As such, this is always a great time of year to review some safety precautions that you can take as a homeowner. Here are ten recommendations that experts in home security recommend.
1. Make sure your property appears regularly maintained. There are signs that a house gives off that the owners may not be around much... unkept lawns, packages on the doorstep, debris in the yard, decorations left up long past holidays. You don't want to make it that easy for potential violators.
2. Connect with your neighbors. Having other eyes looking after one another's places can be the best security measure. Let them know if you will be away. Have regular conversations with them about what is happening in the community. Triage information across one another to look for suspicious data points.
3. Look at your home from their perspective. Step out of your own shoes and view your home with a fresh set of eyes. Literally, go view it from the street. Put yourself in the mindset of someone looking to enter homes. What vulnerabilities do you notice about your own home? Address those.
4. Lights, camera, NO action! Lights and security cameras are great deterrents for unwanted intruders. Install automated lighting inside and outside of the home. Movement activated lighting outside may be just what you need to catch trespassers of guard and discourage them from proceeding. The same is true for the inside. If you are not home, having lights in different rooms come on and off sporadically gives the impression that the home is occupied.
5. Leverage smart-home technology. Going beyond the lighting coming on and off, you can use smart-home technology to do the same with other appliances such as music or tvs. In fact, most of the modern technology lets you control these things from your cell phone making it more "real" than that timer that predictably comes on every night at 8 pm.
6. Ensure you have good locks on your doors. No matter how safe your community is, it is always a good practice to lock your home when you are inside and when you are away. According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report, In 30% of burglaries, criminals accessed the home through an unlocked door or window. So, make sure that you lock not only every door but your windows as well. Additionally, the locks are only as good as the door they are on. Solid doors are more sturdy. Choose a double-cylinder deadbolt over a single-cylinder one.
7. Make some noise. Having a loud alarm system or an external siren. These can be effective at scaring off unwanted guests in the time it takes for police to arrive. You may also want to ensure you have security signs up on the property, even if you don't have an active security system provider.
8. Invest in surveillance. If a full video-surveillance system is not in the cards for you, look into one of the readily available devices for your doorbell, such as the one called RING, which has video surveillance capability that allows you to view activity outside your front door via your smartphone.
9. Take inventory. Log serial numbers for your precious goods. Take photographs of items that are vulnerable or popular with burglars such as jewelry, electronics, etc. You may even choose to mark your valuables with invisible ink or engravings to make them easier to identify when recovered.
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