It seems we’re hearing about more and more home invasions, robberies and violent attacks in the Austin area. I’m not sure if its because I’ve been paying attention to the news more or if we really are seeing a spike in crime. In any case, it made me think of the things I do and how I could improve my home safety. Here are 10 easy ways you can make your home safer.
Lock Your Doors
Most burglars enter through an unlocked door. Get in the habit of locking your doors when you get inside and double check they are locked before you go to bed. Don’t make it easy for someone to be able to get into your home.
Install Motion Activated Flood Lights
Most robbers don’t want to be seen. Install motion activated flood lights around your home that are set to go on when they detect motion. I would recommend getting motion lights that also have a dawn-to-dusk setting. These lights are on ½ power from dawn to dusk and go to full power when they are motion activated. This way your home is never fully dark.
Security Fence Features to Look For
There are cheaper alternatives to installing a home security system that deters criminals from breaking into your home. Simply putting up a Skilled Fencing system or a “large dog” sign can help immensely. Criminals want to make the process as simple as possible for themselves, so dealing with a large dog would deter them.
Your home is so much more than the place where you keep your things. It’s your refuge from the hustle and bustle of life; it’s the place where you’ve made so many memories. That’s why it’s so important to choose the right security fence for your needs. If you’re not careful, you could inadvertently install a fence that makes you a target for burglars because it provides hiding spaces, is easy to climb over, or can be bypassed.
While an imposing, solid wood fence may seem like the right idea, you want a fence where you can see who’s on the other side of it. Most burglaries occur during the day, and a solid fence will hide a trespasser’s presence from neighbors or people passing by your home.
Choose a Fence That’s Hard to Climb
While most cities and homeowners’ associations have rules about how high a residential fence can be, the taller you make your fence, the better it’ll be for security. An 8-foot-high fence is ideal but check the proper ordinances before you get it installed. If you’re limited by height, fences that are spiked or pointed at the top will discourage would-be burglars from climbing them. Be sure that your fence doesn’t have many horizontal rails, which act as footholds for unwanted visitors.
Always keep your home locked tight. Most burglars do not have to try very hard to get into the homes they get into. They usually walk in through an open door or window. By making sure your home is locked, even when away for short periods, you are keeping your house safe.
Don’t Open Your Door Unless You Know Who’s Behind It
Always check the peephole or look out the window to make sure you know who it is before you open your door. If you don’t see anyone, or you don’t know who it is, don’t open it. If they claim they are the police, don’t immediately let your guard down. If you have any doubt, call 3-1-1 and ask if its really the police department at your door. They can radio the officer and find out.
Install Window Locks Even on 2nd Floor Windows
Yоu might bе ѕауіng to yourself, “If I аlrеаdу hаvе a hоmе security ѕуѕtеm, why do I need to burglar рrооf mу wіndоwѕ?” This іѕ a vаlіd ԛuеѕtіоn because уоu have уоur bаѕе ѕуѕtеm, motion ѕеnѕоrѕ and dооr/wіndоw ѕеnѕоrѕ аѕ well (whісh іѕ a роѕіtіvе ѕtер towards burglar рrооfіng your home), but there are some аddіtіоnаl steps уоu саn tаkе to hеlр bоlѕtеr уоur security fоr intruders who аrеn’t trуіng tо соmе through thе dооr. When changing your windows you should definitely consider getting these bi fold doors for added security with a great design. If іntrudеrѕ саn еаѕіlу crack your wіndоwѕ оr gеt іn without a lоt оf effort, it’s wоrth lооkіng іntо thе different wауѕ you can further secure уоur home.
There are small locks that screw onto your window track that you can install in 5 minutes. They keep your windows from opening past the point you set the locks. This way, you can open the window enough to allow fresh air in, but not enough for a person to fit through, just make sure your windows are in good condition first.
Put a Hold on Mail and Newspapers While on Vacation
There’s nothing that says no one is home more than a pile of newspapers on the driveway or piles of mail. If you are going to be out of town, put the newspaper and mail on hold or ask a neighbor to pick them up.
Cut Back Tall Shrubs and Brush Around Door
Don’t make it easy for someone to hide, especially around your front door. Make sure to cut down any tall shrubs and clear places where someone could easily hide.
Meet Your Neighbors and Report Suspicious Activity
Take the time to meet your neighbors and know what they look like. This way, when you see someone that doesn’t belong, you’ll know they don’t belong. Its ok to call the police and ask them to come check it out. The police are always happy to come out and check. If you’re worried that someone will know you called, don’t be. They’ll ask you when you call if you want the officer to check in with you after they’ve come. If you are afraid to let your neighbors know you’re the one who called, just say no.
Keep Your Social Media Profiles Private
I know its tempting to check-in on Foursquare or post your vacation pictures on your Facebook and Twitter profiles. But, this is a dead give away no one is at your house. Though you think everyone in your Facebook is a life long friend who would never want to rob you, you never know. Ideally, don’t post any vacation pictures until after you get back. But, at the very least, set your privacy settings to only show your updates to your Friends.
Turn on a Talk Radio Station
When you’re not home, turn on a radio to a talk radio station. This way, it sounds like someone is home to someone outside your home.
Install a Hi-Tech Alarm System
If you still feel like you need more protection, install a hi-tech alarm system that is controlled from your Smart Phone.