When we first moved into our house, we assumed we were pretty safe since we were living in the country. Our home is in a very quiet area with little traffic.
Well, we learned a lesson really quick and have made some major improvements to our home security.
About a month after we moved into our house (after renovating it for a year), someone broke into our home and stole many of our new possessions.
It was one of the most frightening things I have ever experienced.
I came home from work to see the back door kicked in and immediately called the police and my husband. Luckily, they had already left.
From what we found, we determined the burglary was a quick in and out deal. They had kicked in the door, grabbed whatever was in plain sight that looked of any value, and dashed from what we could tell.
After that horrifying experience, we knew we had to secure our home better and took action immediately.
Home protection may sound elaborate and expensive, but there are many simple and affordable options to keep your home protected.
This is what we did to make our home more safe and secure. And I hope this can help keep your home and family protected, too.
Home Protection: 20 Affordable Ways to Secure Your Home Today
Get an alarm system.
We called the very next morning and had ADT come out and install a security system.An alarm system will give you peace of mind when you are away or when you are sleeping that your home is locked up and secure.
We went with ADT, but they are many reputable companies out there. They came out, did some wiring, and showed us how to use the system.
Place the alarm system signs in your yard.
When you sign up for an alarm system, you should get a couple of yard signs. These will show everyone that you have an alarm system that will sound and the police will be called if anyone attempts to enter.
Install a camera security system.
They have packages of cameras at electronic stores, or you can get this with your alarm system bundle. Place the cameras where you can see all around your house.
This system should hook up to your TV where you can change the input to see the cameras. Some you can even view from your smartphone!
This is my favorite thing because if I hear a weird noise, I don’t have to peak out the window and look, I can just switch the TV and see everything from right there. If you were home alone, you could just leave it on that input so you could check it periodically.
Get a “You’re on Camera” Sign.
These signs can be found at hardware stores or online. They have a variety of sayings like “You’re on Camera”, “Surveillance Cameras”, “Warning: You are being watched.”, etc. These will warn people that if they come onto your property, they will be on camera, and they will be recorded.
Install a driveway alarm.
These can be found pretty cheap at hardware or electronic stores. You have the alarm set somewhere near the front of your home, and a sensor out by your driveway.
Anytime someone pulls into your driveway, the alarm will sound. And then you can check the camera to see who it is.
Add a fence to your property.
This may not be applicable to where you live, but if you live in a rural area or have any land, you may want to consider fencing around your property.
Sure, people can climb a fence if they really want to. But if they cross that fence, they are obviously on your property and trespassing. And it just makes a little more work for people to get in. They would probably choose another home.
Add a gate to your driveway.
Again, this may not apply to everyone. But if you have any length of a driveway or can add a fence, I would definitely add a locked gate.
You can have any kind of lock, or invest in an automatic/keypad gate.
This would definitely keep unwanted cars from pulling in to your driveway, and would be great when you are out of town.
Dogs can really intimidate some people. They (hopefully) will bark at strangers who they know should not be at your home. If they bark loudly and often enough, the stranger may not want to bring any more attention to themselves and will hopefully get out of there.
It would definitely be helpful to pick up a training guide or watch some videos on how to properly train your dogs for these situations.
I think dogs are so great for so many reasons, but they definitely can help watch over and protect your family.
Keep Blinds Closed.
Some people say you should keep your blinds open so strangers may think someone is home, but I think that just gives them an opportunity to look in your window and see what all you have.
If they peep in your window, and see a large TV in plain sight, I’d be willing to bet they would be more eager to break in and grab it.
Keep your blinds closed when away, so your valuables are not in plain sight. Or, if you like a little light to shine through, test them to see which angle they should be at to still provide light but block the view.
Reinforce your exterior doors.
Hardware stores sell deadbolt plates to go on your exterior doors. These will prevent doors from being kicked in so easily. You can also reinforce the door jamb with a thin piece of steel. This would be installed along the inside of the door jamb, and screwed into the wood. This also helps prevent the doors from being kicked in so easily.
For glass exterior doors, consider having a double-sided keyed entry.
This means you have to have a key to open it from the outside or the inside.
If the glass is near the doorknob, intruders could break through the glass, reach inside and twist open a regular one-sided keyed entry doorknob.
But if they reach inside, and find that you need a key to open the other side as well, they are stuck and probably just cut their hand pretty good for no reason.
Think about your landscaping.
Install motion sensor floodlights.
Install a motion sensor flood light on each corner of your home. That way if someone is walking around at night, they will have a spotlight shining on them, making them very easy to spot!
Test these out and tweak as needed to make sure they pick up all around your home.
Don’t leave boxes out by the trash.
If you just got a new large screen TV, take the box directly to the dump or break it down to fit in your trash can. Don’t leave it sitting on the curb for everyone to see.I would definitely think about this before and around Christmas time when burglars are out looking for things to grab.
Install breaking window alarms.
Get to know your neighbors.
You may find out that you work different times of the day, and can help watch over each other’s properties.
Also, just knowing who should be going in and out of their home is helpful so you can tell when someone shouldn’t be there.
It is also a good idea to ask a neighbor that you trust to look over your place when you go out of town.
You don’t have to be nosy neighbors, just create a neighborhood watch of your own, and look out for everyone’s safety.
Do not have a hide-a-key.
Especially not under the mat, or under a rock near the porch. Burglars would most likely check there first.
Lock your windows.
Close and lock all doors behind you.
This is one thing that can be a little hard to follow through with, especially if you are going in and out frequently. Make it a habit to always close to garage door when you get home, and lock all exterior doors after you enter.
Have a plan and communicate this plan with your family.
Make sure everyone is on board with keeping the house secured, making sure to lock all the doors and windows, closing the garage door immediately, setting the alarm, checking the cameras when home alone. Just have a family plan and make sure everyone is on the same page so your home can be as safe as possible.
I truly hope you never encounter a situation that would make you need these tips. I hate that we even live in a world where this article exists.
It is always better to be over-secure than to feel like an easy target. Make it tough as heck for a burglar or intruder to get into your home!
Even though this unfortunate situation occurred to us, I look at it as a blessing. No one was home, no one was hurt.
We learned we better amp up our security before it happened again.
One Extra Tip:
If you want to feel even more prepared in case of a threat, I would suggest taking a self defense class.
I took a class with our local police department and learned some basic skills to use in case the situation every arises. It made me feel more confident about protecting myself, my family, and my home.
Just keep practicing after the class, or go back routinely to freshen up your skills.
Check with your local police or fire department, a library, or community center to see if any classes are available in your area.
What have you done to protect and secure your home? Share your home protection tips in the comments!