity. If someone does break into your home, you can turn recordings over to law enforcement and potentially recover some of your belongings.
5. Add an Alarm System
In one university study, researchers found that a security system can deter about 60 percent of burglars and will target a different home without one. There are many options for adding an alarm system. You can invest in a wireless system, such as Simply Safe or go with ADT or any number of other companies. There are also wired systems.
In addition to the alarm itself, decide if you want to invest in monitoring or not. With monitoring, if an alarm is triggered, law enforcement is notified on your behalf.
6. Buy a Quality Safe
Invest in a high-quality safe that bolts to the floor and keep it in a unique place, such as the kitchen pantry. The majority of burglars head for the master bedroom first because they know that is likely where jewelry and other valuables are. Outsmart them by placing anything of real value inside the safe and placing the safe in an unusual spot. Then keeping the safe bolted to the floor secures it further.
Stay aware of your neighborhood and the activities going on. Join a neighborhood watch or start one. One of the simplest ways to improve your home’s safety is to get to know your neighbors and look out for one another, particularly if someone is out of town or notices unusual activity. Share contact numbers and touch base if anything at all seems suspicious.
Holly Welles is the editor of The Estate Update and writes home improvement pieces to help readers figure out what to do with their living spaces. You can find more of her advice by following her on Twitter @HollyAWelles.