A Comprehensive Guide to Secure Your Home: Simple Ways to Keep Your Family Safe & Protected

Jerry Carter - Editorial Staff

Updated: January 14, 2020

Most burglaries and break-ins are preventable, but some homeowners aren’t sure how to best protect their property. Home security is something that everyone should know about, and fortunately, it isn’t a complex topic. This guide will go over some tried-and-true methods for keeping homes and families safe from outside threats. 

With a bit of research and dedication, anyone can make their home safer. The peace of mind that comes with certain home security can’t be overstated. Below are different areas of security to keep in mind as well as how to address common safety problems that plague homeowners.

1. Double-Check the Doors

Double Check the Doors

It turns out that 34% of burglars get into the house through the front door. Even if the door is locked, there are ways that intruders can find their way in, such as:

  • Loosening weak hinges.
  • Breaking unstable door frames.
  • Accessing the lock through a door mail slot.

Fortunately, there are some fairly simple reinforcements that homeowners can make to their doors to keep them secure. This includes:

  • Installing deadbolts.
  • Adding strike plates.
  • Using smart locks.
  • Syncing up a video doorbell, such as Ring.
  • Changing the locks.

2. Watch the Windows

Watch the Windows

It’s not just the doors that homeowners need to secure. Windows are another easy point of entry for robbers, so make sure that all of the home’s windows are reinforced. Some ways to do this include:

  1. Putting on window bars.
  2. Adding broken glass sensors.
  3. Using window security film.
  4. Planting thick or thorny bushes in front of windows.
  5. Covering window wells with grates.
  6. Keeping window locks out of sight.
  7. Sticking dowels in the window tracks.

3. Let the Light Shine In

A dark house is a telltale sign to a burglar that nobody’s home and the property is ripe for the picking. It’s worth it to install some outdoor lighting around the house to keep intruders at bay. Take a look around the property and identify some areas that could use extra light, such as:

  • The perimeter of the front and backyard.
  • Along the sidewalk and pathway to the door.
  • Around the doorframe.
  • Near the garage and basement doors.

4. Get Savvy With a Security System

Get Savvy With a Security System

Whether it’s a family safety plan or a high-tech video monitor, every household needs a security system. No matter the budget, there’s an option available, and the price is worth it. These systems come with benefits such as:

  • Password-protected alarms.
  • Ability to dispatch the police department.
  • Text or call notifications.
  • Signage to dissuade intruders.
  • Automated features like lighting.
  • Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.

5. Play House - Even When You’re Away From Home

Lights can be a great way to make it like someone is home even if the house is empty, and that can keep baddies out. Some other helpful ideas include:

  • Motion-activated lights.
  • Automatic or timed lighting.
  • Having a neighbor park in the driveway.

6. Wrangle in the Wiring

For those who already have a security system in place, check to see if any wires or cords are lying about. Exposed wiring can be spotted by expert burglars, and they’ll just snip them if they see them. That could render your security system useless.

7. Open Up Hidden Areas

Hide and seek is a burglar’s favorite game, so try to eliminate as many hiding spots as possible. If there’s a nook or cranny that an intruder can sneak into to access the home, it’s a huge security threat. Also, try to make sure that surveillance cameras can get visuals on common hiding spots. Some common things to look out for include:

  • Gates and sheds that can cover an intruder.
  • Large shrubs or trees.
  • Underneath decks or patios.

8. Deck Out the Doors With Deadbolts

The price of deadbolt locks varies, but it’s something that can deter even the slickest burglars. It’s a spring-loaded bar that can only be undone from the inside, therefore acting as a good defense against outsiders.

9. Service Any Sliding Doors

Some deadbolts can work on sliding doors, and homeowners mustn’t neglect their entryways. Sliding doors are preferred by many robbers because they’re easy to break into. Secure these doors by:

  • Adding a wooden dowel to the track.
  • Keeping the area well-lit.

10. Give Trees & Shrubs a Trim

A nice, big tree can be a great place for a burglar to the hideout. Be sure to keep trees and bushes trimmed to make them less appealing to strangers. Also, pay special attention to shrubs hanging out by windows and doors.

11. Be Clear on Service Providers’ Credentials

Another sneaky way that strangers can make their way into a home is by posing as a service provider. They may look like they’re legitimate, but they could be criminals planning their next burglary. Always ask for proper identification and work order documents before anyone steps foot in the house.

12. Smile for the Camera

Smile for the Camera

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. When it comes to burglars breaking into a home, security camera footage can say a lot. Many alarm systems also come with security cameras, or homeowners can buy separate video recorders for the property. This can mean the difference between finding the culprit or being stuck with a house break-in and no justice. Plus, cameras are natural deterrents for criminals. Look for a camera with:

  • Motion activation.
  • Night vision.
  • Wi-Fi compatibility/mobile app.
  • Weatherproof casing and lenses.

13. Weed People Off the Wi-Fi

When setting up the home’s Wi-Fi, homeowners should create an entirely new password, not the default passcode. Also, refrain from keeping the password obvious or related to the home’s address. If hackers access the Wi-Fi, they could also get ahold of personal financial information. Be sure to:

  • Secure the router.
  • Install a firewall.
  • Hide the home network.
  • Enable WiF-i encryption.

14. Duplicate Crucial Documents

Individuals should locate all of their important documentation, such as mortgage and rent documents as well as financial records. It’s best to make copies of these files and keep them stored in a home safe or secured box.

15. Write Down What’s Important

While making copies of crucial documents, homeowners should also take inventory of their valuables and personal belongings. If the home does get burglarized, homeowners will be able to know exactly what’s missing and how much the stolen items are worth. Be sure to:

  • Photograph each item.
  • Write down its monetary value.
  • Record any serial numbers on the items.

16. Keep Ladders & Tools Stowed Away

Remember that thieves and intruders will often use any means necessary to get into a house. Be sure to keep things like ladders, hammers, and other tools out of sight. Store them in a locked shed or put them in the basement or garage.

17. Get a Guard Dog – Real or Imaginary

Get a Guard Dog - Real or Imaginary

Pet lovers will be happy to know that a dog can be a great deterrent against burglaries. Dogs are alert and can make lots of noise when someone strange approaches the property. Don’t have a pup? Make-believe and post a “Beware of Dog” sign on the front lawn.

18. Make Friends in the Neighborhood

People who are friendly with their neighbors are more likely to feel secure in their homes. Neighbors can look out for each other and even hold on to a spare key for emergencies. There is also a greater sense of community, as everyone can share any unusual activity they’ve noticed to keep each other aware.

19. Invest in a Safe

A good-quality safe can keep valuables protected even if an intruder makes their way into the house. Whether it’s holding jewelry, documents, weapons, or other vital information, a safe can create added peace of mind. Be sure to look for one that is:

  • Fire-proof and waterproof.
  • Heavy to deter thieves.
  • Secured with multiple locks.
  • The correct size for the items.

Also, individuals who own guns should have a separate safe for firearms. This will keep kids safe and also prevent criminals from accessing weapons.

20. Add Home Automation Features

These days, automation is everywhere, including in the home. This can give homeowners a greater sense of safety and authority over their property, even when they’re away. Different auto features allow homeowners to have more control over security as well as a variety of functions, such as:

  • Voice doorbells.
  • Remote operation lighting.
  • Live video footage of the property.
  • Access to smoke alarms and carbon monoxide monitors.
  • Mobile app compatibility.
  • Opening and closing garage doors.

Wrapping Up

This guide is full of suggestions, but that doesn’t mean that all of them will apply to each person. Homeowners should follow the tips that make sense for their property. Keep in mind that household security is crucial, and a small investment now can make a huge difference later on.

Editorial Staff

Jerry Carter is an experienced writer and has a passion for content development for varied projects. Jerry had been studying law at university when he realized that only writing could satisfy his adventurist spirit and his desire for knowledge. As a person with many unusual hobbies, he is also interested in security and modern technology.