Keep windows and doors locked, day or night.
It is very important to keep doors and windows locked despite being home or away. Burglars often look for open exterior doors and windows as an easy access point. Make sure you have a good quality window lock. Thieves can spot a weak lock and can break it very easily. This can be a very easy way for burglars to force themselves into your home. Also, make sure your home is equipped with deadbolt door locks. These ensure the door is locked securely. Deadbolts are much harder locks to pick. If your home has sliding doors make sure they are outfitted with vertical deadbolts. It is also a very good idea to stick a wooden rod in the door track for extra protection. This way there is no possible way to slide the door open on its existing track. Whether you leave your home for a minute or a few hours always lock your front door. Burglars can work very quickly.
One common entry point for burglars is the doorway attached to the garage. Often times people don’t lock it because they think the garage door will keep out intruders. This is not always the case. Intruders often target this door because it is the most likely to be unlocked.
Make sure to change every lock when moving into a new home.
If renting, make sure to ask your landlord to change the locks. Or, confirm with him that he has already switched them out. Many times, former tenants make duplicate keys that can be lost, forgotten, or even distributed. Always err on the side of caution when it comes to your home security. You do not want an unwanted guest walking into your locked home.
Never leave spare keys outside. Never label keys.
Burglars know exactly where to look for spare keys. They search under mats, find that fake rock and voila, they have entry into your home. It is a better idea to leave a key with a trusted neighbour or a family member who lives close by. Another option would be to install a digital key store. If this is not an option you can purchase a lockbox with a secure passcode and store it somewhere safe on your property. Labelling your keys gives thieves a map to entry. This is especially scary when you lose your wallet and keys somewhere. A burglar can easily look in your wallet to find your address and have easy entry into your home.
Securely store anything valuable in a safe or lockbox.
Make sure to only give your passcode to your safe or lockbox to your most trusted confidant. Never write the passcode anywhere. This can be found by an intruder and negate the safe entirely. Also, if you have a small safe it may be a good idea to have it permanently attached to your home by a bolt. Often times intruders will just take the safe with them.
Think about installing a home security system.
Home security systems have become much more advanced in the last few years. Often times companies feature systems that include video surveillance, motion detectors, sensors attached to doors and windows, and even a loud alarm that will sound so other neighbours can be aware a break-in has happened. When selecting a security system, it is best to think about which features would be most beneficial for your home. Most companies allow you to choose your own package. Some people definitely feel they need video cameras, for instance, while others just want a basic alarm that sounds.
After your purchase, your alarm system, make it a habit to use it every single time you leave the house. Try to be aware of the system to avoid false alarms that can be annoying, loud, and may even result in large fines. Also, make sure to display home security stickers on your doors and windows. Many security systems also come with yard signs to deter burglars.
Reinforce windows with safety glass or metal bars.
Depending on where you live, it may be a smart idea to reinforce your windows and doors. Often times, a burglar will break a small or large window for easy access to your home. However, with safety bars, it is impossible for the intruder to be able to fit inside through the bars. Metal bar manufacturers have done a great job creating metal bars that are more decorative than previous versions.