DIY Home Security Tips
Home security is something that most people take seriously but what are some of the steps the average homeowner can take to minimize chances of burglary without having to wire the entire house with booby-traps? The FBI estimates that at least one burglary happens every 15 seconds in the U.S. With such high numbers and local law enforcement reporting increased incidents in some of the more secure neighborhoods, one has to consider a way to secure the house even on a minimum budget.
If the idea of installing a top-of-the-line home security system sounds good to you but you can’t afford it, don’t cancel out security; there are still a number of things that you can do to make sure no one gets into your home.
Effective DIY Home Security Tips
Step 1: Light it up
- Statistically an intruder is most likely to target houses without proper exterior lighting. The solution here is simple enough, just make sure the exterior of your house is fully illuminated, and make use of motion-detector spotlights and other devices.
- When travelling, always use timers on indoor lighting to give the impression of life-as-normal. You can get manual and digital timers at your local hardware store or online.
Step 2: Clear up the landscape
- Dense shrubs can make ideal hideouts for thugs so keep the hedges low and plants near entrances trimmed and neat.
- Tall trees have been used multiple times to access high windows and other entry-points in the home so make sure to keep the trees short or well-trimmed.
Step 3: Install good locks
- Doors that only carry a handle lock make great targets for home invasion because they don’t require a lot of physical effort to unlock. Add a strong deadbolt at each entry to make it more challenging for an outsider to unlock the doors. A good deadbolt incorporates a thumb latch on the inside and a key to unlock from the outside.
- Install using a set of heavy-duty screws and combine that with a reinforcement plate to make the door more secure.
- Install a wide-angle peephole in your front door so you can see who’s knocking before you answer.
- Consider adding a patio bar or sturdy piece of wood to prevent the patio door from sliding open if the lock is damaged. A sturdy item placed on the open track can significantly improve security.
- When leaving for more than a day, secure the garage door by inserting a bolt that stops the door from being slid open.
Step 4: Secure the house keys
- It is NOT a good idea to hide spare house keys in ’secret’’ hideouts on your compound because clever burglars know which flower pot to turn over.
- Watch how you handle spare keys and who you allow to keep a copy. Remember you may not control situations in which the keys may be duplicated, but you do have control over who has a copy of your house keys.
Step 5: Seal all windows
- Oftentimes windows make the weakest link in home security because homeowners do not realize they pose a particular vulnerability and simply ignore them.
- A modern window comes with sash locks but you can have a locksmith add another layer of security in case your integrated window lock gets compromised. A hole drilled from front to back where the upper and lower window panes overlap can stop the window from opening; just drive a long nail in the hole when the windows are locked.
Step 6: Install home security system
- With a onetime purchase you can get a low-cost decent home security system complete with infrared motion detection and sensors to warn you when someone tries to access your home through windows or locked doors. These types of systems usually incorporate a “pet alley’’ settings that you can use to keep detection just above regular paths.
- Make a thorough inventory of all the valuables in your home and use a camera to take a tour of your home, documenting where your valuables are, and save the film and any other relevant documentation, e.g. receipts or ownership documentation, on a safety deposit box. If burglary incident ever occurs, you will have proof that you lost valuable items and your film may be of help to the police and your insurer.
These are simple solutions which if followed, will keep you alert and minimize chances of home intrusion. Remember to contact the authorities if you suspect someone may be trying to access your house without your permission.