A new home can be unfamiliar, especially in terms of security. When choosing a house and neighborhood, evaluate the safety of not only the house’s structure and surrounding area. Here are some ideas on how to ensure that your new home is safe.
- Inspect the house’s yard and the surrounding yards. Unkempt properties are a more likely target for intruders because they imply a lack of habitation or care.
- Trees that are close to the home can provide access to a higher floor entry.
- Overgrown bushes and landscaping give intruders more hiding places. Check the property for potential covers for intruders.
- Certain locations are more susceptible to floods. Find past records of flooding in your area if the house is near large bodies of water.
- Particularly dry areas of high temperature are also more likely to spread and start fires.
- Make sure that enough natural lighting reaches the yard. Look for sources of artificial light as well for nighttime around the house.
- Check the doors for sturdiness. Make sure they are made of solid wood or metal, and they are not worn from age or use. Many intruders enter households by kicking in the front door.
- In addition make sure there are no windows near the door that intruders could break to unlock the door from the inside.
- Inspect all possible points of entry for intruders. Make sure windows and doors all close and lock properly.
- The house number should be clearly seen from a distance. Police and other officials may use this to find you and help more quickly in an emergency.
After you have decided your new home will keep you safe and comfortable, there are still some more measures to protect your home against intruders.
Practice Safe Habits
- Keep the garage door closed so intruders cannot use it as a means of entry. Many intruders enter households through doors in the garage because they are less likely to be locked or reinforced.
- Do not keep a key hidden around the house. Rather, keep your spare keys with a trusted neighbor.
- If you have a tool shed, make sure it is also well secured. Otherwise, it may provide tools for intruders to use when breaking in.
- Have phone calls from your home forwarded to your cell phone if you are not home, so others won’t know when you are gone.
Reinforce Doors and Windows
- Rekey or replace the locks of your house. This will ensure that you are the only one with copies of your key.
- Install anti-lift devices for the windows so intruders cannot use them to enter your home. You can use through-the-frame pins for vertical sliding windows, and wooden sticks or dowels for horizontal sliding windows.
- The windows should open no more than 6 inches for ventilation.
- Sliding glass doors should also have anti-lift devices to keep them from being lifted out of the track. You can use through-the-door pins or upper track screws.
- For sliding doors, keep the latch and door rollers working properly.
- If you do not already have them, install deadbolts and strike plates in all doors.
Install a Security System
- A home without a security system is 3 times more likely to be broken into, and losses due to burglaries average $400 more.
- Surveillance cameras will help you keep an eye on all areas of your house.
- Yard security such as a lawn perimeter alarm will also deter intruders before they even get close to your home.
- Certain security systems allow you to control your house locks even when you are far away. This eliminates the need to keep spare keys, which can fall into the wrong hands.
- Alarms will immediately and effectively alert you to an intruder, so you can keep your family and home safe.
- Make all aspects of your home security system secure and effective. Intruders will be able to find the weakest spot of your system and use it.
Maintain Your House and Yard
- If the house’s lighting isn’t sufficient, install lights and lamps around the house to eliminate any hiding places.
- Keep the greenery trimmed and well kept. Intruders use overgrown bushes and trees to stay out of sight.
- If you have a gate, keep it in good condition. It won’t completely stop intruders but it will deter them, and they are very easily spotted when trying to climb over fences.
- Do not leave personal property lying around in the yard. This signals to outsiders that the homeowner has items worth stealing and can convey carelessness.
- Plant roses or thorny plants under windows and fences to make breaking in harder for intruders.