Home security doesn’t need to be expensive. Making just a few quick improvements to your outside perimeter can decrease your chances of being the target of a robbery.
I’ve compiled a list of 5 things you can do to secure the outside of your home and property. These can be easily done on a weekday evening, so time and money shouldn’t be a huge concern.
Several of these tips are ways to modify your habits as well. You should begin incorporating these into your weekly routine as some of these tips are keeping up maintenance around your outdoors.
Most burglars enter homes through the front door. Breaking a window or kicking a door down can bring unwanted attention to a burglar, so they typically choose entering through the easiest, most quiet method.
Oftentimes we leave a spare key outside the house. Normally it’s hidden under a rock, door mat or flower pot. But the issue with a spare key is if you can gain entry to your home with it, so can a robber. A thief can simply check a few common places for a spare key to gain easy access to your home.
Bring in any spare keys you’re keeping outside back inside. If you need to leave a key for someone, give it to a trusted neighbor to keep safe. If you must keep a key outside, purchase a small key lock box that you can secure to something. That way there is no way for a thief to steal the key lockbox or easily gain access to the house.
If you own a vehicle, where do you keep the key? Do you have any spare keys for the car in a magnetic box under the bumper? Many people do this in case they lock their keys in their car or lose their car keys. It leaves your car extremely vulnerable to a break in or even for it to be stolen.
Instead, keep a spare car key inside your house locked up in a safe. If you’re concerned about locking your keys in your car, carry a spare key in your purse or wallet.
A bonus tip: Are the locks on your house the original locks from when you purchased or began renting the home? If so, this means the past renters or owners could still have complete access to the home.
While you’re outside raking the leaves or mowing the lawn, take some time to look at your trees, bushes and hedges.
Any shrubs or bushes that are near windows can act as a shield that protects a burglar from being seen. Take a few moments out of your day to trim them down. Make sure that you’re trimming them enough that they don’t cover any lower level window. The windows should be completely exposed without any bush, shrub or hedge blocking their complete view.
Something most people do not consider when thinking about home security is their trees. Trees that grow especially close to the home can aid in giving a burglar an easy way to sneak into the house. Take a walk around your property and see what trees grow near your home. Are any of the trees easy to climb for a nimble person? Do they grow close enough that they have branches that reach towards the home? If so, take some time and trim any branches that give someone easy access to climbing trees.
A bonus tip: Plant some bushes under the windows that can deter burglars. Bushes with thorns or needles will prevent any potential intruders from accessing your windows.
The first step towards making your doors secure is to make sure you always keep them locked. Get into the habit of locking all doors before you go to sleep. It may seem simple, but many people forget this easy step.
Additionally, walk around outside and look at your other doors.
Storage shed doors should have locks as well. Does your shed have a door that swings outward? Check any hinges on that door to make sure that the hinge pins are not easily removable. If they are, that’s an easy way for a thief to get access to anything you store in that shed.
Check your garage door and make sure it’s locked. Again, check the hinges to ensure the door either swings inward, or the hinge pins aren’t easily removed.
You may have a back patio door that slides open. The locks on these doors are typically pretty cheap and easy to get past. Add a wooden stick to the runway of the door as added protection from a break-in.
A bonus tip: Another way to break into a sliding door is to lift the door off the track and simply push inward. Many people forget that this is possible, yet it’s another way a burglar could easily gain access after breaking the sliding door lock. A wooden stick in the door track won’t prevent this. Instead, add some screws into the track. This will prevent the door from being easily lifted and removed.
This is another easy habit to pick up. Before you walk around your perimeter looking at your landscaping, flip on all exterior light switches. Make sure no bulbs have gone out.
It’s vital to make sure that each one of your entrances has a functioning light switch. You want to be able to easily identify anyone who may be at your door. If any bulbs aren’t working, head over to your hardware store and replace them.
If you plan on being gone for a vacation, purchase a scheduled lighting system. This will allow the lights on your home to turn on and off as though you and your family are at home and using them. This can deter burglars from breaking in during evening hours as they notice your home is well lit and assume people are inside.
A bonus tip: Invest in some motion sensor lighting. Set it up to sense when someone is on your lawn or off of the driveway. This way, it won’t always trip the sensor when someone’s simply walking on your sidewalk or driving into your driveway. You don’t want to become accustomed to the light necessarily. You should use it as an aid to alert you when someone is moving where they shouldn’t be.
5) Outdoor items
One of the most common items that get stolen is bicycles. FBI statistics estimate that around 1.5 million bicycles are stolen each year. Take a few minutes and protect your bicycles from being stolen by placing them in your garage or storage shed. If you don’t have an outside storage unit, find a place in the home where you can hang your bike.
It might seem easy to simply place a cheap lock on the bike, but often times, this doesn’t deter a thief from stealing the bike. They can easily cut through a cheap lock and be able to sell the bike for a good profit. Make sure to chain your bike to a garage or shed wall for added protection if you plan on storing it in one of those areas.
At the end of the day, get into the habit of bringing any expensive equipment inside your garage or storage shed. Items like grills, ladders, and lawn mowers can easily be taken if left outside.
Adding these tips to your routine can help you prevent an unwanted visitor breaking into your home. It’s important to prevent any intruders as it compromises the safety of you and your family.
Lauren Ventosa is the owner and blogger at CaveArmor.com. She’s passionate about helping people create a safe home that promotes peace of mind. She loves using the internet as an effective medium for enhancing lives through blogging.