Our home is our sanctuary – it’s where we come back to forget about our daily troubles, relax, sleep and spend some quality time with our family. Your home should be a place where you and your children feel safe throughout the day, but you also need some peace of mind when you are away. Protecting yourself against things such as home invasion, burglary or just plain old vandalism is an active process. Most people don’t give much thought to their security, even though a few simple precautions can save you from disaster.
Install motion activated lights
The best way of scaring away potential burglars at night is having an area of your yard suddenly light up as they approach. These lights are also useful because they save power as they are only on for about 10-20 seconds at a time. Make sure you install them all around the perimeter as burglars prefer back-doors and low windows that can’t be seen from the street clearly.
A big dog for deterrence or a loud dog for early warning
A large dog in your yard will scare away even the most determined burglar. Their incredible hearing and sense of smell allow them to notice potential threats from a mile away, while their protective nature makes them perfect for home defense. The dog doesn’t have to be that big though, small dogs can be extremely loud and untrusting of strangers, often waking up half the neighborhood with their barking and alerting you of intruders early on.
Put good locks on all windows and keep the curtains closed
The biggest mistake people make is to assume that burglars don’t operate during the day. The next big mistake is to open the curtains on all the windows facing the street. While this is a great way of getting plenty of natural light, it also gives a clear view into your home to any criminal passing by. Make sure all the windows are locked down tightly and that the curtains are closed to prevent anyone from seeing inside.
Avoid excessive foliage in your garden
A number of high bushes and a few trees in your yard may seem very aesthetically pleasing, but they allow a burglar to sneak into your home unnoticed. Keep all the greenery well-trimmed and low, and if you must have some
Have strong doors with multiple locks on all entrances
All the doors leading into your home from the outside should be heavy, strong and lock-up with multiple locks. A sturdy wooden front door is of little use if a person can knock down you back door with a couple of kicks. If you can access the house through the garage, that door should also be fortified. You can find decent floor locks and deadbolts for a reasonable price.
Walkie-talkies and flashlights
Having an efficient way of communicating with other family members in case of emergency is very important. Cell phones can get misplaced and your battery could die, so having walkie-talkies in several locations throughout the home allows you to communicate with other family members no matter what happens. A good set of walkie-talkies can last for years. As far as maintenance goes you’ll need some extra batteries and a spare UHF antenna or two. A flashlight near the bed and some extra batteries will ensure that you can get your family to safety in low-light conditions.
Create a safe room
Most burglars and home invaders will make a beeline towards the master bedroom, as most valuables are often locked up there, so you’ll want to lock it up tight and perhaps hide most of your valuables elsewhere, preferably in a safe deposit box. You also need to choose a room to be your safe room – usually it’s the kid’s room or the master bedroom – and install a strong door with multiple locks like on the front and back door. If you have a gun in the house make sure the safe is easily accessible and that you have plenty of backstop, e.g. heavy bookshelves that can stop bullets.
These are some of the most effective passive precautions you can take to ensure the safety of your home. Most of them are one-time investments that will last for years and years with minimal maintenance, so focus on the very best equipment that you can afford.