Preparation is better than cure when it comes to burglaries. And cheaper too, as property crimes result in losses of over $15 billion per year in the US. Have you secured your home? Whether you have a security lock and alarm or leave your door open when you go out, it is time to protect your house. After all, burglary can happen to anyone, with one happening every 26 seconds in the US. But thankfully, there are steps you can take to prevent your home from being one of them.
Read on to learn five essential checks you can do to protect yourself and your home.
1. Secure Your Environment
It is not just when you leave your house for extended periods that theft can happen. Burglaries commonly occur during the day, too, even when occupants are inside. To protect occupant safety, take measures to secure your home.
Upgrade Your Door and Windows
Often burglars go through an open door or force entry through it to enter homes. Add a peephole or chain to your door, so you can check who is outside.
A deadbolt lock is resistant to forceful attacks such as with crowbars or knives. You can also add a deadbolt lock, safety door, or another locking system for security.
You can also reinforce doors at weak points, such as the hinges. Consider whether an electric or magnetic lock will work best for your doors too.
Check windows have workable locks and use them! You can also add glass break and window sensors. You will know when a window is being opened, closed, or broken.
You can also add window nets, tempered glass, or film to secure windows.
Mend Your Garage
Garages are vulnerable entry points for theft. As a result, they also need a sound locking system, such as a high-security grade 1 mortise lock.
There are many signs you need garage fixes or upgrades. Security and alarm services can advise how to fix your garage door.
Take simple steps such as closing your blinds at night to prevent prying eyes. Some people choose to install a fence and gate to add security. Also, check you have a space for valuables that is out of sight.
Install an Alarm System
You will not only save money if your alarm system prevents a break-in. You can also reduce insurance premiums with an alarm system. You also need to register your alarm to avoid fines and other charges.
Alarm systems add security to your home. While you are at it, get a fire alarm, as a fire alarm and security go hand in hand. You also need to protect household members from threats inside the home.
Store Valuables and Keys
Have a hidden place to hide valuables when you leave home and remember where it is. Leaving valuables in sight, especially near windows, tempts any opportunist thief passing by.
Also, have a secure place to put keys, including your car keys. It may be tempting to leave your key under the doormat, or in a plant pot, but burglars know about these places. They can also force entry by grabbing keys through the letterbox if you leave them inside of your door.
Have a key box with a lock, such as a combination lock. You can also invest in a safe for your valuables, which adds another layer of security.
Burglary Damage Repair
If you have had a break-in or suspect something has been tampered with, get burglary damage repair. An emergency locksmith can repair damages and secure your home once more.
They will assess what high-security locks you need for your property to feel comfortable again. Do not wait, as some thieves return to homes that are easy to break into.
2. Use Theft Deterrent Tactics
Only 12% of home break-ins are planned. So your security and alarm systems also need to deter opportunistic thefts. You do not want your home to look inviting to curious thieves.
Install Security Lights
You can use smart lights, such as motion sensors, which alert you if someone is outside. Sometimes they can be set off by animals. No thief can be discreet when lights block their way to your home.
Use Security and Alarm Signs
Sometimes a threat of security is enough to deter break-ins. You can put up a warning sign that there are security cameras and alarms, for example. However, you should have actual security and alarm systems, just in case they want to try the systems out.
Pretend You Are In
Use timers or smart lighting with intervals to switch on lights, even when you are out! It looks like your home is occupied if lights are automatically working. You can also use noise deterrents to confuse intruders, such as devices that mimic conversations or the television.
Lock up and Set Alarms
Use your locking systems to secure your home! Whether you are inside, or popping out, lock your doors and windows.
Always check locks before you leave and after workers finish at your home. Sometimes a window or door may be left open intentionally or unintentionally.
Also, set your alarms. A thief may notice the alarm system and pick another house because they do not want to be caught. But always set alarms just in case- put up a reminder to do this at night and when you leave home.
Have a Burgular Decoy
No burglar wants to get caught, so they work fast. If they make it past your security and alarm systems, a decoy can protect your valuables.
Have a box or several items in your bedroom, such as in a drawer. It could include a small amount of cash, cheap jewelry, and fake papers.
A burglar will likely take the decoy and run instead of finding your actual valuables. Although it is disturbing to have a break-in, your items and home are protected from more damage.
3. Upgrade Your Security Lock and Alarm
It is great if you have locks and an alarm system in place. However, technology is constantly evolving, so it is worth considering upgrades. These upgrades take home security to the next level.
A smart lock is an electric deadbolt. Do not worry about misplacing or having your key stolen, as smart locks don’t need one!
Smart locks do not stop at keypad codes. You can also get Bluetooth locks, biometric locks, and cryptographic keys. Keyless entries allow you to open your door from anywhere, as long as you have a smartphone.
The locks are as secure as traditional deadbolts. But be sure to consult professionals who offer security and alarm services. Some smart locks are more secure than others and more suitable for your lifestyle.
Imagine being able to see who is ringing the doorbell, even when you are not home. Smart doorbells give you real-time video of your front door and notify you of suspicious activity.
Sometimes burglars ring the doorbell to see if anyone is in, so this is a great deterrent. Some doorbells allow you to speak through them too.
Smart Home Security Systems
You can also install whole-home security systems that link to your smartphone. Smart locks are part of this. You can also get smart access to garages, doorbells, security cameras, and alarms.
All systems use the latest technologies, such as wireless technology for alarm systems. You can check your home at any time through your phone, so if an alarm goes off, you are first to know. Some other home sensors are also part of home security systems.
4. Perform Routine Security Checks
Check you have safe alarms and security every so often. Do not get complacent with your systems, as something can fail or break without realizing it. Routine checks ensure everything is optimally functioning.
You might want to change locks if you have had a break-in or multiple people have had access to your keys. It is easy for someone to copy a key and use it for a break-in.
If your locks are secure, you should still change them every several years. A locksmith will be able to advise when it is time to change your locks.
Check Alarm Systems
Perform routine alarm checks to make sure everything is in working order. Inform neighbors beforehand, so they are not alarmed.
You can check your smart security lock and alarm syncs with your phone system. Batteries can also run out, so test your alarm system at least once a month. It is an excellent way to check alarm sensor ranges too.
Have a Security Audit
Security and alarm services also offer security audits to assess your home’s security. If you have lived at your property for some time, it is easy to miss some risks. An audit will highlight any upgrades and changes you should make to protect your home.
Keep Up With Services
Your security system will be in the best condition with regular servicing. Service you alarm at least annually. It doesn’t harm your wallet, as services tend to be cheaper than repairs.
If you have damaged a lock, door, or another home issue, fix it as soon as possible to resecure your home. Schedule a monthly check of your property to look for home maintenance issues.
5. Share Information Wisely
A common mistake homeowners make is not sharing information wisely. Burglars take advantage of those whose home information is readily available. You can easily check your information sharing in several steps.
Control Social Media Sharing
In a time where social media use is rife, people want to keep loved ones up to date with their adventures. However, save it for when you come home! Nearly 80% of burglars use social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, to find potential properties.
You can make it seem like you haven’t gone away, but if you then post on social media, burglars will know the truth. If you must share an update, check your privacy settings, so only close friends who you trust can see your posts.
Also, do not put a picture of your key on social media sites. Showing a copy of your key or house details online is another way your home becomes more vulnerable to break-ins.
Join Neighborhood Watch
Work with neighbors and law enforcement to make your area safer, not just your home. Together you can prepare for emergencies and keep an eye on each other’s properties. Neighborhood watch programs are all over the US.
Even if you are not part of neighborhood watch, tell a neighbor you are going away. They may even be able to look after your keys for you. You can have peace of mind that someone is looking out for your property.
Some police departments even offer vacation checks. They will make periodic checks throughout the time you are away. Check with your local police department about this.
Planning a vacation can be overwhelming, but do not forget about preparing your home.
Avoid a pile-up of mail, milk, or other deliveries outside your house when you are away. Cancel any services you can or get a neighbor to pick them up.
It makes it evident that you are not home. And burglars often try breaking into a home more than once, so if they know you are away, they have time to figure out a way in.
Security and Alarm Services
There is no time like the present to secure your home. Follow these security checks to keep your home safe and prevent burglaries year-round.
It can feel overwhelming to know where to begin with security and alarm systems. You should find a reputable provider to install your systems, such as a security lock and alarm. They will be able to guide you through the entire process.
512 Locksmith offers expert locksmith services in Austin, Texas. We are available for all types of locksmith jobs, from burglary damage repair to smart locks, 24 hours a day. Give us a call today at 512-777-0021 or contact us online.