Tips for Home Security

Posted by Julian Yates on Thursday, December 13th, 2018 at 11:28am.

With an average of 3.7 million burglaries a year in the United States, home security is an important issue. Not only do people lose things of material value, but there is an emotional toll as well. The best way to help curb losses is to be prepared, so here are the best ways to get your new home security ready when you move in.

  1. Put a security system sign in your yard or on your window. According to a study by the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at University of North Carolina at Charlotte, about 60% of convicted burglars said that the presence of a security system made them more likely to pass up the home. Even if you don’t have one yet, letting burglars think that you do is a good start.

  2. Install an actual alarm system. There are a variety of options to choose from, and most systems will inform emergency authorities. Nothing scares off a burglar like a good alarm.

  3. Change the locks. If you’ve just moved into a house, it’s a really good idea to get fresh locks. In the course of a house being a home, many keys are copied to give to family, neighbors, pet sitters, cleaning crews, contractors, and sometimes even delivery people. Replacing the locks, even when you lose them yourself, offers some peace of mind.

  4. Install dead-bolts. While they are a little more expensive than normal doorknobs, exterior doors should be equipped with 1-inch dead-bolt locks. Spring latch door knobs allow you to close the door without turning the doorknob, but that convenience makes them more likely to be shimmied open. Dead-bolts stop that from happening, and be sure to secure sliding doors with lock pins or bars in the track.

  5. Install good lighting. While your front door should be well lit for security as well as ambiance, it’s a good idea to have motion sensor lights on the sides and in back of a house. They might let you know that you have a raccoon passing through your yard, but they’re great deterrents to nighttime prowlers.

  6. Lock up before you leave. Even if it’s for a short while, be sure the doors and windows are locked when you leave the home unoccupied. A burglary only takes about ten minutes, and 30% happen because a door or window was left unlocked.  

  7. Get to know your neighbors. Of course, it’s a nice thing to do anyway, but knowing your neighbors well enough to let them know when you’re going away will ensure that you’ve got an extra set of eyes on your place. Neighbors watch out for each other so don’t take yours for granted.

  8. Have a plan for when you’re away. In addition to letting your neighbors know if you’re on vacation or a weekend getaway, don’t forget to make your home look like someone is there. Cancel the newspaper and mail delivery, unless you have someone to take it in for you. And get timers for interior lights and a radio to make it seem that you’re home.

  9. Realize that you’re your best security. Keeping your home secure isn’t up to the police, but they’ll do their best to catch the culprit after the fact. Unfortunately, the truth is that fewer than 15% of burglars are caught after the deed is done. Your job is to keep it from happening in the first place.


Sarasota Area Real Estate Specialist

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