Home security is one of the most important responsibilities every homeowner has. It helps to have a thorough strategy put together that keeps your home safe, and helps you better prevent potential crimes within your neighborhood.
Here’s how to keep your beautiful new home – and your family – safe and sound:
1. Get to Know Your Neighbors
Start out by getting to know your neighbors. It’s usually good to know who you’re living next to as well as everyone on your block. Your neighbors can keep an eye out for any suspicious behavior. When you go on vacation, your neighbors can help protect your home and pick up your mail, as a pile of built up mail can tip-off would be burglars. If your neighbors happen to have a different schedule than you, like if they work nights and are home during the day, your entire community can protect itself 24/7.
2. Design Safe Landscaping
Landscaping can buttress home security in a number of ways. If your property doesn’t have a fence, have one installed. Many homeowners go for vinyl wall fencing for privacy, and noise control, but there is a risk of thieves being able to scale it and hide out. More open fencing secured by concrete can limit that happening, though.
Oversized hedges and shrubs limits visibility from the street give potential thieves a convenient hiding place. Keep hedges and shrubs trimmed to a maximum height of three feet to keep your property safe.
Other landscaping tips to maximize security include putting gravel on the ground near your windows, and pruning your tree branches if your home for better visibility. Maintain your yard and keep the lawn trimmed– thieves look to see if a home isn’t kept up on the outside as a sign of neglect. If you keep your car in the driveway and your garage door opens remotely, keep the remote in the house and not in your car.
3. Install Security Lighting
For a truly secure home, you need motion detector lighting. Put these lights anywhere you think a crook could hide around the exterior of your home.
Motion detecting lighting helps deter crime, especially at night. You can install security lights in conjunction with other security tools like video doorbell systems. These come with cameras that record anyone coming on the premises, allowing you to see who they are, and speak to them even if you’re not home through your smartphone.
4. Install an Alarm System
You should also get a home security system. There’s a wide variety of alarm systems on the market, available at any budget from companies like Vivint and ADT. There’s also products from Ring and August. You can even put a system together that’s wireless and operated through your phone or tablet like SimpliSafe and Wink’s products. Once that’s done, put up the stickers and signs for that company in a prominent place like your front window or on a sign in your front yard as a deterrent to thieves.
5. Lock It Up
There’s a couple of other things you can do to fortify your home. Get a trusted locksmith to do change all your locks as you move in. Avoid keeping spare keys outside. Keep all your doors locked, including the garage door, if you’re not around. For your windows and screen doors, add a sheet of privacy film to prevent anyone peeking in from the outside. In addition, set up your electronics away from where they can be seen through windows and be a temptation to burglars.
6. Get a Protective Pooch
Lastly, you might want to consider getting a dog. Believe it or not, having a dog is still a trusty deterrent against intruders. Would be thieves are also scared of “beware of dog” signs, so you could install one of those even if you don’t have the dog just yet.
Christopher Smith is a freelance writer when he’s not sampling the best cuisine in his hometown of New York City. Prior to that, he worked in film and television post-production, and counts the honor of working with Eartha Kitt among his milestones.