Replace locks on every exterior door and add deadbolts. For added security, upgrade to smart locks with keyless entry and remote control.
Check for missing or cracked shingles and determine if repairs are needed. It may be worth hiring a roofer to do an up-close inspection that can identify hard-to-spot problems like dry rot, which can lead to sagging. Check for adequate insulation and venting to avoid possible ice dams in winter.
Install security lights to keep burglars at bay. Lights with motion detection provide safe passage on walkways and in doorways, and they help stop intruders in their tracks. Smart lightbulbs are another way to upgrade your lighting and improve security—imagine the added safety when you can control exterior lights from your smartphone.
Make sure all gates are in good repair, close tightly, and have a secure latch that can’t be tampered with. The best way to ensure gate security is to add two locks—one at the top, and another on the bottom.
Closely examine all exterior borders and buildings, including fences, sheds, decks, awnings, and pergolas. Make repairs to preserve structural integrity and avoid hazards like tripping, slivers, or falling boards.
Inspect Rain Gutters and Downspouts
Clogged gutters can lead to mold and deterioration that damages shingles and compromises your roof’s integrity. Check for adequate drainage and use a leaf blower or specialized gutter cleaning tool, like the Gutter Sense Gutter Cleaning Tool, to remove leaves and other debris.
Don’t make it easy for intruders to gain access to your home. Inspect all window screens for tears and repair or replace as needed. Make sure all window screen frames fit snugly, and replace any that are bent or loose.
Unkempt hedges and trees give burglars a handy spot to hide. Make your yard less tempting by keeping bushes and trees neatly trimmed. A well-kept yard is also a sign that the house is no longer vacant, which can make a big difference if your new home was on the market for a long time.
Don’t overlook mail slots and pet doors when you secure your home. These entrances, although small, can make it easier for someone to enter your home.
Research Security Cameras and Alarm Systems
Burglars have reported that they skip homes with security cameras and alarm systems. Find out what security systems are available, and identify which type makes the most sense for your home.
Examine driveways and walkways for damage. Repair broken bricks and stones, as well as cracked or crumbling concrete, to eliminate falling hazards.
Add a Smart Garage Door Opener
You’ll never leave the garage door open again when you add a smart garage door opener that you can open and close through an app on your cellphone or computer. Smart garage door openers send you alerts if you left the door open and allow you to monitor the garage from wherever you are.
Lock up Hazardous Materials
Fertilizers, paint, gasoline, weed killer, oil, and pesticides need to be locked up or stored up high to avoid an accidental poisoning. Never put leftover paint or other hazardous materials in juice or milk cartons, and keep everything clearly labeled.
Don’t leave landscaping tools scattered across the lawn or haphazardly stowed in the garage or shed. Even during the chaos of moving in, take time to find a secure spot to lock up lawn mowers, trimmers, and other tools.
Make House Numbers Visible
Be certain that emergency personnel can easily find your home. Post numbers that can be seen from the street. And make sure your house number can be seen after dark—add a light or use luminescent numbers. If you want to post your address on the mailbox, use the house number only and skip adding your name.