During the COVID-19 pandemic, many homeowners found themselves with plenty of time to complete those DIY projects they often put off. While many may have focused on home improvement projects, ensuring your home is safe and secure is just as important.
According to the FBI, an estimated 1.1 million burglaries occurred in 2019, with residential burglaries accounting for 62.8% of all burglaries. Below are five easy ways homeowners can increase their home safety and security, sometimes in a matter of just a few minutes.
1. Light up the night
Burglars don’t want the spotlight on them so install motion-activated lights around the perimeter of your home and garage. If a burglar sets off a light, it will draw attention to them and they will likely leave your property just as fast as they had arrived. Also, utilizing timers for lights both inside and outside can also keep burglars at bay. Set them randomly, at different times each evening, so it appears as someone is always home.
2. Smile for the camera
Homes without a security system are 300 times more likely to be burglarized. There are plenty of inexpensive systems homeowners can easily install themselves. For those that aren’t tech savvy or not into DIY projects, Alarms.org recommends the Canary All-in-One Indoor Security Camera, Wyze Cam Pan or Amazon Cloud Cam for their top picks in DIY security systems with a camera.
3. Signs everywhere
An article on HGTV.com recommends putting up signs advertising “Beware of Dog” or warning a potential burglar that the home is protected by a security system by placing decals in the windows and doors – even if you don’t have either of those. Burglars do not want to draw attention to themselves so if there is a potential animal or security system recording their moves, they will likely leave your residence alone.
Some suggest even leaving a large dog leash and even dog toys in the yard to make it look as if you have a large four-legged friend behind your door.
4. Lock it up
While many may think it’s OK to leave windows and doors unlocked while they are home, homeowners should keep them locked. According to a 2017 Charlotte Residential Burglary Victimization Survey: Exploring Post-Burglary Adaption from a Victim’s Perspective conducted by The University of North Carolina at Charlotte Department of Criminal Justice & Criminology, burglaries occurred most frequently between the hours of noon and 4 p.m.
Installing updated window and door locks are one way to prevent burglars from gaining entry into your home.
Open doors and windows are an easy entry point for burglars, so making sure they are closed and locked at all times is important. Installing deadbolt locks on exterior doors can also deter burglars.
If you have a sliding door, install a metal or wooden board in the track to make it harder for burglars to lift the door off its track.
Another place to upgrade door locks is your door that leads to your garage. That’s an easy way for burglars to enter. It’s also recommended to lock your car doors at night as well and hide things such as a garage door opener or key to your home out of sight. The last thing you’d want is a burglar using your garage door opener to gain entry into your garage and possibly your home.
5. Manage your landscaping
Security expert Louis Wood, owner of Defend It Yourself and vice president of LAW Security Corp., suggests that homeowners, “cut back trees and bushes located near windows or doors that might shield a burglar from view.”
And if you’re leaving on vacation or will be away from your home for an extended period of time, make sure you “arrange to have your lawn mowed so your yard doesn’t look like a vacant lot,” says security specialist Rick Musson, an 18-year law enforcement veteran and law enforcement consultant for Car Insurance Comparison.