Home is where the heart is. It’s also where we feel the most comfortable and can relax and unwind. It’s where we keep our most valuable possessions and where we make memories with our loved ones.
Still, as much as we love our homes, they can be vulnerable to theft, burglary, and other crimes. They are also susceptible to the wear and tear of the environment around them. Therefore, it’s important to take steps to create a safe and secure home.
Here are some tips for homeowners to protect their property:
Install a Home Security System
FBI burglary rates of homes states that one in three homes without a security system will fall victim to a burglary, compared to one in 250 homes with a security system. Homes without security systems are three times more likely to be targeted by burglars. A home security system can alert you and the authorities in case of a break-in, preventing or minimizing the loss of property.
There are several types of home security systems available, such as motion detectors, door and window sensors, and video surveillance cameras. Always be sure to choose one that fits your needs and budget.
Homeowners can also install Smart doorbells that can detect motion and provide video footage of anyone who comes up to your door. In addition, you can remotely control your home’s locks, lights, and thermostat from your phone or tablet.
Secure Doors and Windows
Securing your doors and windows is one of the simplest and most effective ways to deter burglars. Ensure all exterior doors are made of solid wood or metal and have deadbolts installed. The hinges should be on the inside of the door, so they can’t be removed from the outside. Windows should have locks installed, and you can also reinforce them with security film or bars.
Don’t forget: your doors and windows are your home security’s first line of defense. Burglars have noticed; about 70% of burglars gain entry to properties through unlocked or unsecured doors.
Keep Your Property Well-Lit
Darkness can provide cover for burglars, so it’s important to keep your property lights on. Install motion-activated lights on the exterior of your home, particularly in areas that are not visible from the street. This will not only discourage burglars but also help you navigate safely around your property at night.
Keep in mind that outdoor lighting serves two purposes of functionality: safety and security.
Create the Illusion of Occupancy
When walking down the road at night, it’s pretty easy to spot an empty house. First, there’s the line of houses, each light glowing within to indicate occupancy. Then, there’s similar houses, with no sign of occupancy.
When you’re away from home, make it look like someone is still there. Set timers on lights and TVs to turn on and off at different times throughout the day. Have a trusted neighbor collect your mail and newspaper, or put them on hold until you return. Consider installing a smart home system that allows you to control your lights and appliances remotely.
Be Careful What You Post on Social Media
We all love to share our experiences on social media, but it’s important to be cautious about what we post. Burglars can use social media to find out when you’re away from home. So avoid posting about your vacation plans until after you’ve returned home, and make sure your privacy settings are set to limit who can see your posts.
Data can also be detected in photos. Data is contained in the images, giving burglars all the information to target. In fact, four out of five burglars are using social media to track their victim’s whereabouts.
Secure Your Wi-Fi Network
Your home Wi-Fi network can be vulnerable to hacking. Ensure your network is secured with a strong password, and change it periodically. Also, avoid using public Wi-Fi networks, especially for sensitive transactions like banking or shopping.
A minor vulnerability in your internet can give a criminal access to almost all the devices connected to that network. For example, hackers and scammers can nab your online bank accounts or credit card portals.
Install Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
In addition to protecting your property from burglars, it’s important to protect it from other threats like fire and carbon monoxide. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home, and test them regularly to make sure they’re working properly.
Carbon monoxide is odorless, tasteless, and colorless. Therefore, its presence can only be detected by the detectors above. Keep in mind: only one detector in your home doesn’t guarantee your safety.
Maintain Your Landscape
Landscaping can also play a significant role in protecting your home. Overgrown bushes or trees can provide cover for burglars to hide behind while trying to break into your home. Make sure to trim your bushes and trees regularly to ensure that your property is visible from the street.
Diseased landscaping can also create mold in your foundations, pests in your garden, and also attack the very structure of your house. However, routine maintenance can be implemented as a preventative measure, keeping the wear and tear to a minimum before it destroys your home.
For more information on keeping safe in Florida, read: “The Dark Side of Florida’s Contracting Industry.” And, if you’d like to learn more about protecting your home, this short Youtube video from a Navy Seal might be helpful: