Back Off Burglars
From classic, time-tested security tools to the newer Smart Home features, there are dozens of options to increase your home’s security. Here are some of our favorite tips and tricks to keep your home safe.
Lock Your Doors
This seems like a no-brainer, but the first step to deterring burglars is simply locking your doors and windows. Many people fail to lock their doors and windows, and those are the most common points of entry for thieves. This doesn’t just apply at night, but daytime as well. Further enhance your security with deadbolts on the doors, security bars on sliding doors, and locks on your window screens.
Having study locks that are visible will help keep your home safe. Just the sight of a strong or complicated lock can sometimes be enough to turn burglars away. The same goes for visible alarm systems.
Smart phones have completely changed the home security world. Or rather just enhanced it. Smart locks give you the ability to control the locks on your home from wherever you are. There are variations on smart locks depending on your needs. Some offer coded keypads to give access to friends or neighbors while you’re away. Others are linked to apps on your phone so you don’t even need a physical key. Make sure you do your research to find out which smart lock is best for you.
Along with smart locks come the smart lights. Many burglaries happen when the residents are away, so a common thought is to leave lights on while you are gone. But this is not always the best option. Leaving a light on 24/7 can actually attract thieves because they know that a light on at 3am is not normal. Instead, smart lights are designed to make it look like you are home even when you are not. Lights inside and outside your home are programmed to go off and on throughout the day, just as if you were home. You can either set a schedule ahead of time or control the lights from your phone.
Motion Activated Lights
Floodlights have been around for years and are still some of the key security features you can have. Motion activated lights - as the name suggests, will turn on whenever triggered by movement in the area. They illuminate a wide area near key access points to the home, and will expose anyone trying to hide in the shadows.
More and more there are reports of “package thieves” where people are stealing deliveries right off someone’s front porch. The only way to catch these package thieves is with a video system catching them in the act. One of the best options is a video doorbell. This subtle camera allows you to monitor and record everyone that comes to your door. Some even have the option to communicate remotely with whoever is at the door. You can monitor this camera from in the house or remotely from your phone.
Exterior cameras are similar to the video doorbells, expect that these monitor the entire exterior of your home. Security cameras are a good deterrent as well, because burglars will see that they are being watched, and be less motivated to break in. Many security cameras can be connected to your phone, so just like the video doorbell, you can watch and monitor your home from anywhere. If you choose to install exterior security cameras, make sure they have good night vision options, and a large hard drive to save several days worth of footage.
What to Avoid
Leaving the Lights On
As mentioned before, leaving lights on while you’re away is not as good of an idea as it seems. Thieves tend to watch patterns and learn routines before they break into a house. A light on 24/7 is not a normal routine for most people, and can actually signal an empty house. Opt for smart lights instead.
Posting Alarm Company Signs
While some say that having security company signs in your yard can deter burglars, others say not to be too specific. Posting information about your alarm company can give burglars the information they need in order to bypass the system. If you stick to general alarm signs instead, they won’t know which system you’re using, making it harder to bypass.
Easy Access Codes
Having a keypad on your door or coded alarm system is only as strong as the access code. Picking an easy code is tempting so you yourself don’t forget what it is. But an easy access code can sometimes be guessed, which would therefore make your systems useless. Try to avoid using consecutive numbers (5678, 1234), birthdays, and anniversaries.
Systems with Poor Reviews
This seems like common sense, but it is still worth mentioning. Research the different security systems and tools that you are considering before buying them. If something has a great price but terrible reviews, listen to them. If you’re planning on spending the money to protect your home, make sure you get something that is reviewed highly. Other users can be the best source of first-hand information. The value of your home and everything inside is much more important than finding the cheapest security system.