One thing nearly every homeowner is concerned about is home security. Whether that means installing a burglar alarm, a home security camera, or simply fortifying windows and doors for a more burglar-proof home.
Most thieves do not usually try to get into any home, they select their target carefully. So the trick is to make your home less attractive (or harder to get into) than someone else's.
You can make your home unappealing to a potential thief in a number of ways without the need to break your bank account. Here a few effective deterrents that you can do by yourself.
1- Start with doors and window
In many homes, the most serious home security weakness is doors. A thief's job is made simpler by poor locks, breakable doors or both. Doors containing a small window or windows are the most exposed. Thieves only need to break the glass, reach inside and unlock the door. Upgrade your locks by installing deadbolt locks. Even better, double deadbolts locks (that need a key to be unlocked from the inside) provide the best security.
Patio doors and sliding windows are relatively easy to get out of their frames. A thief could do it by just lifting it up out of the frame (works just as well from the outside as it does when you lift them out for cleaning from the inside). The way to fix this problem is to drive a few screws into the top track above where the door or window sits when it's closed.
Make sure all your doors and windows are in good working condition and have strong modern locks. If you notice a broken window or lock, fix it right away. Don't think that just because a window is on the second or third story that a burglar can't figure out a way to get to it.
2-Make the best use of lighting
Burglars don't like to be seen, so install lights that will light up the outside of your home. Motion detecting fixtures are a great idea, just be sure to install them where a burglar can't reach up to remove or break the bulb.
Don't give burglars the opportunity to hide behind your untamed bushes and shrubbery. Keep the leafage trimmed, especially around the house, and make sure all the outdoor lights are working and are turned on during the night.
3. Install a good home security system
Many experts maintain that alarm systems are the best deterrent if they are properly maintained and used in conjunction with all the basics. Before deciding on one, interview at least three companies, then request an onsite survey from your local police department's crime-prevention unit.
Make sure to encase all outside electrical wiring for your security system and phone lines in a pipe at least three meters high on the wall.
Make sure all home members know how to use your alarm system properly. And don’t forget to turn it on when you leave the house even if it’s just for a 15-minute walk. It only takes a few minutes for a thief to plunder your property.
4-Start a neighbourhood watch group
One thing that is common in every neighbourhood is empty streets most of the day. But there's usually someone home in the neighbourhood. Keep an eye on your neighbours' property, ask them to do the same for you, and call the police if you hear breaking glass, see someone lurking about or notice anything suspicious. You might also consider joining a community crime-watch group. Criminals know which neighbourhoods have watch groups and they avoid them like the plague. The local police department can help you set up a program.
5- Use common sense
Don't advertise that there are things worth stealing in your home. If you get a new TV or computer, don't just put the box out by the curb on trash pickup day and let the bad guys know what's inside. Break down the box into small pieces, so no one passing by will be able to make a shopping list.
Finally, make sure your home has a lived-in appearance. Plug interior lights and radio into timers that turn on and off at different times so your house looks occupied. If you're going to be away for a while, make arrangements to have your grass cut (or snow cleared), stop mail and newspaper deliveries and have someone pick up those flyers that seemingly show up every day. Getting a neighbour to park a vehicle in your driveway also helps make it look like someone is there.
Keep your garage and storage sheds locked at all times. Also, make sure you don't leave a ladder laying out in your yard anywhere. Someone could use this to gain access to the second-story windows.
Use an answering machine so your phone doesn’t ring unanswered, but never leaves a message saying you're not in. Say, "I'm not available right now." Put up a security system sign visible from the road. It's a proven deterrent.
Unfortunately, there's no guarantee that if you do everything suggested here that your home won’t ever get broken into. However, these suggestions will definitely make it more difficult for a burglar to get into your home, and often that's enough to get him to try somewhere else.