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Home security checklist: 9 tips for protecting your home from intruders



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Chris Monroe / CNET

All homeowners want to know that their family and belongings are safe. Unfortunately, FBI data shows that in the United States alone, burglaries occur about every 30 seconds.

The good news is that break-ins are less common every year, and there are more steps than ever to secure your home and keep would-be burglars from breaking in. In addition, most of these measures do not cost much ̵

1; or cost nothing at all.

Lock your doors and windows

Locking your doors and windows is the first and easiest defense against intruders in the home, but how many of us do this consistently? Burglars often look for easy targets, and an unlocked door or window is just that. Even when you are at home, it is good practice to keep them locked. And when you leave the house, check the first floor doors and windows to make sure they are all secured.

Some devices can also help you keep track of your entrances: door / window sensors can keep track of whether a door or window has been ajar, and smart locks can be set to automatically lock at specific times. Which brings us to our next tip.

Upgrade your door locks

Locking your doors and windows may not be enough if you don’t have quality locks. First of all, make sure all exterior doors have deadbolts, which will make it more difficult for intruders to break in. While you’re at it, make sure your door frames and hinges are strong enough to withstand an attempted break-in – older doors or exposed hinges can pose an unnecessary risk. Finally, as mentioned earlier, you can upgrade to smart locks, which you can enable remotely.

Invest in a home security system

A home security system is one of the most effective ways to prevent intruders from entering and alert you if a burglary has occurred. First, data shows that a home without a security system is about three times more likely to be broken into. If an intruder sees a security camera or sign indicating you have a security system, they will likely keep moving.

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Home security systems are one of the best all round defenses against potential burglars.

David Priest / CNET

A home security system can also alert you when someone has broken into your home. Security cameras alert you if there is movement in your yard or porch, and door / window sensors let you know if someone has entered your home. Depending on your security company, they may also alert the police on your behalf.

Security systems don’t have to be expensive either. There are many great ones DIY security systems, in addition to stand-alone devices, there you can install yourself with a limited budget.

Do not leave your valuables open

Some burglars can find potential targets ahead of time and make sure they hit homes where they can get hold of valuables. As a result, it is best not to keep your expensive items in a place where intruders can easily see them as they pass by. For example, do not leave expensive tools or bicycles outside and do not leave expensive electronics, wallets, jewelry, etc. behind in front of open windows.

Light up your outdoor space

Burglars don’t want to feel like they can be seen when they break into a house, and outdoor lighting can help with that. Since these crimes often provide opportunities, outdoor lighting can encourage the intruder to keep moving. Rather than leaving your outdoor light on all the time, consider investing in motion sensor lights that illuminate the garden when they detect movement. The light will overwhelm and possibly deter an intruder.

Secure your garage

People put a lot of effort into securing their homes, but often forget about their garages altogether. Unfortunately, that can be an easy way to access your home. First, make sure regular doors and windows to your garage are locked. Then consider keeping your garage door opener in the house rather than in your car where someone could steal it. Finally, you should also keep the interior door from your garage to your home locked. That way, someone entering your garage still can’t get into your house.

As with door locks, buy a retrofit smart garage door opener is an option: with these devices you can check the status of your garage while you are away, control it remotely and schedule it to close at specific times.

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Spare keys are a lifesaver if you get locked out. But they can also make a burglar’s job much easier.

Tyler Lizenby / CNET

Rethink your hidden spare key

If you have a hidden key under your doormat or flower pot, it’s time to rethink it. Intruders know these popular spare key hideaways, and they’re the first places they’ll look. If you must have a spare key outside your home, look for safer alternatives, such as a hidden combination lock box – or at the very least, a discreet location far from your doorway.

Make it look like someone is home

Most burglars don’t want to enter your home while you are there. They prefer to find an empty house and are in and out as quickly as possible. That’s why one of the best ways to prevent intruders is to make it look like someone is always home.

During the working day, this could mean leaving an interior light or the TV on. If you are going to be away for an extended period of time, such as on vacation, have a neighbor or family member pick up your mail, as piling up mail can be a giveaway that the homeowner will be away for a while.

Smart lights can create an even more compelling effect: many can be programmed to turn on and off periodically to simulate someone being home.

Keep valuables in a safe

In a perfect world, intruders would never come to your home, so you never have to worry about your valuables being stolen. Unfortunately, even the best plans can go astray. And when an intruder comes to your home, you want to make sure he can steal as little as possible.

First, consider buying a safe or lockbox where you can keep things like cash, jewelry, important documents, and other items you don’t want a thief to run away from. As for larger items like electronics, you can make them more difficult to steal by keeping them in a hidden place when not in use. Thieves want to get in and out of your home as quickly as possible, so even the slightest deterrent can help.

it comes down to

Nobody wants to be a victim of home burglary. By implementing the tips on this checklist, you can deter and prevent burglars and keep your family and belongings safe. You can start small and pick just a few things from this list to focus on. Once you’ve mastered those, you can move on to other items on the checklist. Every little improvement you make will make your home much safer.


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