Your home should be a sanctuary of comfort and safety. But even if you live in one of the safest cities in America, there’s a chance your home could be burglarized. After all, a break-in occurs every twenty seconds in the United States. Here’s the good news: there are many simple steps you can take to boost your home security.
Whether you want to add to your existing home security system or you’re just looking to make your home less vulnerable to an intruder, our home security life hacks are likely to help. Not a seasoned DIYer? Don’t worry. Most of these hacks are super easy and surprisingly low-budget.
Here are our top home security tips for making your home a safer place.
Start by Assessing Possible Security Weaknesses
Protecting your home starts with becoming aware of its security vulnerabilities. Take our home security quiz to help identify security weakness. Based on your answers, we’ll generate a custom report that scores the security of your home and gives you additional tips for ways to secure your home to help fortify it against criminals.
1. Download a Crime-Tracking App
Once you’ve addressed your home’s immediate security vulnerabilities, it’s time to become more aware of the crime taking place in and around your neighborhood. With this knowledge, you can take additional precautions to keep your belongings and family safe. Thanks to technology, crime stats are right at your fingertips. Download CrimeReports, SpotCrime, or another SafeWise-approved crime-tracking tool to keep tabs on wrongdoings in your neighborhood.
2. Put Up Home Security Cameras
Installing indoor and outdoor home security cameras is one of the top things people tell us they wished they’d done before their home was burglarized. And, in the event your home is broken into, footage captured by your security camera may help law enforcement identify those responsible. There are several different types of home security cameras. Some come as part of a complete home security system, while others can be purchased as a stand-alone security device. Either way, the most effective cameras are the ones with features like motion detection, night vision, and built-in Wi-Fi. Take a look at the fifteen home security cameras we recommend.
3. Be Sneaky with Your Spare Key
A burglar’s intuition is keen when it comes to locating “hidden” outdoor keys. So don’t place your spare keys in obvious locations such as under the doormat or planter. Instead, hide your spare key somewhere much less conspicuous and at least fifty feet from your home. Better yet, replace your traditional lockset with a top-rated electronic keyless door lock that works with your home automation system, and you’ll never need to worry about stashing a key again.
4. Replace the Front Door
This home security tip requires more skill and money than our other hacks—but it’s well worth it. Burglars don’t think twice about breaking weak front doors, so you’ll want to protect your home with a steel core door or another security door instead of a standard wooden one. If investing in a new door isn’t in your budget, then replace the lockset that came with your door with a long-throw deadbolt. Kick your home’s security up a notch by installing a smart doorbell, such as the Ring Wi-Fi Enabled Doorbell, which allows you to see who’s at the door without opening it. Our smart doorbell buyers guide can help you find the best smart doorbell for your home.
5. Lock Your Doors
Locking your home’s entry doors—even when you’re inside—isn’t being paranoid. It’s taking a proactive approach to home safety, especially considering someone is home during almost one-third of all burglaries. Round up your family members and make a pact to consistently lock your home’s doors. If you have a hard time remembering to secure your home, you might want to install an electronic door lock like the August Smart Lock. Used in tandem with the August app, this device allows you to lock and unlock your doors right from your web-enabled device.
6. Hide Valuable Items
Criminals want to get in and out of your house as fast as possible—taking with them your jewelry, cash, electronic devices, and other goodies they can sell or pawn. Make their job difficult by securing these items in a SafeWise-approved safe. Reference our home safe buyers guide to learn what to look for in a safe and how to choose the right one for your needs. Then, find out what burglars like to steal most and take appropriate steps to secure these items in your home. One of our best home security life hacks is to hide your valuables in safes that look like everyday items. Use a wall clock safe or a safe that looks like an electrical outlet to store small valuables.
7. Make It Appear You’re Home
If a burglar thinks someone is home, there’s less chance they’ll try to break in. In fact, most break-ins happen when someone isn’t home, like during the day when you are at work or when you’re on vacation. Fortunately, there are several easy home security hacks to help fool would-be intruders—like leaving the TV on or using a device like the Orvibo Wi-Fi Smart Socket Outlet to control lights from your smart device. Take time to prepare your home if you’re going on vacation by stopping your mail, arranging to have your yard maintained, and asking a friend to stop by regularly. These home security hacks can go a long way toward making your house appear lived-in.
8. Secure Your Yard
It’s important to make sure the inside of your home is protected, but it’s equally vital to secure your yard. Burglars love hiding places, so one of our favorite home security tips is to keep shrubs and other vegetation trimmed. Other hacks to burglar-proof your yard include installing motion sensor lighting and securing sheds or other outbuildings with a strong padlock like this one from Master Lock.
9. Fortify Your Garage
Many people don’t realize how important it is to secure their garage. But your garage likely contains expensive tools, your car, and quick access to your home. Try these life hacks to help secure your garage: keep the garage door closed so that passersby can’t see what’s inside, lock the door leading from your garage into your home, and install a motion sensor light above your garage.Help minimize the chance of a garage break-in by never leaving the garage door opener in your car, especially when your car is parked in the driveway.
These home security life hacks can help make your home a safer place, but nothing quite protects your house and family like a quality home security system. Learn how to choose a home security system and find out which brands we recommend most.