Staying Safe in Your Home- Best Home Security Measures
It’s natural to be protective of your home. It’s where you lay your head down at night. It’s where you and your family have built your life. And it’s your most significant investment. Luckily, there are measures you can take that will grant you peace of mind. So you can watch as many Law and Order episodes as you’d like without wondering if you’re doing everything you can to protect yourself.
It sounds a little obvious, doesn’t it? But 34% of burglars enter through the front door. And it’s not always a matter of forgetting to lock up. Inspect your hinges and doorframes to make sure they’re secure. Replace anything rickety or rusted. If you have a doggie door or a mail slot, test it out to ensure someone can’t reach through to the lock system. Door handle locks are easily breakable. Add deadbolts and strike-plates to all your entrances. And, if you’re moving into a house that used to be someone else’s, change the locks when you move-in even if you’ve met them and have deemed them non-threatening. You never know who they may have given a spare key.
Test out the window locks on all the windows in your home. Unfortunately, manufacturer window locks aren’t always effective. And if they are, sometimes you’ll find they’re pretty flimsy. It’s important to check your windows on all levels of your home. Plant prickly shrubs underneath your downstairs windows. You can also install glass-break sensors to your windows. And, make sure your windows are locked (not just shut) when you are not home.
Eliminate Hiding Places
Large trees and bushes may add to the curb appeal of your home, but it’s not doing you any favors for home security. Opt for smaller bushes and flowers instead. Keep trees trimmed. If you have any external storage space in your home, like a shed or a greenhouse, make sure they’re locked securely. Purchase a padlock that can’t be snipped with bolt cutters.
Light It Up
A suspicious character is less likely to approach your home if doing so means they’ll be in the spotlight. Keep your porch lights turned on at night. Add motion-sensor lights to the dark corners of your home. To save energy, you can use solar lights or a lighting timer. Add uplighting to trees. An added benefit of this is that your new lights will create a cozy ambiance in your landscaping. And you’re much less likely to stumble up the stoop when getting home late.
Predators don’t need to kick in your front door to gain entry anymore. If you’ve linked your home to a wireless security system, take extra precautions to make sure your wifi is super-secure. If a hacker gained entry into your wifi, they’d be able to unlock your entire home. Password protect your wireless router with a complex password. Enable WPA and WPA2 Encryption. Use a strong firewall and anti-malware software.
Most of us get a doggie for their companionship, loyalty, and propensity for snuggles. Not to mention that irresistible look in their eye at the adoption center when having the “should we? Shouldn’t we?” conversation. But also dogs have much more heightened senses than humans. They can hear, smell, and sense of activities that we cannot. An intimidating bark will go a long way in scaring off potential intruders, even if your pup is the type to roll over on their belly when they meet anyone. You can always toss up a “Beware of Dog” sign. Even if you know your companion is just one big bundle of love. No one else needs to know that.
Install A Security System
Security systems are a great way to ensure peace of mind. Home automation security systems have gotten pretty advanced. You can turn on and off lights at your home in Madison while vacationing on the beaches of Thailand. Here are a few of the top home security system options:
The Ring Doorbell
The Ring Doorbell is very popular on holiday gift lists. It’s affordable and easy to install. With Ring, you’ll get live video, real-time 2-way talk, and snapshot capture. You can choose between a plan that allows a video recording app for one phone or a plan that allows multiple phones. Notifications are motion-activated. The Ring doorbell is a favorite among those who have been victims of Amazon package bandits. The company boasts a 30-second average emergency call response time. The Ring Doorbell does require a strong wifi connection. So, unfortunately, this won’t be a great option for your “remote country estate” or cabin. They also have a shorter battery life than most security systems. You’ll need to recharge your batteries every 6 to 12 months. And if you’d like to purchase a full-house system (not just your front doorstep), it’s less affordable. You’ll need to buy additional cameras, sensors, and accessories to completely trick-out your home.
Simplisafe is a fantastic no-contract home security system. You can opt for “professional monitoring” for $14.99/month, but it’s not required. DIY monitoring is easy and available. A $244 starter set will get you:
- A base station
- A wireless keypad
- A keyring remote
- Motion sensor
- Two entry sensors
- A high-definition video security camera with a motion sensor and that sends alerts.
It also includes a Heartbeat feature, which continuously checks that the equipment is working correctly. All this equipment takes about 30 minutes to assemble. It’s also easily movable. So if you’re renting or not planning on staying in your home forever, you can easily take this system with you when you go.
Cove is Google’s version of home security. So if you already have a “smart home” with Alexa or Google Assistant, Cove will be a natural transition for you. They offer:
- 24/7 professional monitoring
- Touch screen alarm panel
- Easy DIY installation
- Fewer false alarms
- Quick emergency dispatch
- No contracts
Got Any Other Tips?
Do you have a security tip that we’ve missed? We’d love to hear it!