If you own a home, one of your biggest fears may be someone breaking in. Burglars take more than your property; they steal your sense of security. Being able to protect your home against them is crucial if you want to feel safe and comfortable where you live. Knowing how to burglar-proof your home can provide you with a sense of peace and security.
You may be surprised to learn that the locks you choose are key to keeping your home safe. Read on to learn more about ways to keep your home safe from intruders.
Make Travel Arrangements
Studies have shown that burglars are more likely to break in during the day when people are out of the house. But this leaves them without the cover of night to hide them from view.
One of the most opportune times for a burglar to break in is when you’re out of town, leaving your house unoccupied at night.
When you travel, arrange for someone to keep an eye on your house. If possible, arrange for them to sleep over while you’re gone.
Never post on public social media pages that you’re out of town, including posting those awesome vacation pictures; burglars can trawl social media pages for potential target homes that they know will be empty.
Lock Your Windows
Most of us are in the habit of locking our doors every night, but we may not think about the windows. Burglars know this, and many times, they’ll check homes to see if there are any windows and doors that are easily accessible and unlocked.
The true key to deterring burglars isn’t to make breaking in impossible; it’s just to make it inconvenient.
Make sure you always lock your windows when you close them.
Whenever you’re cleaning your windows, it’s a good idea to double-check and make sure they’re locked. If you have a window that you can’t lock for some reason, simply putting a stick on top of that window to block anyone from raising it can do the trick.
Secure Patio Doors
Another entrance we may forget to lock at night is patio doors. And yes, a burglar could break a sliding glass door, but they’re not as likely to do that as they are to open it if it’s unlocked.
The sound of breaking glass could alert neighbors, and most burglaries are crimes of opportunity.
Make sure to check your patio door locks during your nightly rounds before bed. If they don’t have a lock, installing a bolt on the top of the door should be a matter of a couple of hours or less.
If you have sliding patio doors, a stick laid in the track can be enough to deter burglars.
Double Lock Doors
Locking the knobs on your doors is a great deterrent to burglars, and it’s something you should definitely do. But if a burglar is experienced or determine, it’s not too difficult to pick a knob lock. Having two locks can provide double the protection to your house.
A deadbolt can provide a greater measure of physical security for your home than just one knob lock.
You can also get a chain lock or a pin lock, both of which are impossible to pick from the outside. But make sure these are only used on doors you access from the inside, such as back doors and patio doors.
Consider a Smart Lock
Smart home technology is making every other aspect of our lives easier, so why not our home security, too? A smart lock allows you to remotely lock and unlock your house from your smartphone.
Some have proximity sensors that will unlock the door as soon as your smartphone gets within a certain distance of the house.
With a smart lock, you don’t have to leave spare keys around for your house sitter. You can unlock the door for them from wherever you are or set up a special code for them to use. Some of the higher-end models will record who uses a certain code at which times so you can know when everyone is coming and going.
Reinforce Your Hardware
It’s very important to lock your doors, but flimsy doors and windows can still be broken into. It would take a burglar less than ten seconds to kick in a hollow-core exterior door.
This is rarer, but knowing you have reinforced hardware can help you to sleep easier at night.
Make sure all your exterior doors are made of steel and/or have a solid core. Replace the screws on your doorknob strike plate with ¾” screws to add some extra stability there. And you may want to look into getting tempered or polycarbonate glass for windows and patio doors to make it harder to break.
Hide Your Spare Keys
If you don’t have a smart lock (and even if you do), it’s a good idea to have some spare keys outside the house in case of an emergency.
You don’t want to find yourself trying to break into your own extra-secure home. But putting keys under the doormat has become so common that burglars know to look for them there.
Consider giving your spare keys to a neighbor or friend who can keep them safe at their house. Hide your keys under a flower pot under the back porch or somewhere else inconspicuous.
You can also glue an old pill bottle to the bottom of a rock and bury your keys in your garden for extra security.
Start a Neighborhood Watch
Chances are if you’re worried about someone breaking into your home, your neighbors are, too.
You can’t always have an eye on everything going on in your neighborhood, but you can all work together to make sure everyone stays safe. Joining a neighborhood watch is a great way to crowdsource your home security.
If your street doesn’t have a neighborhood watch, consider starting one. Talk to your neighbors and local law enforcement about community concerns and develop an action plan. Set up methods of communication for the watch, and then check in with each other on a regular basis.
Get an Alarm
Studies have shown that when a thief hits a home protected by an alarm system, they’re more likely to leave quickly. Alarm systems can also remind you to do things like close windows and lock doors when you arm them.
And if someone does break-in, the police will know right away and can potentially catch the burglar red-handed.
When you’re shopping for an alarm system, it’s a good idea to get door and window sensors in addition to the basic control pad. You can get motion sensors and glass break sensors that will detect if a window gets smashed in.
You can even tie in water, smoke, and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure your home is safe inside and out.
Put in Cameras
Installing security cameras around your house may seem a little excessive, but it can be a great way to deter and catch burglars. If a thief sees a security camera on a house, they’re much less likely to try to break in there.
The same goes for package thieves, vandals, and other people who might cause trouble around your property.
You can get doorbells and motion sensor lights that come with motion-activated cameras.
You can also get standalone cameras that are easy to install and can record high-definition footage. If anyone does break into your house, not only will you know about it, you’ll be able to give their picture to the police.
Light It Up
On the subject of motion-activated lights, putting lights around your house may also help to deter burglars. Under the cover of darkness, it can be easier to sneak up to and break into a house.
But if there aren’t any shadows around your house, there’s nowhere for thieves to hide.
Put lights on your front and back porches and on your driveway.
You may want to install motion-activated or solar lights to help cut down on your electricity costs. Put lights on any potential hiding places around your house, and make sure these lights stay on even when you’re out of town.
Cut Back Shrubs
Having shrubs next to your windows may seem like a safety measure. After all, it keeps burglars from getting too close to your house, right? But no matter how thorny your bushes are, they can still serve as a hiding place for determined burglars.
Trim back any shrubs around your house, and make sure they’re placed far enough away that you can see between them and your house.
If possible with your landscaping plans, remove them altogether and replace them with flower beds. Your home will be more colorful, and a thief is going to have a much harder time tiptoeing through the tulips.
Protect Your Mail
In 2018, postal inspectors arrested nearly 2,500 people for theft of mail and packages.
If you’ve ever had a package disappear off your front porch, you know how frustrating mail theft can be. And inconvenience aside, mail thieves can get a lot of personal information about you through your mail.
Installing a security mailbox can be a simple way to protect your mail and your identity. These mailboxes operate like a normal mail slot except that you need a key to get into them once the mail is inside.
They are made from heavy-duty steel, so a burglar is going to have a tough time getting at your mail and packages.
Use a Safe
No matter how many security measures you take, there still exists the possibility that someone could break into your home. And if that happens, there are some things in your home that are irreplaceable.
Family heirlooms, property titles, and other important items need to be protected.
Installing a safe in your home can be a good way to make sure the things that matter most to you are secure. You may also want to bolt your safe to the floor to prevent burglars from taking the whole thing and breaking it open somewhere else.
Do this in an inconspicuous location and cover the safe with another piece of furniture, such as an end table covered in a cloth, to make it more difficult to find.
Put Up a Fence
Given their choice, many burglars will choose to break into a back door or window rather than a front door. They’re less likely to get spotted by a neighbor there, and people are less likely to notice a back door standing open.
Putting up a fence can deter burglars from entering your back yard in the first place.
When you’re choosing fencing materials, go for wood or other material that thieves can’t see through.
A six-foot fence is harder to get over, and you can get locks for your gates to keep them from entering that way. A fence also suggests to burglars that you may have a dog (and you could even get one of those “Beware of Dog” signs for the outside to reinforce that idea).
Get a Dog
While you’re attaching that “Beware of Dog” sign to the fence, you might as well get yourself a furry friend to go with it.
Dogs can provide a number of mental and physical health benefits to your life, but they can also be a great burglar deterrent.
In fact, after security cameras, dogs are the second-biggest deterrent for most burglars. A barking dog will wake up the family and the neighbors, and no one wants to risk getting bitten.
Get yourself a forever friend and make your home a happier and safer place to be.
Learn How to Burglar-Proof Your Home
No one likes the idea of a break-in, and knowing how to burglar-proof your home can help you sleep easier at night. The main goal is to make it as inconvenient as possible for someone to break in.
Door locks, fences, lights, cameras, and dogs are all a great way to keep people off your property and keep your family safe.
If you’d like to get the best locks for your home, check out the rest of our site at Dallas FW Locksmith.
We’re here to help you make sure you’re protected with the finest security services possible. Request a locksmith today and save yourself money and worry with a secure new door lock.