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Tips to Improve Your Home Security

Written on the 7 March 2019 by Kerri Vandenberg

Tips to Improve Your Home Security

Everyone wants to feel safe and protected at home, but home security can seem complicated for both home and business owners. To help you prepare for a move or secure your current home or business, we have addressed a few commonly asked questions about home security.

What are the best places to place indoor cameras throughout your home?

The best places to place indoor cameras in your home are those places where you have the highest chance of catching an intruder red-handed.

  • Front and rear doors are the most likely entry point for intruders, so make sure you have indoor cameras pointed in that direction. If any of these cameras detect motion when nobody is home, you can get a notification on your mobile device along with a snapshot or video clip. You can then call for assistance should you need to.
  • Windows are the other potential entry method for intruders. Place cameras to cover windows that are not easily visible from the street.
  • Garage doors: if you park vehicles there or if they lead to the inside of the house.
  • Visible indoor cameras can also serve as an effective deterrent. But there is a risk that an intruder may try to destroy or steal your camera before retreating. Good hiding spots for cameras are inside empty sections of bookcases, shelving units, or any other place where the camera can easily blend in. Even if an intruder manages to get away, there is a good chance that at least one of your strategically placed cameras would capture some identifying feature that the police can use. 

Should I display window decals and a security sign at the front of my property

Security signs are a great deterrent for passing cars or people to see.

Window decals, on the other hand, are great for when a person is up close to the house. You should have a decal near the front door as a reminder that security cameras are recording. You should position one on the garage window to inform potential intruders that breaking in is not a good idea.

Home Security Mistakes You Need to Avoid

Security is one aspect of our homes and businesses that we should never overlook. Instead, home and business security is something that we need to constantly evaluate and improve upon. There's always an opportunity to improve the security of our homesand businesses; we just need to know where to look.

Here are some common mistakes when it comes to security, as well as some tips to make sure your home or business is always secure and safe.

  • Hiding a Spare Key Outside
    • This should go without saying, but you should never leave a spare key outside your home. Experienced burglars will know all the common hiding places, so just avoid it altogether.
    • If you absolutely need a backup plan to enter your home, consider giving a spare key to a trusted neighbor or purchasing smart door locks, which will allow you to remotely open your door, even if you can't find your keys.
  • Leaving Doors and Windows Unlocked
    • This may seem like a no-brainer, but there are many instances where you may forget to close and lock your doors or windows. For example, during a hot summer, you may decide to leave a few windows cracked while you're out of the house. Or if you're in a hurry, you might leave the house without locking the deadbolt.
    • Leaving your doors and windows unlocked is an open invitation to intruders, so always double-check them before leaving the house. If you decide to get smart locks, you can also use your smartphone to make sure your doors are locked while you're away.
  • Not Securing Your Garage Door
    • In addition to doors and windows, your garage is one of the most vulnerable areas of your home.
    • Most garage doors are electronically controlled by universal remotes, and an intruder can easily open these types of garage doors with their own modified remote. Intruders will also look for garage-door openers in cars, smash the windows and use the remote to gain access. On top of that, many garage doors also have an emergency release lever, which can be unlocked in just a few seconds by a savvy thief.
    • To protect your property, never leave your garage-door opener in plain sight, and always secure your garage with a heavy-duty padlock or an automated garage-door lock, which will automatically lock your garage as soon as it closes.
  • Having Poor Outdoor Lighting
    • A burglar wants to get in and out of your house as quickly and covertly as possible. Because of this, a home with a dark front or back yard will be their preferred target.
    • Make sure there are no blind spots on the outside of your home. Get a light for your front garden that stays on all night, and place motion-activated floodlights around your property.
  • Providing Hiding Spots for Burglars
    • Thick shrubbery and tall plants are great ways to provide some extra privacy for you and your home. Unfortunately, they also provide great hiding spots for intruders lurking in your yard.
    • If your entire front yard is visible from the street, an intruder will most likely think twice before trying to break-in. If it's possible, be sure to keep the plants in your yard trimmed, and use accent lights and floodlights to expose dark areas.
  • Keeping a Ladder in Your Yard
    • If you live in a home with multiple stories, make sure the windows on the upper floors are always locked, and store your ladder in a locked garage or toolshed.
    • Leaving a ladder in your yard makes it easy for intruders to access your upper floors. And if it's during the day, most neighbors would simply think that a contractor is working on your home and never consider it suspicious.
  • Making It Obvious That You're Not at Home
    • One of the most effective ways to prevent a burglary is by making it seem like you're at home even when you're away.
    • We all know that the holidays are a busy time of year. While we focus our efforts on shopping for the best online deals and planning the perfect holiday vacation, it's easy to overlook what goes on at our homes. But when we go away fo holidays, we leave our homes vulnerable to break-ins and burglaries
  • Posting Your Plans on Social Media
    • You should never be too trustworthy of your "friends" on social media. There are countless horror stories of people announcing their plans online and getting robbed by people in their social networks, so you should always err on the side of caution.
    • Wait until you return from your trip or event before talking about it on social media, and if you absolutely need to share your plans, do it with a private group of people you can trust.
  • Having No Security Visible Outside
    • Savvy intruders will know of all the latest security devices, and they'll avoid homes if they know that they have effective security solutions in place. Sometimes, even just a security sign can deter an intruder from breaking in, so get your devices set up, and make sure they know that your home is protected.
    • Some homeowners will try to save money by mounting fake security cameras around the house, but experienced intruders will know all about the fake and ineffective devices you can buy. Home security is something you should never short-change., 
  • Relying Only on Traditional Security Systems
    • Unfortunately, most traditional security systems are reactive solutions that don't really prevent crime. In other words, most traditional alarms will let you know when a burglary occurred, but there is little that you can do to actually stop the crime from taking place.
    • With smart, Wi-Fi connected security devices, you'll always have home security at your fingertips, and you can respond to and prevent suspicious activity as it happens.

Author: Kerri Vandenberg

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