Career Advice - A Community Blog

Erik Larson writes about the job market, resume improvement, and career advice

8 Simple Ways to Secure Your New Home

Written by Erik Larson, Community Blogger | Sep 26, 2017 6:10 PM

Buying a new home should be an exciting experience filled with brand new opportunities and an overwhelming sense of joy.

But it can also be nerve-wracking, particularly when you begin to think of security. Less than 15% of home burglars are ever caught, which means that your first, and possibly only, line of defense is stopping them before they ever enter your house.

If you're unsure about what to focus on at your new house, here are eight simple places to start.

1. Secure the Front Door

34% of all home invasions happen at the front door, particularly with old or not-as-well secured doors as newer homes. Make sure your door's anchor points are securely fastened, and if you haven't taken the time to invest in a peephole or deadbolt, now is an excellent time to do so.

2. Secure the Windows

The second-most infiltrated spot in your house are the windows, with a whopping 23% of home invasions happening at this location. Just because you have a latch on your window doesn't mean that a burglar won't try to enter through this point. The ones that home-builders install can sometimes be weak, so invest in a key-operated latch and some reinforced glass to make sure it stays extra safe.

3. Invest in a Security System

One of the smartest investments you can make in your home protection is to purchase a security system. Studies have shown that up to 90% of burglars avoid homes with security systems, so read some home security system reviews and get one installed. $100 a month for full monitoring is a small price to pay for the peace of mind it can bring. One alternative is to buy a fake security sign and put it in your front yard, but if the thief recognizes that it's fake, it could encourage them rather than discourage them.

4. Become Friendly With Your Neighbors

Apart from being just a friendly and nice thing to do, becoming friendly with your neighbors provides an extra line of defense between your house and would-be burglars. If they know who you are, they'll be extra vigilant for suspicious activity, and can call you or the cops to let you know something fishy is going on. They can't (or won't) do this if they don't know who you are, so take some time to get to know them better.

5. Light Up Your House

Even though nearly twice as many home invasions happen during the day, that doesn't mean that you can rest easy at night with a vulnerable house. Place lights around the front and back yard to shine a light on potential attack points; even better if they have motion sensors in them to light up when they detect activity.

6. Look For Hiding Places

Sure, those bushes and lush landscaping may look pretty, but it could also be the perfect place for a thief to hide and plan their next move. Cut down unnecessarily large bushes and shrubbery in favor of smaller flowers, especially if they are near vulnerable access points to your house. It may be tough to replace your favorite plants, but that's much better than trimming the hedges one day only to find a thief hiding behind the bushes.

7. "Rob" Your Own House

It may seem silly, but approaching your house from a burglar's point of view may just give you the perspective you need to know what to reinforce. Are there weak spots or hiding places they can exploit? Easy access points? Perform a mock home invasion, or ask a friend to do so, to help protect you and your family when the real thing happens.

8. Be Prepared

Make sure you familiarize yourself with the numbers for local law enforcement, and ask them if they wouldn't mind sending an officer over to your house to give you some quick tips on how to protect your home. Additionally, sit down with your family and construct a plan of action if and when a burglary happens. Make sure everyone knows how to secure the windows and doors, as well as how to use the alarm system. If you have children in the house, give them firm guidance on what to do if they encounter an intruder. Spending a few minutes going over safety plans regularly with your loved ones can make all the difference in the world.

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