Guide to Home Security

Protecting your home and valuables is essential to your security and well-being. Whether you rent or own your home, taking the proper steps to ensure that you, your family, and your belongings are protected should be a top priority. By following a few simple tips, you can make sure that your property is protected against theft or burglary.

Windows

Windows are one of the first places a thief looks to break into a home. Follow these tips to help keep your windows secure:

  • Place alarm stickers or labels on all windows to deter would-be burglars from breaking the glass.
  • Lock all windows at night and when leaving the house.
  • Clear out any shrubbery or trees that could potentially provide a hiding place near windows.
  • Be sure no one can reach through a broken window and unlock any doors.
  • Use a bar or other device to secure sliding glass doors and windows.

Doors

The door to your home is the most obvious place a burglar will try to enter through. Be sure to secure all doors properly.

  • Use a deadbolt on all main doors, and be sure it is secured when you are away from the home.
  • Metal or solid-material doors should be used for the front and rear entrances.
  • Install a solid strike plate on the front door so thieves cannot use a credit card or other method of entry.
  • Make sure the front door has a peep hole so you are able to see visitors when they arrive.
  • Add a No Trespassing or Beware of Dog sign to the front door to deter burglars.

Garages and Sheds

Garages are a common way for thieves to enter a home. Sheds are also an easy target for people to break into.

  • If you have a window on your garage, be sure to keep it tightly secured and locked at all times.
  • Make sure your garage door stays sealed tightly and cannot be opened from the outside.
  • Consider installing an alarm on both your garage and/or shed.
  • If your garage has a side door, secure it just as you would the front door on your home.
  • Be sure to have good outdoor lighting around the garage and/or shed that stays on during the night.

Burglar Alarms

An alarm system is a great deterrent for burglars. Take extra care when choosing a system for your home.

  • Have your alarm system installed by a professional; do not attempt to install it yourself.
  • Be sure to “train” the whole family on the operation of the system and make sure everyone knows all of the codes.
  • Set the alarm every time you leave, even for a few minutes.
  • Have the alarm system set up so that all perimeters, windows, and doors are actively on the system.
  • Look for alarms that will call the police automatically at the sign of a break-in.

Going Away

When you go out of town, be sure your home stays protected. Make sure all precautions are taken to lessen the odds of a break-in.

  • Leave all outdoor lights on while you are away, so they stay on throughout the time you’re gone.
  • Have a friend or neighbor check on your home, or hire someone to house-sit for you. Also have them get your mail daily.
  • Lock all valuables such as jewelry in a secure safe.
  • Set all alarms and lock all doors and windows before leaving.
  • Do not announce to people you do not know that you’ll be away. Only tell trusted friends and family about your absence.

Fire Safety

Make sure your home is protected against fire. Use these tips to ensure your family is safe.

  • Check the batteries in your smoke detectors monthly.
  • Make sure you have a working fire extinguisher in the kitchen and in bedrooms.
  • Set up an escape plan and inform the family of how to get out of the house in the event of a fire.
  • Never leave candles unattended, and always check to make sure the oven or stove is off when not in use.
  • Seal and put away items like gasoline, paint, and other flammable items out of the reach of children.

Security Systems

Security systems, like burglar alarms, are a great way to make sure your home is protected. When looking for a system, you should know what to be aware of before making a purchase.

  • Shop around and find out what monthly rates are available for different services.
  • Ask friends and family for advice on a good security monitoring company.
  • Get a full scope of what kinds of services are offered with your monthly security plan.
  • Make sure the system is wired into the local police and fire departments upon activation.
  • Be sure to get stickers and apply them to doors and windows, alerting potential burglars that your home is armed.

Resources

For more information about home security, please refer to the following helpful links:

  • Home Security Tips – Some good basic tips for homeowners on how to keep their house secure.
  • Fire Prevention – Helpful information to keep your home safe from a fire.
  • Keep Your Home Safe – A thorough article covering many aspects of home security.
  • While On Vacation – Follow these helpful tips to keep your home safe while on vacation.
  • Door Security – A few common sense tips to make sure your doors are secure.
  • Smoke Alarm Safety – Information every family should know about smoke alarms.
  • Alarm Systems – Important things to think about when looking for a home alarm system.
  • Security Camera Advice – When looking for a security camera, consider this advice before buying.
  • Garage Security – Follow some simple advice to make sure your garage stays secure.
  • Protect Against Burglary – Everyone can do simple things to help prevent a home invasion or burglary.

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