Home security is essential to protecting you, your family and your belongings. Burglaries, floods, fires and other disasters can wreak havoc on your life, so taking the appropriate steps to prepare will give you an upper edge.
There are many options for protecting your home, according to Calvin Jones, a retired police officer and co-owner of Lion’s Gate Security Solutions. “You can safeguard your home and all that’s in it by doing some basic research,” he says.
Quick Security Tips to Protect Your Home
Here are six steps you can follow to help achieve better home security:
- Install a home alarm system. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, a burglary happens every 12.4 minutes and about 79 percent of burglaries occur in residential dwellings. Installing an alarm system with sophisticated electronic technology may deter a burglar. “There are some good home security systems out there. You can get as elaborate as you want, and they’re effective,” Jones explains. “Sometimes, just having a sign that says you have a security system is a deterrent.”
- Keep your smoke alarms in top shape. As suggested by the National Fire Protection Association, you should install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of your house. Three out of five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes without smoke alarms or working alarms. You should test your smoke alarms every month and replace them every 10 years to reduce injuries and deaths from fire and smoke.
- Safeguard your home’s entrance. Strong, stable doors with dead bolts can be enough to stop a thief. “Thieves pick the easiest targets. A flimsy door is easy to kick in, and a glass door is easy to break,” Jones says. All entrance doors should be made of metal-clad or solid-core wood construction. Any sliding doors should have a wooden or metal dowel in the track, as well.
- Cover and lock your windows. Natural light in your home is great, but make sure those ground floor windows are locked and covered at night or when you’re gone. If someone can look inside and see all your valuables, it gives them more incentive to break in. “Burglary is a crime of opportunity,” Jones says. “If your windows are broken or easily manipulated from the outside, it might be time to invest in new ones.”
- Protect your vehicle. If you have a garage, keep your vehicles in it and its doors closed at all times. You could be in the backyard with friends and family enjoying the sunshiny day when burglars walk right through your garage and into your home. “They don’t even have to come in your house. They can take whatever you have in your garage and be gone before you know it,” Jones says. Also, if you leave your vehicle outside, it can be easier to vandalize sitting in the driveway or street. Hide any valuables, lock the doors and raise the windows.
- Get a dog. Barking, even if it’s from a small dog, can deter a burglar from entering a house. “Burglars don’t want to be confronted by anyone, let alone a dog,” Jones says. “A dog can pick up the slightest noise outside, and they’ll start barking. You don’t have to buy an aggressive type of dog to do the trick.”
Being prepared and proactive will help keep your home and your loved ones safe. Better home security means conducting research and adding the appropriate safety components to your house. After all, everyone deserves to feel safe in their home.
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