Most people around the world have a nightly routine of some kind. This routine typically includes making sure the windows and doors of their homes are all locked before tucking themselves into bed for the evening.
Locking the doors and windows of your home may provide a huge sense of comfort for you. But what many people do not know, is that most home invasions include forced entry.
This means that locking your windows and doors may make you feel comfortable, but it does nothing to discourage a criminal from breaking in once they have targeted your home.
1. Limit the Amount of Information You Put on Social Media
In the past decade, it has become a very popular trend to do new home tours or unboxing videos. These videos are then shared to social media for friends, family, or fans to watch.
But they are not the only ones who are watching. Many burglars watch social media to find their next victim.
If you have a social media platform there are a few things you need to do to remain safe…
Never post on social media when you are going to be away from your home for an extended period of time. This information only gives thieves the ability to plan the perfect time to invade your home.
Do not post photos of the front of your home to social media. Photos of your home will make it easier for criminals to find your home address.
Avoid recording and posting videos of your home. Videos of your home allow criminals to see the entire layout of your home and what is placed in each area.
Don’t add friends to social media that you do not know personally. Criminals are not afraid to send a random friend request under false friendly intentions.
Turn off all location services that show your current whereabouts when posting on social media. Never share your location with strangers, and never let the internet know when you are not home; this keeps criminals guessing.
Never share your daily routine with timestamps on social media. You want to remain unpredictable to criminals.
As social media continues to take over, this tip becomes one of the most important ones to follow.
2. Keep Curb Appeal in Mind
Be sure to give your home a nice curb appeal to onlookers. If people see that you take care of your home’s outside appearance, they are going to believe that you are taking care of the home’s security as well.
Criminals are more likely to target your home if there are more places to hide, and if your home’s yard looks to be unkept.
So be sure to trim your bushes, cut your grass, remove debris, and trim any tree branches that could provide the perfect cover for intruders.
3. Protect Your Mail
You have probably never thought about how important it is to secure your mailbox. But, a trained criminal knows just how valuable a homeowner’s mail can be.
So much information is placed inside of your mailbox every day such as utility bills, receipts for large purchases, W2s from jobs, and a host of other information.
Lazy thieves may not think to invade your home if they drive by and notice that your mailbox is full. While other thieves may see a full mailbox and think that you are not home; providing the perfect opportunity to break in.
If you are going to be out of town for a while, employ a trusted friend or neighbor with the task of checking your mail for you. This will continue to give the appearance of normality concerning your home.
If you tend to receive a lot of business-related information to your home’s mailbox, or just feel as though you would like added security, invest in a lock for your mailbox.
Mailbox locks are the perfect way to stop someone from getting any information- like event dates that require your absence from your home. Locked mailboxes also stop the sharing of personal information that could lead to identity theft.
4. Change Your Locks
If you have recently purchased a home, and you are not the first owner of that home, be sure to change the locks as soon as you have signed your name as the new homeowner.
Criminals may watch for homes that have recently been put up for sale. And, previous homeowners may not have been very cautious in their home’s security as you may plan to be.
This means that they may have had really bad security habits such as:
- Hiding a spare key under the front door mat
- Hiding a spare key under an outside porch plant
- Hiding a spare key taped to the inside of an unlocked mailbox
and many other very popular hiding places for spare keys.
The previous homeowners may have also given spare keys to friends, family, or neighbors they may have felt as though they can trust.
To be sure that you are the only one with access to your new home, work with a realtor that can tell you if the locks of your new home have been changed.
Once you have moved into your new home, be sure to change your locks if any of the following happens:
- A temporary roommate moves out
- A divorce occurs and an upset spouse moves out
- After any break-ins
- If multiple sets of keys have been lost
There may be multiple occasions when you may need to change the locks to your home. But never hesitate to do so. Changing the locks to your home when needed, could save you a lot of money and loss in the future.
5. Get a Pet
If you are an animal lover, you may definitely want to consider getting a dog. Many burglars have stated that they are less likely to break into a home that has a dog.
You are not encouraged to solely put the burden of protecting your home on your four-legged family member. But, those loud barks that may drive you crazy anytime the mail is delivered, may actually serve as a deterrent for criminals who are thinking of invading your home.
Beware of such commodities like doggy doors though.
Some criminals may be slim enough to squeeze through a doggy door. Some thieves may even slip cameras and recording devices through it to spy on your personal conversations and seek out your valuables.
6. Hide Your Valuables
You may have a safe where you store all of your worldly treasures, but try to be a bit more sneaky where you hide your valuables.
If you have a portable safe that can easily be removed by a robber, there isn’t anything stopping them from figuring out a way to break into it once they have it away from your home.
There are tons of online articles and videos that show people how to break into safes.
So make it a point to find fun ways to hide your belongings throughout your home where only yourself and your trusted loved ones know where to find them.
Avoid hiding money and other treasured items in popular hiding spaces such as:
- under the bed
- inside of a thick book on your bookcase
- inside of a jar on top of your refrigerator
Popular hiding places are typically the first place an intruder checks when deciding on what to take from your home.
Unexpected places that you can hide your belongings include:
- The inside of an empty (but clean) laundry detergent bottle in your laundry room
- A hollowed-out candle that has slightly been used
- Inside of a room where the door is hidden by large furniture or wallpaper
There are many places that you can find or create in your home to store your valuable things. Just be sure that you store them in a way that is safe (fireproof and flood-proof boxes, etc.)
Don’t Keep Valuables in the House
While storing your belongings in your home is the most preferred way to keep your things safe, you may want to opt-in getting a storage facility to store your valuables or a safety deposit box at a bank.
Thieves are less likely to return to a home that didn’t seem to have any valuables the first time they visited. However, they may decide to come back if they were unable to get everything they deemed as valuable the first time they invaded your space.
You may think that a burglar will never return to the same home once they have gotten away with all of your goods, but there is evidence that supports the contrary.
Many burglars report that they have returned to the same home multiple times.
If a burglar has gotten away with your belongings multiple times and hasn’t gotten caught, and you are unable to invest in security software or move, you may want to seriously think about not keeping your very valuable belongings in your home.
7. Make Necessary Repairs
Due to time and resources, you may have a few repairs around your home that you have been neglecting for some time.
Don’t continue to delay in making necessary repairs to your home, as these repairs could put your home’s security at risk.
Immediately fix things like:
- windows that won’t lock, shut or open all the way
- doors that stick or have hinges that are no longer strong and supportive
- doorknobs that require a certain jiggle or twist to lock or unlock properly
You never want to “home remedy” any big repairs when it comes to the windows or doors of your homes.
Always have a professional come out to see if your doors and windows are secure as their security can be compromised over time.
If you have security lights or cameras, ensure that they are all functioning properly.
You may have stayed on top of your security cameras or lights when you first got them installed. However, you may have neglected their upkeep over the years.
If you have never had any scares with home invasions, you may feel as though the appearance of a security camera on your property (even if it doesn’t work) is enough to keep thieves away.
Don’t take chances with your security! Never try to trick a criminal by solely depending on the appearance of security devices that have become outdated or no longer work.
Security features like motion detectors, alarms, and light control systems that perform properly are all ways to ensure your home’s safety, the safety of yourself, and of those you love.
Stay Up-To-Date On New Home Security Tips
These are just a few security tips that could change the way a potential burglar views your home. But, every year people continue to come up with new and inventive ways to keep their homes safe.
Continuously check for up-to-date ways to keep your home secure by looking up the latest home security tips. Some tips may become outdated as criminals continue to search for ways around certain security measures.
Make sure that all members of your family are aware of the safety precautions that are being taken for your home. Try to make it a family activity when discussing security updates (access code changes, lock changes, repairs that are needed) and other home security tips.
Contact us to see how we can help you stay on top of your home’s security and one step ahead of the criminals.