Are you aware of how safe your home is? When you’re staring at the same walls every day, it’s easy to overlook the obvious. And it’s easy to fall into dangerous habits when you’re just trying to get through another hectic week. Conducting your home security assessment to expand your security footprint is critical in removing the one question you don’t want to be left wondering about after a burglary. “What could I have done differently to avoid this?”
Is your house safe? Are you prepared in case of an emergency? This home assessment will help you find ways to make your home a safer place for you and your loved ones, whether you’ve lived there for a few weeks or 12 years.
Did you know that 34% of burglars enter their victim’s home through the front door or front, first-floor windows? Are you going to bed? Secure your doors! Are you leaving to run a quick errand? Lock your doors! Going on a few days’ vacation? Take a few moments to walk around your house and double-check that all of your windows and doors are closed. Consider installing a wooden dowel or metal security bar in the track of a sliding glass door to prevent it from being opened if the lock is bypassed. To add even more security, you can install a pin-style lock on the slider.
You may have lost track of who has a spare key in your home, especially if you’ve lived there for a long time. Perhaps your children misplaced a spare. Maybe that fake rock isn’t where you thought it was. Taking inventory during the audit is a good idea. If you can’t account for all of the spares, consider replacing or rekeying your locks.
Many people have grown to appreciate coded door locks and for good reason! They are extremely simple to use and provide you and your children with easy access to your home without the need to keep track of a key. However, keep in mind that door lock combinations and garage door codes should be changed regularly. Also, keep a list of people you’ve given access to (house cleaners, contractors, pet sitters, etc.) because it’s a good starting point for the police if your home is ever broken into.
Remove hiding spots
Burglars are constantly looking for new ways to enter your home without being seen. Overgrown shrubs provide them with the cover they need to break into your home without being noticed by the neighbours. Maintain shrubs and use yard signs and window decals provided by your home security company to alert potential burglars that your home is being protected.
If you have a security system, ensure that the settings are up to date for your lifestyle, that only the appropriate people have the codes, and that the batteries, if necessary, are new. For added security, consider changing passcodes and pairing your security system with smart home devices.
A dark entrance or pathway is not only a safety hazard; it also serves as a welcome mat for a thief. We recommend that you use pathway lighting and motion lighting to illuminate the exterior of your home. Some security companies even provide apps that allow you to control your home’s lighting from your smartphone.
The spotlight is the last thing a burglar wants. Incorporating motion-sensor lighting into your home security strategy sends a strong signal to burglars that you take home security seriously. We also recommend lighting to secure garages in addition to securing the perimeter of your home.
Maintain an inventory of your personal belongings in case of theft
In the event of a burglary, don’t forget to include any stolen property on a police report or an insurance claim. Keeping an inventory of your personal belongings can help ensure that you are compensated for all losses.
Get a bolted safe and hide it somewhere a thief would not look
Master bedrooms are frequently the first place an intruder looks for valuables, so don’t keep them there. Consider storing your safe and valuables in a closet or another hidden location. Put all of your important documents in it, including passports, birth certificates, and jewellery, and keep it locked.
Shred documents with personal information
Even if it’s something as simple as unwanted junk mail, you should always shred any document that contains personal information before discarding it. This can help you ensure that your identity is less likely to be stolen.
Install outdoor security cameras
Convicted burglars have stated repeatedly that they would avoid targeting a home equipped with video surveillance. Surveillance cameras can be a powerful addition to any home security strategy if you want to take your home security to the next level.
Make friends with your neighbours
Neighbours can be a valuable resource. They can keep an eye on your house for any suspicious activity while you are away, or they can pick up packages for you. This one works well for most because neighbours can become your close friends. They will be aware of your absences and always keep an eye on your home for you. They even bring your packages in to protect them.
Prepare an emergency escape plan in the event of a break-in
A burglary attempt is every homeowner’s worst nightmare. We believe that you can never be too prepared for the unthinkable, so create and practise an emergency escape plan with your family once or twice a year to ensure that everyone is ready in the event of a break-in.
Hopefully, this article has given you some ideas for improving the security of your home. Running through this list during your home security assessment will reveal many things that are personally important to you that were not previously identified.