How to Give Your Home a Security Makeover

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A burglary happens every 30 seconds. You’ve invested a lot of time and money in your home, so it’s important that you keep it protected. One of the best ways to do this is with a home security system. 

Beyond this, there are several simple security measures you can do to make over your home and make it more secure. We’ve put together a list of things you can do after a quick trip to the hardware store this weekend.

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Install deadbolts

Top lock recommendation
Medeco Maxum
$199.99 price as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Read full disclaimer.

Most break-ins happen by forced entry. If a burglar is going to enter the house through a door, they’ll often try to kick it in. By adding a deadbolt to every exterior door in your home, you’ll make it more difficult for them to break through.

Ideally, you should have a throw lock where the metal extension goes at least an inch into the doorframe. The most secure deadbolt locks will consist of heavy-duty materials like solid steel, brass, or bronze.

For more information, check out our picks for top door locks.

Change that lock

If you’ve just moved into your home, or if you’ve lived there for a while and have given out copies of your keys over the years, change the locks and deadbolts.

Upgrade to keyless locks

Best keyless door lock
August WiFi price as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Read full disclaimer.

Adding a keyless lock that requires a security code or fingerprint can help reduce your chances of having an intruder enter your home.

While you may think this type of lock would be expensive, you can find several quality products for under $300.

Install bright exterior lighting

Best budget
Wyze Cam Floodlight

Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

If someone is trying to break into your home, they want to go in undetected. A motion sensor light will put any potential intruder in the spotlight, which can help send them running.

Place these lights near any entry point to your home and make sure you check that they’re working every couple of months.

Take a look at our top picks for motion lights that also double as security cameras in our Best Floodlight Cameras for Home Security guide.

Do some landscaping

If your home has hedges and bushes that are cloaking windows or other entry points, trim them down. High hedges and bushes provide the perfect concealment for burglars and can increase the odds of a break in.

Tulane University suggests that ground plants should be no higher than three feet tall, but a good rule of thumb is to have them trimmed so doors and windows are visible to neighbors. Planting thorny plants, like holly or roses, around ground-level windows can help as well.

If you have tall trees that could provide access to second-story windows, these should be trimmed as well to help prevent would-be intruders from scaling a tree and entering your home through a second-story window.

We also recommend placing some high gauge gravel around areas surrounding windows. If a burglar steps on this, it creates a lot of noise and acts as a further deterrent.

If you don't want to do all this yard work yourself, you can find a qualified landscaper on Thumbtack.

Make home security system signs noticeable

If you’ve got a home security system, you should make it well known. When you got your system installed, you should have received signs and stickers. Place them near any external entry point of your home, including in the backyard.

Statistics report that 90% of convicted burglars said they will avoid homes with alarm systems, so these little signs can help make a difference.

Completing one or more of these upgrades is fairly simple, but can have a profound impact on your home security. This should give you more peace of mind and keep your family and valuables protected.

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Alina Bradford
Written by
Alina Bradford
Alina is a safety and security expert that has contributed her insights to CNET, CBS, Digital Trends, MTV, Top Ten Reviews, and many others. Her goal is to make safety and security gadgets less mystifying one article at a time. In the early 2000s, Alina worked as a volunteer firefighter, earning her first responder certification and paving the way to her current career. Her activities aren’t nearly as dangerous today. Her hobbies include fixing up her 100-year-old house, doing artsy stuff, and going to the lake with her family.

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