One-Day Projects to Improve Home Security | SafeWise

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One-Day Projects to Improve Home Security

You have big dreams for your home, but that impossibly long to-do list somehow never seems to get done. When you know that any project you start could take weeks to finish, you’re reluctant to pull the trigger.

That’s why these one-day projects are the perfect place to start. Whether you hire help or do all the work yourself, you’ll gain momentum. Spending Saturdays improving your home’s security will soon be an enjoyable habit!

Security 101: Light the Way

Home invaders are frequently deterred by well-lit homes. When it gets dark, take a few moments to observe your home through a stranger’s eyes. What lights are left on at all hours? Do any lights turn on automatically when you walk up to the front door? How much visibility do streetlights offer?

You may notice that you have existing fixtures that aren’t usable because of burned-out bulbs, or that you’re losing efficiency because your lights aren’t on an auto timer.

  • Step 1: Examine all your outdoor lighting fixtures and write down what kind of bulbs they use. Go to your local home supply store, and buy replacements and backups for each fixture. Replace any bulbs that are dim or broken, and store the rest so you’re always prepared.
  • Step 2: Set up an auto-timer. Some are programmable and others use motion sensors. Which will fit your needs? Consider who frequents your neighborhood, and look for a unit with both capabilities for maximum protection.
  • Step 3: Still too dark? Hire a local electrician to install a prominent fixture to light your driveway, porch, or yard. Don’t forget about the back of the house—good lighting will go a long way toward guaranteeing your family’s safety.

Next Up: Check Your Locks

Like all good homeowners, you lock your doors. But how secure are your locks? And do you have enough? List all of the doors on your property—including any doors from the outside to the garage, and the garage to indoors, both of which are potential liabilities. Now try to remember what kinds of locks each door has.

If you’ve ever been locked out of your home, you’ve probably had to calculate the best way to break in. Chances are, there’s a window or two that functions as a weak spot—something that can be opened from outside, is loose in its frame, or has some other vulnerability. Or, you may even have a hidden key on the premises.

  • Step 1: Ensure that each door has at least two locks: a locking knob and a deadbolt. You can calculate the cost of installing a secure lock here—especially since professional help can assure proper functioning for full protection. Do you have sliding glass doors? In addition to locks, you should use a rod to keep the door securely closed whenever you’re gone.
  • Step 2: Make sure all of your basement and first-floor windows are completely secure. Each should have a lock, plus firm double-pane construction. It’ll take longer than a day, but if you need new windows, now’s a great time to figure out replacement costs!
  • Step 3: Leave a key with a trusted neighbor—never under the doormat or in another obvious spot! Your backup plans should only be accessible to you, the homeowner. Loose keys and unlocked windows are a liability you can’t afford.

Final Round: Upkeep

If you’re not a criminal, you’re not trained to think like one. But they’re always looking for clues that indicate a great heist is on the other side of your walls. Making sure your property appears occupied—whether it is or not—makes you a less susceptible target.


Ask a friend to survey your place and point out what they notice. Do they see anything through the windows? Does the yard appear unkempt or messy? Figure out what aspects of your upkeep might be less than ideal, then make a plan to address each one.


  • Step 1: Keep indoor valuables out of reachand out of sight. Maybe you want to show off Great-Aunt Marge’s priceless vase collection, but it’s best to draw the blinds, move valuables out of sight lines, or both.
  • Step 2: Don’t let your house fall out of repair. If you need paint touch-up or a segment of siding replaced, it’s important to handle these issues right away. A shoddy-looking home could appear to be abandoned. If you don’t have time or a project is too big, get a handyperson to help you out.
  • Step 3: Hire a lawn-care service if regular upkeep isn’t your thing. Your landscaping professional may also have suggestions for lawn features that can keep you safer in the long run, so be sure to take advantage of their professional input.


You’re well on your way to a safe, secure property! You’ve fortified the perimeter, and it didn’t take long at all. Enjoy your newfound sense of safety—and don’t forget to maintain your progress over time!

Brynna Baldauf

Find out more about Brynna, here.

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