Home Safety Tips for Strong Protection and Security
secure your home—and why you should do it
You worked hard to find the perfect home, ideally in a safe neighborhood. But no matter where you live, home security must be a top priority—no one is immune to crime. NBC News recently warned viewers that burglars strike every 13 seconds. And as their report so accurately pointed out, the more comfortable you are in the safety of your environment, the more likely you are to be victimized as a result of complacency. Follow these home safety tips to secure your residence.
and locking doors and windows is a simple but commonly overlooked step
According to a report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, most burglars enter people’s homes through a door or window. And the numbers indicate that an astonishing 40% of unlawful home entries occur through an unlocked door or window, while offenders enter through an open door or window almost 20% of the time. Always keep your doors and windows closed and locked to drastically reduce the chances of a home intrusion.
Remember to close and lock entry points located on garages, sheds, and other outbuildings too. Open garage doors can be especially tempting to home intruders. If you have a smart home security system, a Garage Door Tilt Sensor can notify you if you leave your garage door open and Door/Window Sensors can be placed on anything that opens and closes and will notify you if anything is left open.
It’s also important to install new locks when you move into a new home. You don’t know who has keys for the existing locks (former residents, in-home service providers, construction workers, etc.) and you don’t want to give strangers access to your house.
If you often forget to lock your doors when you leave the house or you’re forever misplacing your keys, a Smart Door Lock might just be your new best friend. Lock and unlock your front door using the backlit keypad or remotely with a smartphone app.
Installing a smart lock also removes the need to leave a spare key with a trusted neighbor or to make copies of your house key for your dog walker, nanny, or cleaning service. Whether or not you opt for the security and convenience of a smart lock, never hide an extra key outside your home. It doesn’t matter where you put it—many burglars will find it easily.
layers of security for your home’s points of entry
There are several things you can do to stop a burglar who is intent on making their way into your home, even if they try to damage a door or window. Installing sturdy solid-core or metal-clad exterior doors with heavy-duty deadbolt locks and strike plates is a great defense.
Sliding glass doors should also be secured, as they are particularly vulnerable to being forced open, even when locked. The Columbia, MO Police Department recommends “placing a metal rod or wooden dowel” in the door’s track to prevent forcible opening, as well as installing vertical bolts so that the door cannot be lifted off its track.
A Doorbell Camera is an excellent investment for front door security. The camera’s motion sensors will alert you to any activity within the door’s vicinity, whether or not someone rings the doorbell. And the knowledge that they’re being videotaped often proves an effective deterrent to burglars who wish to avoid arrest.
Install Door/Window Sensors as part of a monitored smart home security system. A signal will be sent to your system’s control panel if an intruder tries to open a door or window. And if the system is armed, an alarm will sound if it isn’t disarmed within 30 seconds. Your home security monitoring service will also be notified if you don’t disarm the system within an additional 30-second window, and they can contact emergency services on your behalf if necessary. In addition, you can opt to receive real-time mobile alerts if one of your door or window sensors is triggered.
Determined burglars who are in a hurry to get in and out quickly may not be deterred by doors and windows that aren’t easily opened. Therefore, securing your home’s window or sliding door glass can also be important. Installing window security bars is an option—though many homeowners understandably don’t like how they look. More aesthetically-pleasing options include installing security film or shatter-resistant glass that make it more difficult for criminals to break through the glass in your home’s windows or sliding glass doors.
Glass Break Sensors are a more attractive and easier-to-install solution for window (and glass door) security. These devices can hear the specific sound of large panes of glass breaking. If triggered, they follow the same process as door and window sensors—notifying you, sounding an alarm, and sending an alert to your monitoring service.
impossible for trespassers to remain hidden
Most criminals will do everything they can to avoid being caught. This seems obvious, but it’s important to consider the ways it affects how to secure your home. Burglars typically choose targets that are some distance away from other people and traffic. They also look for homes that offer hiding places in case someone does happen to pass by. Eliminate potential hiding spots and escape routes to lower your chances of being robbed.
Utilize your home’s existing exterior lighting and install more if necessary. The outside of your house, garage, and any outbuildings should be well-lit. You should also illuminate your yard, driveway, and walkways. Motion-activated lights or lights with timers are good choices, as you don’t have to remember to turn them on and off. Smart Light Bulbs can also be beneficial. These enable you to program lighting schedules—many of which make it look you are home when you are away—and operate your lights remotely.
Maintaining your home’s landscaping has several home security benefits. Keep trees and bushes trimmed to make it difficult for intruders to hide behind them. It’s especially important to trim tall trees and branches growing close to your home, as thieves can use these to access windows above ground level, which are more likely to be left unlocked. And by keeping your grass cut and your bushes manicured, you send the message that your home is occupied and cared for.
valuables out of sight and properly secured
A burglar is much more likely to target your home if they know that you have items worth stealing. Don’t leave keys, electronics, and other valuables where they are easily visible from outside your home. Place them in a drawer, cupboard, or otherwise out of sight. Keep your curtains and blinds closed when you’re away from home and at night.
Rather than placing packaging from large or expensive purchases on the curb or on top of the other garbage in your trash can, break down the boxes and put them in an opaque bag that’s tied shut before placing them in your garbage bin.
Secure important papers, jewelry, and other small valuables in a safe that’s fireproof, waterproof, and either anchored or too large and heavy for a burglar to easily remove it from your home. If you own firearms, remember to lock those up in a gun safe, as guns and ammunition are a prime target for many thieves.
a monitored smart home security system
A study conducted by the Rutgers University School of Criminal Justice found “that residential burglar alarm systems decrease crime”—a conclusion that has been verified by many other studies, as well as common sense. In fact, 90% of convicted burglars admit to avoiding homes that are protected by a security system.
When choosing a home security system, there are many factors to consider. Frontpoint offers a wireless security system that is customizable, easy to install, and that can be controlled via a mobile app or web browser.
Because Frontpoint’s system is wireless, most devices are battery-operated, and the control panel includes a battery backup, there are no wires for a burglar to cut and your system will continue to operate even if your power goes out. The system uses a cellular signal to connect to your monitoring service, so downed phone lines, lost internet access, or busy signals will never interfere. The Frontpoint Hub also features “crash and smash protection,” meaning that a signal is sent to monitoring professionals even if an intruder attempts to destroy it. And with easy DIY installation, there is no need to wait around for a technician to set up your security system.
Your Frontpoint security system components arrive pre-programmed and ready to activate using a mobile app. Frontpoint’s App allows you to monitor and control your security system components remotely. You can also program your system to perform certain actions on a schedule or automatically if specific events occur. For example, you could set your system to arm itself whenever you leave home using Geo-Services that are tied to the location of your smartphone.
There are many ways that you can protect your home from intrusion. When considering how best to secure your home, take into account your home’s location and design as well as your budget and desired level of safety. Solutions that work well for a large suburban home may not be right for a high-rise condo or a rental in an up-and-coming neighborhood.
Frontpoint keeps homes safe whether families are there or not. We've been revolutionizing the home security industry for over a decade. And we're just getting started. To shop DIY home security systems, check out our Security Packages. If you have questions or would like to discuss a quote, contact us at 1-877-602-5276.