Although crime in the United States has been steadily going down for years, there is still plenty to worry about. According to the most recent available data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there were over 1 million burglaries in 2019 alone. Although this number is 9.5 percent lower than data from 2018, it is still a worrying number.
Burglaries are some of the most common types of property-based crimes, but there are others you could be more worried about. Vandalism, petty theft and other forms of more violent felonies are all areas of serious concern for homeowners.
Below are some of the best ways you can increase the security of your home and protect your property and loved ones from harm.
Protect Means of Entry
Enhancing security measures around your doors and windows are some of the most common methods for protecting your property. This is a big problem in America, since there is a prevalence of huge French windows, doors with small glass inserts and flimsy entryway materials.
First, get sturdy doors with small peepholes or with windows that are far away from the doorknob. This will allow you to view who’s on the other side without making the door more vulnerable. French windows can be made from tempered safety glass rather than regular panes to make it more difficult to enter for the common burglar.
Finally, you can also use more visible methods such as installing window well covers and secondary metal doors.
Trim Your Garden
Concealment is a criminal’s best friend, and your property can be inadvertently helping them. As long as your windows and doorways are hidden from view, criminals can take as long they need to try breaking into them. But if these points of access were easily seen from the street, criminals will think twice before they try to force their way, lest they be spotted by passing neighbors or law enforcement.
However, you own garden and greenery can be aiding burglars. Dense underbrush, trees with low branches and even neatly trimmed privet hedges can block people’s view of your property. Although this may be intentional to encourage privacy, this garden greenery can provide criminals with needed cover. Keep these plants trimmed and neat to allow some sightlines to doors and windows.
Use Lights Judiciously
Many homeowners have used lights to try to dissuade robbers, but research has shown that you need to use lights judiciously if you want it to be effective. First, lights may allow robbers to see into your home and determine what belonging you have. Second, keeping lights on all the time can be a signal to robbers that there is no one at home, attracting them to your home rather than repelling them.
Motion activated lights are a great improvement as they can put a literal spotlight on someone trying to sneak into your house. Finally, lights tied to timers or randomized patterns inside your house can make it look like there’s someone inside, potentially scaring away any burglars.
Befriend Your Neighbor
Neighbors are sometimes viewed as nuisances or even enemies, but they can also provide an added layer of protection to your property. Being friendly to your neighbor can grant you an extra pair of eyes that can watch out for your home when you’re not there. If you and your neighbors are on good terms, they can get your mail or packages for you, preventing thieves from taking them from your doorstep.
Neighbors can also alert law enforcement if they ever see suspicious activity happening on your property. The best neighbors to befriend for added security benefits are retirees and older adults. Since they don’t have to leave the home a lot, they can watch out for threats when you are at work.
Hide the Valuables
Finally, you should make a concerted effort to conceal your valuables from view. This means that you probably shouldn’t place your silverware cabinet in front of a large window nor should your entertainment center, with its gaming consoles and expensive screens, in plain sight from the street.
But you can ensure that thieves don’t see how many items you have in your home and be tempted to break in. This means using heavy curtains, blinds and strategic positioning to conceal them. You can take things one step further by actively hiding valuables such as cash, jewelry and small expensive gadgets in safes or within common objects.
Protecting your home from criminal elements can be challenging. But if you truly value your safety and well-being of the people living in your house, no investment is too high when it comes to increasing home security.