Part of homeownership includes security. But how do you know what type of security you need? Where do you start? Although there isn’t one single method that’s guaranteed to prevent intruders from entering your property, there are some basic steps you can take to minimize the chances that yours will become a target.
Security doesn’t need to start at your front door; it can begin at your property’s edge by installing a locking mailbox. There are many different brands and models to choose from, and although they may not be 100% effective, they’re a good deterrent to a would-be mail thief.
Other ways you might avoid becoming a victim of mail theft may include the following:
- Checking your mail and picking up your newspaper daily
- Contacting service providers of regularly scheduled services or deliveries and asking them to re-schedule to a different date if you’re leaving your home for vacation, or other extended periods
- Notifying the Post Office and requesting they hold your mail, or asking a trusted friend or neighbor to pick it up for you if you’re leaving your home for vacation, or other extended periods
Fencing is a vital layer of protection for your home and property. Not only can it help to keep unwanted people and animals out, but it also provides a barrier that draws extra attention to anyone who attempts to climb over it, increasing the chances that your neighbors will notice and report it as suspicious activity.
Security signs on fences, gates, and other appropriate places around your property can be a good deterrent. Studies have shown that having a sign (or signs) announcing the use of cameras or other security measures that are in use can reduce the likelihood that your home will be targeted by thieves.
- BEWARE OF DOG
- NOTICE: 24 HOUR VIDEO SURVEILLANCE IN USE
- THIS HOME IS PROTECTED BY (insert security company here)
- NO TRESPASSING
- FORGET THE DOG. BEWARE OF OWNER
There is a misconception that guard dogs need to be vicious or dangerous to be useful in home security; however, this isn’t true. Whether your dog is a playful Labrador Retriever or a tiny Yorkshire Terrier, they can be of value to your home security simply by barking to alert you of visitors— both wanted and unwanted.
Exterior lighting plays an important role in the protection of your home and property. The types of lighting you choose will depend on your property location and its proximity to neighboring homes. If you have a larger parcel, exterior floodlights could be a great option, but if you live on a small city lot, those same floodlights could upset your neighbor next door. Motion-activated lights or lights that come on automatically at dusk are great options. Solar lights are another option that can help to light up dark places around areas such as detached garages, sheds, barns, or other outdoor structures. They come in a wide array of designs and prices to fit both your style and your budget.
Security camera systems are more readily available than ever before and are found in countless homes and businesses across America. They allow you to view your property, your children playing in the yard, pets, and incoming visitors on your mobile device or from a dedicated monitor inside your home. If appropriately used, security cameras can be a great addition to your home security and provide valuable evidence in the event of a break-in.
When thinking of security measures, a storm door might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but lockable storm doors provide yet another layer of protection against intruders. They can also provide you with a few extra seconds to phone the police or to escape if you happen to be home when trouble comes calling.
Locks and Deadbolts
Keyed entry locks and deadbolts are the most basic and common forms of home security, and there are many different brands to choose from on the market. Properly installed locks on entry doors and windows are the last barrier between an intruder and the inside of your home, but for them to be effective, you have to use them.
There are several ways to find information regarding home security. Often, local area law enforcement is a good place to start. Ask if there’s a Neighborhood Watch Program in effect and if there is attend a meeting. Keep in mind, though, that law enforcement won’t be able to install security equipment.
Other helpful resources might include the following:
- Your Contractor
- Homeowner’s Insurance Agent
- An Attorney
- Home Security Companies
- Governmental Agencies
- Online Searches
The steps outlined in this article are not exhaustive and may not fit your specific circumstances, but performing a home security evaluation will allow you to personalize safety measures and find those best suited for your particular home and property.