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Your home is often thought of as your safe place. For me, my home is a place of peace, laughter, love, and happiness. It’s a place that I want to protect and its a place that keeps my family safe. As humans, we value our homes and naturally we want to do our best to take care of it.
I have come across a few tips that I wanted to share so that more people can implement them and keep their homes safe. From someone who has had their home burglarized, take it from me, these tips are important.
Years ago, I was living with my parents and our home was burglarized. They took EVERYTHING from our home while we were away at work. They watched us, and monitored our schedules. It was a terrible feeling and we all felt extremely violated. It is an experience to learn from, however, I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone.
Looking back, the primary reason this happened to us was because we didn’t have any of these tips implemented. I want to share the information I have learned along the way to help anyone out there that is leaving their home vulnerable like we did.
If there is one thing I want for the reader to take away is the following: The goal is to make it as difficult as possible for a burglar.
Alarm & Camera System
If you don’t have an alarm system installed in your home, then I would recommend you start here. There may be other enticing tips that you may read from here and think you want to start there. But from someone who has been burglarized, I would advise strongly that you start here. An alarm system is vital, I don’t care what anyone else says, every home should have an alarm system. Having a good alarm system in place acts as a deterrent. Alarm systems come with glass breaking sensors, motion sensors, camera setups, and are linked to a company who will send out the police. Yes, a responder takes time to show up. But again, the burglar(s) know someone will be showing up and that affects their psychology. This makes it more difficult as opposed to a neighbor who has no alarm. They can spend all day there without anyone responding.
When our home was burglarized, guess how they got in? You guessed it; through the window. They broke the window, opened the front door, and took their time loading up their truck. To top it off, none of my neighbors saw or reported anything. If you are not familiar with what impact windows are, let me explain.
Impact windows are composed of an extremely heavy, strong, resilient, and shatter proof glass material. It is often installed in homes to protect against storms. It is extremely difficult to get through impact windows. If you just knock your knuckle on an impact glass versus a regular glass window you will see there is a night and day difference. If you have weak and easily breakable glass windows in your home, I would look into upgrading. Impact windows are expensive, but worth every penny. A burglar is much more likely to pass on a home that has impact windows in comparison to regular shatter glass.
The doors in your home are access points into your home. Since we have already covered the other access point (windows) now we want to secure the doors. When replacing the front door in our home, I learned that front doors also have the option of opening outward. The front door at my parents house opened inwards, meaning, that when I would open the front door to greet family, the door swung towards me; the inside of the house. I chose to go with an outward swinging door. When a door opens inwards like my parents had it, the door can be kicked in. When a door opens outwards, the door cannot be kicked in. See the difference?
In addition to the front door, you also want to look into your rear facing doors such as french doors or sliding glass doors. The back end of a home is always a vulnerable point. Someone can jump your fence and gain access with minimal exposure. This is why its important to secure the back entry points as well. If you have old doors or sliding glass doors I would switch them out with impact resistance doors. In our home we had the old sliding glass doors and we decided to switch them out for aluminum style French doors that carry impact glass and have three dead bolts that anchor to provide extreme security.
This is a very effective tip and often times it can be overlooked because it is not associated too often as a deterrent. Again, the goal is to make the home more difficult for a burglar to want to burglarize. By having a well lit area around your house at night, you create more visibility for your neighbors to see something. If a house has little to no lighting, now you are making it easier for a burglar and this is not what you want. Make sure that all of your flood lights are working and solar powered lights are in tact. If you have flood lights and they do not have motion detectors, look into purchasing new ones. If you already have these installed, look into purchasing better quality light bulbs that give off a better stronger light.
On the inside of your home, see if you can place a small lamp or outdoor patio lights that can turn on and off with a timer. Keeping your house lit around the night hours until you wake up in the mornings. Having a light on in the house gives off the impression that there is still someone awake. This can help act as an effective deterrent.
Get a Big Dog
This tip is not cut for everyone, but if you love dogs and you want to increase security in your home, a dog is a great companion. Especially a big dog! Dogs can hear things that are up to four times further than what a human can hear. A dog most likely will pick up on something much faster than you and I can, buying you time. Dogs act as great alarms and great deterrents. If you are going to get a companion to improve your safety, make sure you go with a large dog breed and not a chihuahua. My chihuahua can’t do much but act as an alarm, but my Doberman Pinscher on the other hand, can do both alarm and protect.
Stickers and Signs
Whether you have an alarm or not, whether you have a dog or not, put stickers on your windows. You can buy at your local hardware store, and stick them on visible places on your windows and doors. Most alarm companies give you a sign that you can stake into your front yard. If you have an alarm and do not have one, contact your alarm company. They can send you a new one.
These signs and stickers act as a deterrent. People see that your home is monitored by both technology and an animal. Having a small sticker that reads “beware of dog” or “protected by X alarm company” on your windows and doors is a lot more effective than not having anything at all. Simply by seeing the sticker, now you invoke doubt into a burglars’ mind and that doubt acts as your deterrent.
Kids Toys on the Front Lawn
If you do have children, a good practice is to leave something in the front yard that shows that you have little kids. An example can be a little drivable kids car, or some outdoor toys. The reasoning behind this is that burglars are looking for easy target homes. They want to get in and get out with as much ease as possible. A home that demonstrates that they have kids makes that mission for them a lot more complicated with a lot more liability.
If you live in the USA, hanging an American Flag in front of your home can be seen as more than a patriotic gesture. Burglars see a home that most likely practices their right to bear arms (Second Amendment). There are also many military veterans and police officers who have an American flag. A burglar does not want to take the chance of going in there. This alone acts as a deterrent.
At the end of the day, what you want to do is create doubt in a burglars mind. You want to protect your home and your family as much as possible. By implementing these tips you take one step closer to a safer home. I hope the information that I have learned along the way and have shared here today helps you to improve your home safety.