Your home is a place full of memories and treasured items you have worked hard for. If someone came in to take those items and destroy your place of sweet serenity, it would be a devastating loss. While you know the basics, like keeping your doors locked when you are at home or away, we will take a deeper dive into some home security tips. Here are some ways you can protect your home from possible intruders.
Where You Live & When You’re Home
Don’t share your address on a public platform such as social media posts or directory lists. While your address may be located through public records, it's still best to not put it out there where people can easily find it.
Avoid sharing on social media that you will be going on vacation or out of town. Posting that you are going out of town lets people know your home may be unattended. I know it sounds troubling to think that someone you are friends with on social media might take advantage of that information, but there could be acquaintances out there you might not know very well. A best practice for sharing your vacation fun is to wait until you are back home and then share how much fun the trip was!
Keys & Locks
The easiest way for someone to break into your home is to simply use your key, unlock the door and just walk right in. If you make a spare key to your home, be secure in how you store it. You may have heard of people hiding a key around their house by placing it under something such as a rock or planter. Hiding a key is not secure because someone can find it and then enter your home. Instead, you can place the spare key in a pin code key holder and then hide that. If someone finds it, they still don't know the pin code. An additional security tip - do not make the pin code the same as your street address or another set of numbers that can be easily guessed.
If you move into a new home, change your door locks. You never know how many key copies may have been made and given out. Select exterior door locks that have a deadbolt included. Spring-latch locks are standard door handle locks and are fairly easy to open without a key, whereas a deadbolt lock cannot be easily compromised.
How Secure is Your Door Strike Plate?
If a burglar tried to kick in your door, would your strike plate hold strong and keep them out or give way and welcome them on in? Your door strike plate is the metal frame where your door lock connects to your door frame. Check your strike plate to see if it was installed with short wood screws that will give away easily or long screws that will reinforce the door security. This is a quick and easy way to reinforce your door from intruders. Check out this video that shows you the difference between a strike plate with short screws versus one with long screws and a reinforcement lock.
Have Security with a Home Security System
Having a home security system installed can provide that extra layer of protection. It’s common for thieves to lurk at night when it’s harder to be seen and while people are sleeping. A home alarm system can be set up to sound an alarm if a door, window, or outdoor motion sensor were to be triggered. Typically, if an intruder hears an alarm, they are going to take off. Many home alarm systems can be connected to a local dispatch service. Some insurance companies may even offer a discount for having a home security system.
Catch it on Camera
It's becoming more common to hear of home security cameras that are discreet and easy to set up. There are many products you can purchase that are reasonably priced. And while you will have to pay the initial cost to purchase the security cameras, the cost to maintain them can be inexpensive. Many of these home security systems can be monitored through an app on mobile devices and will start recording, as well as alert you, when motion is detected. Some home alarm systems have packages that include security cameras.
Windows can be an easy entrance for burglars, but keeping your windows locked can help prevent this. If your windows don't have locks, you can purchase window locks at a local hardware store and install them. Your landscaping can help play a role, too. While some people might think having bushes or trees in front of a window might help prevent a burglar from breaking in, it can actually create a spot for an intruder to hide from neighbors or others driving by as they work on prying the window open. You can also install a window break detection alarm. These alarms can pick up the high-pitched frequency of glass breaking. Some home alarm systems include window lock sensors and window break sensors.
With these home security tips, we hope you feel more comfortable and secure in your home! HomeFirst® Agency is here to help you find the personal property coverage you need with homeowners insurance and tips along the way for that extra peace of mind.