9 Home Security Life Hacks You Didn’t Know You Needed

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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 30 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.

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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 crime-tracking tool to keep tabs on wrongdoings in your neighborhood.

Start by assessing possible security weaknesses

Protecting your home starts with becoming aware of its security vulnerabilities. Take a look at our home security checklist to help identify security weaknesses and fortify your home against criminals.

2. Put up home security cameras

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Arlo Pro 4

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Installing indoor and outdoor home security cameras is one of the top things people tell us they wished they’d noticed 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 top five home security cameras we recommend.



3. Be sneaky with your spare key

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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

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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 video 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.

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

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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.

One of our best home security life hacks is to hide your valuables in a safe. Use a wall clock safe or a safe that looks like an electrical outlet to store small valuables. Or make your own sneaky hiding spot for valuables.

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 how to make your home less appealing to a burglar.

7. Make it appear you’re home

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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 a smart plug 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 home security brands we recommend most.

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Alexia Chianis
Written by
Alexia Chianis
Wanderlust junky and mom of two, Alexia is a former police officer and U.S. Army Captain who draws on her experiences to write about a myriad of safety topics.

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