9 ways to improve your home security
Home burglaries, while steadily declining over the years, are still a rather common occurrence. In the U.S., there are over 3,370 burglaries happening each and every day, with more than 50% of the homes experiencing a repeat burglary within one month. Perhaps the most shocking statistic is the fact that less than 25% of homes have a home security system. Professional home security systems might be on the pricier side, but there are many ways to improve your home security even without one. In this article, we will provide you with nine of the best ways in which you can improve the security of your home.
Nine ways to improve your home security
Obviously, the best solution to protect your home is to install a full home security system. That being said, you can choose to employ some of the other ways of improving your home security instead. Most of these ways are utilized in home security systems, due to the enhanced security they provide. We’ve also chosen these ways to provide you with the maximum benefits of investing in your home security per dollar spent. Without any further ado, here’s the list:
- Mortice locks
- Motion sensors
- Extra lighting
- Additional security cameras
- Home automation
- Professionally monitored home security system
- Neighborhood watch
Do note that there are many other ways in which you can improve your home security. For example, you can limit access to your property, invest in a home safe, or even use automatic curtain pullers. Or you can go a step further and hide your valuables within your home, making it even harder for potential burglars to steal anything of extreme value. If you want to be really certain that your home is as safe as it can be, you can also contact home security professionals and have them perform a security analysis of your home.
But if you are looking for simple, cost-effective, ways to improve your home security, you can’t beat the top nine. Let’s see why this is the case.
The most common point of entry is also the simplest. The front and back doors. Normally, these doors are fitted with regular locks that are held by two or three screws only. While it is not exactly easy to break down a door with a regular lock, it is not that hard either. By installing mortice locks on your doors, you will make the doors much more secure. These locks project a bolt into the door jamb and require a key to open. This means that it is impossible to simply break the glass panel and unlock the door from the other side by turning a knob or a handle.
You may want to hire a professional to install these locks, though. While it is definitely cheaper to install them on your own, the risks of DIY home security installation are nothing to scoff at. That being said, if you have the opportunity to practice the installation, you might as well save a few dollars. It all depends on how much experience in the DIY installation you might already have.
You may also want to consider installing window locks, as well. Windows are the second major point of entry, and you will want to protect them with locks of their own. There are numerous types of window locks available on the market, catering to almost every window type.
Another really cheap way of improving your home security comes in the form of motion sensors and motion-activated lights. These will act mostly as a deterrent, as potential burglars will know that you have at least invested something in your home security. Furthermore, burglars do not like to operate in light, where they can be seen and identified. You may want to have full motion-sensor coverage but installing just a couple of sensors around the most vulnerable entry points usually does the trick on its own. Many different types of home security systems utilize motion sensors to great effect, and some of them have the capability of sending an alarm trigger to the proper authorities. They can also send alarms to your smartphone instead.
While you may incur some additional energy expenditure by installing motion sensors, the benefits far outweigh the costs.
You may also want to pair the motion sensors with some additional lighting. Consider investing in outdoor lighting and place some lights in your front and back yard, as well as near the garage and along pathways. These lights will serve both as a deterrent to potential burglars and a significant quality of life improvement. The better lit your home is, the more secure it will be.
If you are worried about the additional energy expenditure, you may consider installing solar-powered lights or connecting them to a smart outlet. Or you can opt for smart light bulbs instead. Just don’t forget to include the extra lights on your regular home security maintenance checklist. Some of the lights may not be in frequent use, after all, so checking if they work from time to time may be required. And the last benefit of a well-lit home is that it simply looks better. While this may not be a priority, it is a nice side bonus.
You may also improve the security of your home by adding obstructions for potential burglars to overcome. For example, you may choose to erect a fence or a small wall around your property. This simple barrier will prevent most of the burglars from even considering your home as their next target. Furthermore, you can install burglar bars on the windows. These days, you can find burglar bars that will actually add to your home’s aesthetic, combining looks and security into one package. The main effect of the burglar bars, however, is showing that you are conscious of the security of your home.
If you really want to “crank it up a notch”, you can plant some thorny plants beneath the ground floor windows, and place a few on the windowsills. They will make it painful for any burglar that decides to go the window route. These plants will also help you improve the privacy of your home at the same time.
If you are especially worried about someone coming in through the front door, you can install an additional security gate in front of it. This gate serves a similar purpose to window burglar bars, as it will create an additional obstacle that burglars need to go through. Lastly, you may want to consider getting a dog. Having a dog inside your home will provide amazing burglar detection capabilities. For example, even a small Yorkshire terrier will bark loudly whenever it detects someone around the premises. Most burglars will simply leave when they realize that they have been heard.
Additional security cameras
One of the best ways to improve your home security is by adding a few more security cameras to the premises. Not only will they deter and foil any porch pirates, but they will also make potential burglars think twice before entering your home. While the cameras themselves are actually unable to stop any intrusion from happening, their burglar-deterring power is not to be underestimated. After all, why would a burglar choose a home that is well-protected with security cameras when there are so many homes without one?
Installing most security cameras is also rather easy, as it is to connect them to your Wi-Fi. However, as there are many different types of home security cameras, some may require a bit more expertise. Depending on your needs and circumstances, you may want to either hire professional installers or at the very least invest some time into learning how to install them.
Home security cameras can be rather cheap, or quite expensive. It all depends on the features. For example, you can get a camera that has motion detection, night vision, Wi-Fi capability, two-way talk, local storage, and weatherproof casing, all in one. Or you can get a “dummy” camera for a dollar or two. The best thing to do may be to get a quality camera to cover the most likely entry points and get a few additional lower-quality cameras for additional coverage. And sprinkling a few dummy cameras here and there is always a good idea. Basically, you want to create a “high-security” look.
Smart homes are all the “rage” these days. But did you know that a smart home is more secure than a regular one? Home automation provides you with greater security features. For example, you will be able to control the lights, door locks, smoke alarms, etc. from your phone! Furthermore, you will be able to get real-time alerts about any activity around the premises. Usually, these features were the purview of professional home security systems. But with home automation, you can get all of them at a lower price!
Home automation can also allow you to schedule the TV and the lights to turn on and off at regular intervals. This can be invaluable when you are on vacation, as it will provide the illusion of a lived-in home.
Professionally monitored home security system
We cannot talk about ways to improve your home security without mentioning professional home security systems. These systems will include most of the other improvements, including security cameras, motion sensors, smart lightbulbs, etc. The main drawback of a professional home security system is its cost. However, the price might be lower than you think.
There are numerous DIY solutions that are almost as effective as ones that you get from professional installation. Furthermore, having a professional security system will usually reduce your home insurance premiums. In some cases, this can significantly reduce the overall cost of the system, even negate it completely over a period of a few years. At the very least, you may want to consider hiring a home security analyst. The advice you can get from professional analysts can be extremely valuable in improving your home security.
There are many ways in which a savvy homeowner can deceive any potential burglars. The beauty of deception is that it is usually the cheapest way to improve your home security. For example, you can simply draw curtains and turn on the radio or the TV whenever you leave the house. This will create an illusion that someone is inside the house, and drawn curtains will make it difficult to verify if this is the case.
You might also leave your car in the yard whenever you go out, creating another illusion. Dummy cameras are yet another great deception tool, as are the signs “Beware of the dog” or “Home is protected by a CCTV system“. When you think about it, the burglars have no way of knowing whether you actually have a dog on the premises, or whether your security cameras are dummy cameras or not. Especially if you add a few real cameras to the mix and make an effort to visibly check the CCTV footage from time to time.
Lastly, you can ask your neighbors to help you improve your home security. Many neighborhoods have a “neighborhood watch” system, where neighbors will check up on each other’s homes while the owners are not around. If there isn’t a neighborhood watch in your neighborhood, you might want to start one yourself!
What you need to do is get to know your neighbors and try to be friendly with them. Your neighbors are essential to your home security, as they can contact you and the proper authorities whenever they spot any unusual activity around your home. This is also one of the ways to improve your home security that does not cost anything. Furthermore, by the virtue of having friendly neighbors, package delivery gets much more secure.
If you are looking for even more home security tips, or want to know what the best home security companies are, we invite you to check out the rest of the Consumer Opinion Guide. Our selection of articles will help you make the best decisions when it comes to improving the security of your home!