With rising crime rates and an increasing threat to safety, it has become more important now than ever to invest time, effort and genuine thought into your home security. Simple measures taken with the aim of providing basic defenses can go a long way in securing your residence, family members and valuable items. Make these efforts, not out of fear, but out of common sense and as a healthy habit to maintain a sufficient security level. This vigilance and careful behavior might go a long way in protecting what is important to you.

Here is a list of suggestions you might want to keep in mind to protect yourself against crimes:

• Securing the Doors

This is the most common point of entry for burglars into your home. Make sure you lock all the doors at night and when you are away. A lot of people have a habit of leaving the back door or kitchen door open at all times. If you are one of these people, then stop doing this. Since this is such a common practice, burglars and intruders check for these entry points for sure.

Even when you are at home, it is a good practice to keep all doors locked.

If you have a sliding door, you might want to use a long, sturdy plank to block the door so that even if the burglar manages to pick the lock, they would not be able to get through.

Invest in a heavy duty deadbolt lock for additional safety. You can also get a double cylinder door knob which requires a key to open from both ends, giving you twice the security of a standard locking system. However, these doors can become a hazard in case of a fire or emergency, especially if you have a habit of misplacing keys. So make sure you are always aware of where you put the keys.

Get yourself a basic door alarm that can be activated at peak security hours to notify you of any intrusion.

• Securing the Windows

Windows are also a very common point of entry for intruders. And you would be surprised to know that it is not only the ground floor windows that are vulnerable to break-ins, but burglars are known to have broken in through upper storey windows as well, so be careful.

Make sure you lock all windows at night or when you are away.

Air conditioners and fans installed on the windows might give an easy access to burglars into your home. They can simply be pushed in to make way for someone to easily climb through. Therefore, avoid such cooling units or look for better ways to install them.

Invest in fortifying your windows with additional locking systems, such as locking pins or hinged wedges for double-hung windows. Also having a window alarm or glass-breakage alarm that would notify you in case someone tries to break in.

• Lighting

Lighting plays a vital role in your home security practices. The idea is to always keep your house sufficiently lit.

Never make it obvious that you are not home. Keep a porch light and at least one light in the house on whether you are home or not. Not only would this provide greater visibility for neighbors keeping an eye out on your home, but it will also make it look like you are home and serve as a potential deterrent to burglars.

Invest in a few timers. These can be programmed to turn the lights, radio and television on at random times when you are away, to make it look like you are still home.

You might want to purchase a motion sensor light to install at the front and back for additional security.

• Invest in the Right Home Security Systems

Alarm systems and cameras can further beef up your home security. Cameras installed in and around your house with a connection to your smart phone can give you remote access to your home as well – so you can keep an eye on your house even if you are not around. This is also a good way to keep an eye on the kids when you are not around, or on the baby sitter. You can also invest in gadgets such as door alarms, window alarms, driveway sensors, and window breakage alarms etc, as per the requirements of your house.

In addition to protection against burglars and rising crime rates, you might also want to think of investing in temperature alarms, humidity, fire, smoke and even carbon monoxide alarms. These are additional hazards that every household needs to be sufficiently protected against.

If you have valuable items at home such as jewelry or cash, you might want to get a safe with an alarm to keep these items in.

• Other Simple Security Practices to Keep in Mind

In addition to measures relating to specific entry points into the house, here are some general tips that can help with the security:

• Make sure your grass is cut

• Ensure that your newspapers and mail are being collected. If they end up gathering at your front door, it will become obvious to any passerby that you are not home

• Don’t announce your vacation plans on social media. Just make sure a few people such as your neighbors or friends know about it and are keeping an eye on your house

• Don’t leave your valuables in plain sight – This is particularly important if you have maids or baby sitters or any outsider coming into your house on a regular basis. Usually it is the easy accessibility and visibility of high value items that tempt burglars to break in

• Don’t dispose of the boxes of your expensive items right out on the curb. Break them down completely and put them in the trash

• Get a dog for additional security

• Install security company signs in your yard. For example, signs that read ‘Beware! You are being watched’ or ‘Beware of Dog’ etc

• If you have glass doors, you might want to replace them with hardwood. This looks equally good but provides a lot of added security in comparison to simple glass doors

• When it comes to securing your home, even the most hi-tech security systems would not be of much help if you do not use your common sense and remain vigilant at all times. Following these few common sense tips will help you go a long way in keeping your home, family and valuables safe against the ever-increasing crime rates in the country.

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