Top Eight Home Security Tips

A burglary happens every 15 seconds in the United States with thefts averaging $1,725. Protect yourself, your family, your home and your peace of mind when you implement eight top home security tips.

Install an alarm.

Noise is a top deterrent to criminals. Install a whole-house alarm system if possible. Otherwise, post an alarm company's sign in a prominent location to warn thieves away.

Make the house look occupied.

An empty house is an easy target, so make your home look occupied at all times.

  • Use a timer to turn on outdoor and indoor lights at the same time both day and night.
  • Ask a neighbor to pick up mail and newspapers if you're on vacation.
  • Don't advertise travel plans online.
  • Keep a car parked in your driveway.
Turn on the lights.

Burglaries can occur in broad daylight, but thieves also like darkness. Install plenty of outdoor lighting around your property and near all doorways. Set your lights on a timer, too, so they go on and off at the same time each day, giving thieves the illusion that you are always home.

Secure the doors.

An unlocked door is an open invitation for burglars, and exterior doors are the most common point for burglar entries. Be sure to buy sturdy, wooden or metal exterior doors with deadbolts and auxiliary locks, and keep them locked even when you're home. If you have a sliding door, secure it with a metal bar. You should also change the locks after you move into a new house and after you lose your keys.  

Secure the windows.

Keep your windows locked at all times. If possible, purchase multi-pane windows with reinforced glass or acrylic. You can also add security film for additional protection.  

Don't hide a spare key.

You may be tempted to store a spare key under the doormat, on the door frame, in your mailbox or in a false rock. Instead, give it to a trusted neighbor where it's inaccessible to a burglar.

Trim the bushes.

Overgrown bushes, shrubs and other landscaping provide the perfect cover for a thief. Trim the landscaping around your home. You can also plant thorny or spiked plants under windows to deter criminals.

Secure the garage door.

It's surprisingly easy to break into a garage, so always lock the door. Install a motion sensing light in the garage, too, to alert you and neighbors of suspicious activity. You should also remove your automatic garage door opener from your vehicle overnight.  

These top eight home security tips protect you, your family and your valuables. For additional security tips, talk to your insurance agent.
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