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Ways to Improve Home Security and Safety

Video Surveillance Cameras and Outdoor Lighting Deter Home Break-Ins

© 2012 by Karen Clark; all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without written permission.

Typical smoke detector; photo courtesy Wile e2005

A ceiling mounted smoke detector

This article was updated on 02/08/20.

The bad economy and rising joblessness has had many side effects. One of these is crime, which makes a convincing argument for pro-active home security and family protection. Your home is your sanctuary. It’s your buffer from the hustle and bustle of the outside world; a place where you can feel safe and comfortable with the people you love most.

But in order to preserve the sanctity of your home, you have to take the proper steps to protect it. Here are 5 steps you can take right away.

  • Upgrade Your Home—

    Simple upgrades such as investing in a modern home security system or replacing door locks can make a big difference in the overall security of your home.

    I’ve always found it helpful to canvass my property as if I were an intruder and see if there are any vulnerable areas. Additionally, floodlights are also a worthwhile investment when it comes to protecting your home from burglary.

    Since no thief wants to be seen, a well-lit home can be an excellent deterrent to any unwelcome visitors.

    Although you can purchase night-vision video surveillance cameras (which is a great idea), you want wrong-doers to see them, so focus some light there as well.

  • Smart Landscaping—

    Let’s back up and remind ourselves that burglars don’t like the spotlight. They also don’t choose homes to break into at random.

    Burglaries are crimes of opportunity, and, believe it or not, landscaping plays a significant role in how an intruder chooses a potential target.

    Burglars will look for anything that may conceal their movements, namely, tall privacy fences, trees, thick shrubbery, and tall bushes. Additionally, a neglected or overgrown lawn can create the impression that nobody is home, which is a very inviting sight for a thief looking for an easy score.

    Consequently, it’s in your best interest to trim any tall bushes or shrubs that could provide cover for an intruder—ideally to a point where you can see your neighbors or any passersby.

    It’s also helpful to plant thorny vegetation and/or noise-making gravel around doors or windows.

  • Use Social Media with Caution—

    Facebook, Twitter, and other social media websites are among the greatest innovations of our time.

    They allow us to keep in touch with friends and family, break news, share information, and network with other professionals. However they are also tools in the wrong hands; criminals are now turning to social media sites to find homes to burglarize.

    Since you can never really know who may be reading your status updates or tweets, it’s in your best interest to avoid posting details about upcoming vacations or plans to leave the house. Avoid specifying dates and times.

    While it may seem harmless, a simple tweet could become an open invitation for a thief hunting for a vacant house stocked with valuable jewelry and electronics.

  • Install Smoke Alarms on Every Floor

    According to the National Fire Protection Association, U.S. fire departments responded to 370,000 home structure fires in 2011.

    These fires resulted in 13,910 civilian injuries, 2,520 civilian deaths, and $6.9 billion in direct damage. Installing smoke alarms on every level of your home is the best way to protect your home against fire.

    It is also a good idea to position one in each bedroom. They are very inexpensive, so there’s no excuse. Generally speaking, you can get fire protection as part of a total home security package.

    Remember, you should also test each smoke alarm at least once per month to make sure they are working properly.

  • Create a Neighborhood Watch

    Starting a neighborhood watch is a great way to make both your home and community safer. Like using a club on the steering wheel of your car to deter crooks, a neighborhood watch sign works in much the same way.

    If you’re interested in beginning a neighborhood watch program, you first need to organize a group of committed community members.

    Once you’ve assembled a group of willing participants, you should contact your local police department, who can provide you with the resources you need to implement the program.

These are just a few ideas to get you started in improving home security. Your home is your biggest investment; take care of it and your family.

About the Author:

Karen Clark resides in Duluth, Georgia, with her husband Rick and three sons, Cody, Tucker, and Brad. When she's not writing and editing blogs about home security, Karen enjoys hiking with her two labs, Louie and Lincoln.

Visit Kelly's profile on Pinterest.

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