Home invasion crime statistics suggest that there are over 4,500 home burglaries each day in America; this is around 3 homes targeted by criminals every single minute of the day. Having someone in your home who isn't supposed to be there going through your belongings is not only invasive but deeply traumatizing; no one should feel unsafe in their own home due to criminal activity.
While you might not be able to avoid becoming a victim of crime completely, there are things you can do to your home to help you reduce the likelihood of your home being broken into.
Privacy Films and Bars on Windows
There are multiple options for you to choose for your windows to make them more secure. Whether you want to go for the more discreet residential privacy film installation option that is essentially a tint on your windows similar to a car window tint that reduces visibility inside your home from the outside, you add external bars to the windows or prevent access (privacy bars on sliding doors are an excellent option too), or you add security screens, you can benefit from added protection and privacy in one fell swoop. Being able to hide your interior from outsiders can stop people from prying and assessing what they can potentially get if they can gain access inside.
A home with a security system is three times less likely to be broken into than others without them. Around 1.8 million home security systems are installed each year, offering homeowners and renters peace of mind that if someone should enter their property illegally, the alarm will activate, and law enforcement will be called to the property.
An alarm system can run from $100 to over $1,000 for the alarm itself, and then you can expect to pay a monthly fee for the monitoring services provided by the supplier to monitor your home and provide assistance should an intruder gain access. For added security, look for a keypad and control panel that are separate, so it's harder for someone to disable them.
If you are able, upgrading to smart locks for your home can eliminate any chance of people gaining access via keys.or locks. Paired with a smart home system, keyless door locks that are password or code-activated or even require the use of biometrics can offer added protection and are more challenging to open than traditional door locks.
This doesn't mean you need to pack your house up every time you leave home, but you should avoid leaving things out on view that are considered to be high targets, typically if you have no window coverings protecting things from plain view.
Items such as cash, jewelry, game consoles, electronics, and high-value items that are left out can give potential burglars a good idea of what to find in your home and make it a target. The less they see and can discover, the less likely they will be to take a chance, as they might not be successful in finding what they are looking for.
Automation can make it appear that your home has occupants in it even if you aren't there. Using smart devices and plugs, you can set timers for things like your lights coming on and off at a certain time, your TV turning on to give the illusion someone is home, and, in some cases, even draw the curtains. The more activity there is in your home, the lesser a target it will be, as no one can be confident residents aren't home.
Burglars thrive in the dark and carry out all of their endeavors in secret. The last thing they want to be is to be seen or to get caught. You can increase the likelihood of a burglar getting spotted by neighbors by adding extra lighting to your home. Motion sensor lighting that comes on when people come past will help to provide lighting sources when people approach your home, as can solar lighting.
Use the lights strategically to provide illumination at exit and entry points to your home's windows, external doors, garages, etc.
We covered smart door locks above, but increasing door security is also important. Top tips can include;
Using door chains
Limiting key access
Having more than one key lock
Using a video doorbell
Blocking out windows and doors so people can't see in
Lock Down Your WiFi Network
One area that is often overlooked and can be an access point for criminals is your WiFi connection. You want to ensure you have your WiFi locked down and it has a password on it to limit access. Change the default password on your router, restrict guest access, and use a VPN for added protection. Your home can become a target if your private information is intercepted online, and criminals are able to see your passwords and bank accounts and even access your home smart devices and any internal cameras.
Know Your Neighbours
Lastly, getting to know your neighbors can offer you additional security as they will automatically keep an eye on your property and give you updates as to any suspicious behavior. If you aren't friendly with your neighbors or are on bad terms, things might slip past them, and they won't pay as much attention to your home. But by connecting with them and developing relationships with those in your neighborhood, you can boost your security and have those living around you in your corner.
Home protection isn't something that should be overlooked, especially if you want to avoid falling victim to this awful crime. Knowing your options when it comes to home security, how best to protect yourself and your home, and what not to do can help you stay safe when you are home and when your property is empty.
Hide your valuables, cover your windows, lock your WiFi down, and add additional lighting outdoors to help you protect your home and boost security.