We all worry about home safety, whether that concerns protecting your home from criminals or preparing for a natural disaster. It’s human nature to protect your home; your family. Outside of moving the family to Fort Knox, no house is 100% secure, but there are many ways to make it as secure as possible. You can do a lot to prepare your home right now, without having to do a major overhaul on your house. There are several home security tips to deter criminals as well as tips on reinforcing your home in the event of a natural disaster.
1. Reinforce your doors
You can have the biggest lock known to man, but it is only as strong as your door frame. A good kick, windstorm or crowbar can disable just about every deadbolted door in seconds, unless you have secure moldings holding the door in place. The best door frame would be solid steel sunk deep into your foundation. It would take a direct hit from a howitzer to break it down.
Assuming you can’t build your door frame from the ground up, it is a good idea to get some strong wood beams or simple sheet metal to reinforce the bolt housing on your molding. It isn’t a huge time or money investment and it can keep your doors secure from a break-in attempt as well as a natural disaster. Choosing the right entry door can save on energy costs as well as increase your home’s value.
2. Secure your windows
Windows are really the weak spot in one’s home. Outside of putting bars on every ground floor window, there are a few things that you can do in order to keep a balance between security, energy savings and quality of life. Make sure that windows are far enough away that someone can’t just smash a hole in one and reach in to unlock your door, or even the window itself. Storm shutters can offer peace of mind if your home is at risk for such natural disasters.
3. Hide your spare key carefully and creatively
Go to great lengths to hide your spare key, if you have one. Don’t hide it in a fake rock near the door or under the mat. Be creative with it. Hide it in a place that it’s actually inconvenient to get to for you. If you know exactly where it is and you have a hard time retrieving it, then it will be that much harder for someone who has no idea where it is. Also, if and when you do hide your key, make sure you do it when you’re certain that no one is looking. The fewer people who know where your key is hidden the better.
One thing that I like to do with my hide-a-key is to wrap it in a tiny plastic baggy, then bury it about a foot underneath the soil in the garden, then put something on top of it like a rock, or garden decoration. When doing this, I choose a spot that’s not directly in sight of the door. I will bury it out back, or under a bush or shrub. Most people who are looking to find a hidden key usually look in the direct vicinity of the entrance. Take the key away from that area and you have one less thing to worry about.
4. Electronic Security
Nowadays you can find great indoor security cameras, as well as outdoor, at affordable prices. If you are unable to purchase an actual alarm system, it’s a good idea to paste home security and alarm system warning stickers around your house, even if you don’t actually have electronic security. These are a huge deterrent to thieves and are much cheaper than an actual security system. Most would-be thieves want the easiest target, so if they think that your home has security, then they will most likely leave your house alone.
5. Make records of your valuables
Take detailed photos of your valuables and catalogue them. Keep the records offsite, like in a safe deposit box or storage unit. In the unlikely event that something does happen to your valuables, you will have a much easier time reporting them to the police and the insurance companies. In the event of property damage, you will want to have records and pictures for property damage appraisers as well. This will help increase your chances of rebuilding or regaining anything that may have been stolen.
6. Install Lighting
A well lit house often deters unwanted guests. Burglars are more likely to target houses that are dark, where a criminal is able to disguise themselves within shadows. LED lighting are inherently more durable than other forms of lighting, capable of withstanding strong winds with the absence of ballasts adding resistance to your lighting fixtures. LED lights also last a lot longer than traditional lights and are easier on your electric bill.
With these six easy steps you can give yourself some peace of mind. Sure, there are many more elaborate things that you could do to protect your home, but with these six basic principles covered, you are already way ahead of the game. Remember that protecting your home is an ongoing process. Start with these basics, then keep adding on as you see fit. Burglars are constantly improving their methods, and mother nature is unforgiving.