Safe as Houses: 8 Steps to Protect Your Home

You’ve done the legwork, found your dream home and negotiated closing; now protect your investment with some basic security hacks. All of the following steps are recommended by law enforcement professionals around the country. Best of all they’re simple, common sense tips we all can implement.

1. Most home burglaries are crimes of opportunity and many times, it’s the homeowner that creates the opportunity. Unlocked doors and windows are a common way for thieves get into a home or garage. Make full use of the locks you already have.

2. Keep your curtains drawn at night. Don’t entice would-be criminals with views of your latest computer setup, electronic equipment, TV’s or other valuables you may have lying around.

3. One of the best ways to deter burglars is the use of lights. With timers you can simulate the presence of people in the home even when you’re away. Timers can also be used with great effect for radios and TVs to simulate family at home. Invest in some inexpensive digital timers and have a few lights switch on and off. Digital timers let you set a schedule that mimics your family activity.

3. Lights that illuminate your yard will minimize places where criminals can hide. Prune or remove thick bushes that hamper observation in the garden. The ability to see and be seen is central in maximizing home security. Make sure that any outdoor lighting isn’t compromised by plants.

4. Don’t leave ladders or patio furniture out that crooks can use to reach upper windows. Trim trees that offer access to rooftops and balconies and keep shrubs low. You want to allow visibility through any trees and bushes.

5. Make sure that your house numbers are clearly visible so police and firefighters can find you quickly in an emergency. Keep any plants around the number clipped back.

6. Your local police want to stop crime before it happens. Local police stations offer free security assessments for your home with a Crime Prevention Specialist. This professional will survey your property and help you determine what security vulnerabilities exist in and around your home.

7. Install surveillance cameras at key access points to your home

8. Increase home security by adding visual deterrents like big security company signs. And don’t underestimate the power of the pooch. Even if you don’t own a dog, consider investing in a “Beware of the Dog” sign. Having a dog won’t make your home unassailable, but even a sign will make would-be intruders think twice.


Basic home security is all about layers of deterrents. With the average burglary taking just three to five minutes, getting in and out as quickly as possible becomes vital. Any measure that makes your home more of a challenge will have common crooks scrambling for an easier target.

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