Keeping your home secure is vital to the safety of yourself, your family and your belongings. Here are several simple ideas to increase your personal safety.
1. Install a home security system. Security systems offer perhaps the most powerful protection for your home. Even a simple alarm system and a few well-placed signs in your yard and on your windows can greatly diminish the likelihood of home break-ins. If you can afford it, motion sensors on doors and windows, along with 24-hour monitoring, delivers even greater protection.
2. Check out smart home technology. Consider investing in security cameras and other smart home technology, such as video doorbells and keylocks. These systems are much easier to install now using wireless devices and can help you monitor your home and alert you to potential activity.
3. Don’t hide keys outside the house. For convenience, many people hide a spare key outside near the front door. It might be under the welcome mat, in a planter or on a ledge. If a key is easy for your family or friends to find, it’s also easy for thieves to find. Instead, consider leaving a key with a neighbor you trust.
4. Keep those bushes trimmed. High, full bushes and shrubs around your home are ideal places for thieves to hide while they work on opening your window. By keeping bushes trimmed and lower to the ground, you’re making it harder for would-be burglars to gain access to your house.
5. Make it look like you’re home. Most thieves want to strike while you’re away. With some good sense and creativity, you can fool them into thinking you’re home even when you’re not. Consider purchasing timers that turn your lamps and TV on and off at different hours of the evening. You might also consider a timer for your front porch light. If it’s lit during the day, it could be a telltale sign that you’re away for an extended period. Along that line, don’t let the mail or newspapers pile up when you’re on vacation. Either suspend service or ask a neighbor to pick them up for you.
6. Install outdoor lighting. Darkness is a burglar’s best friend. When thieves approach your home and bright lights in their faces suddenly confront them, it can be a strong motivation to move on. Motion-activated lighting systems are inexpensive, easy to install and a great way to put thieves in the spotlight.
For additional information on protecting your home visit USAA.com/homeowners.