According to the FBI, Americans reported more than 2.1 million burglaries in 2010. While the overall burglary rate has been on the decline for more than a decade, the problem is far from under control. Unprotected homes remain vulnerable to opportunistic burglars and professional home invaders alike and this is why you need to make it more secure.
Your local police force can only do so much to keep an eye on your neighborhood. It’s up to you to take proactive, commonsense steps to secure your home and property.
Start with these six — they’re all straightforward, low-cost, and well within the capabilities of determined non-professionals.
IMAGE: THE VERGE
1. Install A WiFi Security Camera
A WiFi security camera helps you keep an eye on your house no matter where you are — whether it’s upstairs in the bath or thousands of miles away on the vacation of a lifetime.
Check out this roundup of WiFi security cameras to get a better sense of what to expect from the category. Look for products with value-added features like two-way communication, motion sensing, and recording capabilities — which enable you to recall faces and voices of people who originally come to your house for supposedly legitimate purposes.
2. Place Motion-Activated Floodlights In Strategic Locations
Motion-activated floodlights are great for deterring prowlers exploiting the cover of darkness. Place them in strategic locations around your property — around the back of the house, near the garage, next to side or back entrances that aren’t continuously monitored by cameras or visible from windows. A security light won’t singlehandedly ward off a determined burglar, but it’ll certainly give creepers pause.
3. Use Light Timers
Outside lights are just part of the equation. Buy a few timers for high-visibility lights around your home’s interior — particularly on the second floor, if you have one. They’re great for tricking potential burglars into thinking you’re home when you’re actually miles away.
Ideally, you want these lights to come on at times when you’d likely be using the rooms they’re in: evening for the bedroom, morning for the kitchen, afternoon for the living room. Consider timing your front porch or stoop lights to stay on overnight as well.
4. Slap On A Security Company Decal
Even if you don’t have a working home security system, burglars won’t know the difference. A fib told in the service of your family’s safety is no fib at all. When an actual security company decal isn’t feasible (they don’t just give them away, after all), buy a generic lookalike at a sign store. You’d be surprised how many would-be robbers take it at face value.
5. Remove Or Secure The Extra Key
Sure, it’s convenient to leave a spare key under the welcome mat.
Is it smart or safe? No, of course not. If you must leave a spare somewhere on your property, use a secure lockbox with its own key or unique code that only trusted friends and service providers know.
If you truly trust your friends, you can give them copies of your house key, but think twice about handing them off to contractors and cleaners.
6. Secure Window Air Conditioning Units
Window AC units are prized points of entry for nimble burglars. When unsecured, they’re a cinch to remove, leaving a void plenty big enough to crawl through. The good news is that it’s relatively easy to secure a window AC unit with the right tools and equipment.
What are you doing to make your home more secure? Please share your tip in the comments below.
If you are interested in even more security-related stories and information from us here at Bit Rebels then we have a lot to choose from.