Would you like to improve your home’s security without spending money every month on a professionally monitored security system? While monitored security systems are ideal, not everyone can afford them. If you aren’t ready to invest in a security system yet, there are still things you can do to make your home more secure.
Homes with security systems are three times less likely to be broken into than homes1 without security systems, so we always recommend investing in a monitored home security system when possible. But since we know that isn’t an option for everyone, we’ve compiled this list of tips that can help you secure your home without a professional system.
Keep reading for information about protecting your home on your own.
Convince burglars someone is home
Burglars prefer to target unoccupied homes, and most burglaries happen between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. when people are less likely to be around2. Convince people with less-than-honorable intentions that your house is occupied to discourage them from targeting you.
There are a few things you can do to make it look like you’re home even when you’re not.
Invest in smart lightbulbs
Control your appliances with a smart plug
Make sure the mail doesn’t pile up
If you head out of town for a few days, have the post office hold your mail or ask a family member or friend to check your mail regularly while you’re gone. If you have a newspaper delivered each day, you should also pause newspaper deliveries so you don’t have a stack of unopened newspapers on your porch telling thieves your home is empty.
Keep a vehicle in the driveway
A survey of past burglars showed that many of them would reconsider targeting a home if there was a car visible in the driveway3. Leave a car in the driveway if you can, particularly when you’ll be away for more than a day. If you’re headed out on a trip, consider asking someone to check in on your home once in a while so that a car is seen going and coming from your house.
Arrange for lawn care if you’ll be gone for more than a week
An unattended lawn indicates an unattended home, so if you’ll be away for long, make arrangements to have your grass cut and watered and make sure other basic landscaping needs are addressed.
Eliminate outdoor hiding places
Take a few simple steps to make it harder for someone to break into your house unseen.
Install outdoor lights
Use landscaping strategically
Make sure that the trees and bushes near your home are well trimmed so they don’t provide hiding places for burglars.
Control and monitor your home while you’re away
Recent technology has made it pretty easy to check in on your home even when you’re far away.
Control who enters your home with a smart lock
Install a video doorbell
Set up indoor cameras
Slow burglars down if they do target your home
Most burglars want to spend less than 60 seconds breaking into your home, and once inside they spend between eight and 12 minutes in the house before leaving.
You can take measures to slow someone down if they do target your home.
Lock your doors and windows
Locking doors is almost too obvious to mention, but most burglars in the UNC Charlotte study reported breaking into homes by entering through open windows or doors or by forcing a window or door open5. Locking your door when you are away is a fast, easy, and essential way to prevent break-ins.
Install window stops
Invest in a safe
In addition to a normal safe, you should invest in a long gun safe or a handgun safe for any firearms you own. A gun safe helps keep your guns out of the wrong hands so that no one in your home is injured, but it also makes it harder for someone to steal them.
We still recommend getting a monitored security system from a company like Frontpoint, but if that isn’t an option for you right now, follow the tips above to keep your home and your valuables safer.
Do you have any DIY home security tips to share? Speak up in the comment section below!
1Washington Post, “Anatomy of a Burglary”
2Washington Post, “Anatomy of a Burglary”
3KGW News, “We Asked Burglars How They Broke into Homes”
4UNC Charlotte, “Understanding Decisions to Burglarize from the Offender’s Perspective”
5UNC Charlotte, “Understanding Decisions to Burglarize from the Offender’s Perspective”