Keeping your home and family safe doesn’t always have to involve the purchase and installation of expensive high-tech home security systems. There are several ways that you can decrease the likelihood that thieves and other criminals will target your home that won’t involve a steep financial commitment.
Law enforcement specialists advocate multiple deterrents as the most effective solution to keeping your property crime-free. Following are several low-cost security suggestions that you can adapt to your own personal situation to keep your home as safe as possible.
Good Safety Habits
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but busy people often forget the simple things like making certain doors and windows are secure. Those living in households with multiple residents may assume that someone else has locked up. Making certain to double check all possible entryways even if you think that someone else has done it is one of the safety basics that should become second nature.
Children should also be taught to keep safety in mind and not to leave doors and windows open.
Neighborhoods where residents know one another and are aware of the normal comings and goings of the occupants of nearby households are excellent places to live as far as home security goes. Involved neighbors are more likely to notice and report suspicious activity.
Joining the local Neighborhood Watch organization is a good way to participate in the overall safety of your area. If one doesn’t exist where you live, your local police department can provide you with advice on getting one started.
Even if you don’t want to start an official neighborhood group, a casual network of aware neighbors can provide similar results. Many neighborhoods have online discussion groups where they communicate about everything from suspicious activities, recent break-ins and other reported crime, and garage sales.
According to the National Crime Prevention Agency, neighborhoods featuring a clean and orderly appearance are less likely to be a draw for criminal activity than those that appear shabby and neglected.
Good Old-Fashioned Watchdog
The presence of a furry friend in your home will go a long way toward deterring potential home intruders. According to the Spokane C.O.P.S. Policing Services, potential intruders are opportunists who always look for the easiest targets, and a barking dog alerts others to their presence.
If you aren’t a dog person or simply don’t have the time to include a household pet in your life, leaving a dog dish by the back door or posting a “Beware of Dog” sign will cause many intruders to think twice before making you a target.
Proper Lighting Matters
Criminals generally shy away from light of any kind, so outdoor lighting is a very effective way of keeping your home safe from thieves and others.
The best way to decide on lighting choices for safety reasons is to stand outside after dark and identify shadowy areas, and use those as a guideline as to where to install inexpensive motion-sensor lights. Nothing beats good old-fashioned bright lights illuminating vulnerable areas, and the small increase in utility costs is well worth the added safety and peace of mind.
While you’re out looking for shadowy areas that could use a bit of light during the hours of darkness, make note of vegetation that may be attractive to those seeking to sneak around undetected. Removing this vegetation will make your outdoor living space much safer.
However, planting certain types of shrubbery around windows is a great detergent. Camellias and rhododendrons are excellent for this purpose. Keeping them trimmed properly will prevent them from becoming inviting hiding places for prowlers.
Trimming back any tree branches that could possibly allow access to upstairs windows is also recommended.
It All Works Together
Remember that multiple layers of home security strategies that work together can be just as effective at keeping criminals out of your home as the most advanced security system available.
The key is to make your home as unattractive as possible as a target for thieves and others – remember, they’re looking for residences where they can get in and get out quickly, and if your home seems too challenging, they’ll move on to easier pickings.