A resource for consumers, locksmiths, and security professionals.
Posted On by Hugo Reed
Home improvement is something that every homeowner goes through at least once a year. There is always something that you might want to tweak or change, which can make your house look better or help you accomplish some tasks much easier. Home security improvements and upgrades are not exempt from this, if anything these improvements are among some of the most important things that homeowners can undertake to ensure that their homes are constantly in the best possible shape. Home security should not be viewed as a stagnant organism that is only put in place once. The landscape of home security is constantly changing and burglars are not ambling drinking lemonade waiting for you to stop by and give them your belongings. Instead, burglars are always looking for new ways to circumvent your home security and make away with your belongings.
Homeowners have to be vigilant in order to make sure that they do not fall victim to the wiles of burglars. One of the best ways to do this is to make sure that they are constantly looking for the weak links in their home security, and working to improve these vulnerabilities. It might be hard to figure out the best ways to improve your home security, especially when the internet is flooded with solutions that may or may not work. It is safe to say that there are some improvements that will make your home extremely secure. For instance, upgrading your locks to ANSI Grade 1 Deadbolt locks and simultaneously using longer screws to make sure that the locking mechanism is deeply secured into the door is one of the best possible ways to amp up the security of your doors.
I completely understand that it is hard to sift through all of the information that is available when it comes to home security improvements, and it is exceedingly hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. This is the reason why we are going to talk about some home improvements that are really not as effective as they sound. It is crucial for homeowners to pay close attention to the points that will be listed below, because chances are, many of you are using some of these ineffective methods that are making your homes more vulnerable than secure.
Now, this is one home security improvement that I have heard of time and time again. In fact, I probably see it being done in my neighborhood more than I hear about it. It goes to show that many homeowners are under the impression that a picket sign from their alarm company will effectively keep them more secure within their homes. There are also some homeowners who opt to go with using fake signs to deter burglars, because they believe that this will somehow stop a professional burglar from committing a home break-in.
I completely understand the logic behind this, trust me I do. Homeowners regard these alarm signs much in the same way that they regard signs that read “beware of dogs”. They are meant to scare people away and prevent criminals from trespassing. These signs might work in most cases, but this only happens when the person who wants to break into your home has reason to believe that you aren’t all bark. Those “beware of dog” signs work because you can normally hear or see a dog standing guard. On the flip side of things, there is no real way to see security signs in action, that is until a burglar attempts to break into your home and gets apprehended. In some cases, some burglars might be willing to risk it for the metaphorical biscuit that is your belongings.
This home security improvement is mostly ineffective for two reasons. The first reason is that if you blatantly advertise the type of home security that you have, you have now given burglars with all the information that they need to rob your home. The counter argument against this might be that the burglars will not be aware of the specific home security system you have, they will not know if you have security cameras or motion detectors. This is entirely true, but they will know the company that is in charge of your home security and that is enough information for them to plan for every security measure that could be used against them. The second reason is much more simple. If a homeowner puts up a fake sign and a burglar is still willing to risk breaking into your home, then nothing was accomplished.
The best solution for homeowners with alarm systems is to make sure that their alarm systems are as inconspicuous as possible. This will help catch burglars off-guard and will not give them the chance to prepare to deal with any alarm systems. It is important to make sure that the control panel for your alarm system is not visible from your door or windows since this will negate the ‘surprise’ aspect of it. In the instance that you do not have a monitored home security system within your home, invest in one to maximize your security, but do not make it a habit of advertising the type of home security system you have. That method might work on a few burglars, but most are willing to learn how to counter your alarm system because they believe that return will be worth it.
There are many people who do their best to stow their valuable belongings away in hiding places within their homes. This is done to prevent anyone from stealing a priceless item and it also makes it much harder for burglars to find expensive things if they ever make their way into your room. Much like the point discussed above, many homeowners have their own practices and notions that they believe will help them keep their belongings well hidden. This is not always the case, because very often, burglars have heard of these practices too, so in effect, you are hiding your things in the first place that they will look.
For instance, people try to stuff things away in sock drawers, in freezers, in guest rooms or in living rooms. These are some of the most common hiding places known to the human race, and no one should be fooled into thinking that they were the first person to think up some of these ingenious hiding spots. The thing that people forget about burglars is that they have probably tried to place themselves in your shoes to think of where you might want to hide your valuables. So it is important to make sure that when you are hiding valuables in your home, that your main goal is to outsmart burglars.
Many home security improvement articles suggest that people hide things in their bedroom rather than leaving them lying around in other parts of their home, which makes complete sense, except for the fact that the bedroom is one of the main places a burglar will check. In order to outsmart burglars with their home security measures, homeowners need to think creatively and they need to act outside of the box. If you have a really expensive diamond that you want to hide in your home, the last place you should hide it is in the sock drawer in your bedroom, or in the freezer in your kitchen. To be fair, these ideas might have been creative a few years ago but burglars do their research to and they plan ahead for every possible outcome.
Homeowners need to utilize all the tools in their arsenal when they want to hide things in their home. Why limit yourself to the master bedroom when you probably have a host of different rooms and locations to choose from? Homeowners can hide things outside their home, in the garage, in a kids room, a basement or even an attic. Burglars will not be prone to spend a great deal of time outside of your home looking for things because they will be in full view of some DIY surveillance cameras or nosy neighbors. There is also a better chance that whatever you want to hide might fade into obscurity if it is deftly hidden with some power tools. The gist is, people should not be fooled into storing their valuable property in places that burglars will look first just because they followed some ill-advised home security measures. Try to be creative and try to think about hiding places where a burglar will not have time to look or where they will not want to be for an extended period of time (i.e places that do not afford them the comfort of cover).
Safes and lockboxes are amazing tools to have in any home, although for the purposes of this article we will stick with lockboxes. They help homeowners consolidate their valuables in one location. This is a good home security measure, but if it is not employed correctly it can be to the detriment of any homeowner. People love to use lockboxes because they are a much smaller version of storage containers which are normally kept close by in case you need to grab something from it really quickly.
However, people often forget that even though a lockbox keeps your items secure, it is only as secure as the way you store it. If you have important documents and reserves of cash that you kept stowed away in a lockbox that is hidden under your bed, I wouldn’t say that your items are secure. If anything, you have wrapped them up with a nice little box with a bright red bow on top and left them out for any burglar to do with as they please.
The best way to use a lockbox as a home security measure is to make sure that the lockbox itself is secured and tied down. This can be done by bolting your lockbox to the ground or even securing it within another fixture (such as a case) which makes gaining access to it difficult. Some people might wonder why this is even necessary, well it is necessary because you are working to prevent a burglar from merely walking in and carrying your lockbox away. If you invest in a lockbox as a home security improvement, make sure that you effectively invest in ways to make sure that your lockbox cannot be carted off as soon as someone discovers its location. Also, some of the measures that were discussed in the point above will no doubt come in handy when you are trying to find the right place to hide your lockbox.
Burglars are known to stake out houses and learn the habits of the people that live there because this will make it much easier for them to plan a break in. That being said, the actions of burglars are sometimes dependent on the habits of homeowners. Home security is essential because it keeps you and your family safe when you are at home and it also keeps your home and property safe when you are away. The hallmark of good home security measures is that they keep your home safe whether or not you are home or away. In order to keep their home secure while they are away on trips or vacation, many homeowners employ some additional methods of home security. A good number of these improvements are effective and they help thwart burglars, but some of them are telltale signs that you are not currently at home.
One popular measure among homeowners is stopping mail delivery whenever they are away. Like I said earlier, people are creatures of habit, and burglars pay close attention to these habits. Imagine for a moment, that you are a burglar who has been staking out a home for several days or weeks but one week the mail suddenly stops being delivered. If you were a burglar what would that abrupt stop in mail delivery tell you? It would hint at the fact that a homeowner was not currently home and that their home was ripe for the picking. In lieu of stopping mail delivery, homeowners can cozy up to their neighbors and have them pick up the mail. Won’t the burglars staking out your home notice that there is a new addition to your family (your neighbor)? The truth is it doesn’t matter. Even if said burglars are able to recognize your neighbor, it still sends the message that your home is being monitored which will help deter them from taking any action.
Another popular security measure that homeowners employ to thwart burglars is leaving their lights on. They believe that this gives the impression that someone is awake and alert at home. A lot of homeowners do this because they are greatly misinformed about the ways burglars do things. It is a common misconception that burglars strike at night. According to most burglary statistics, a majority of burglars work during the day when most people are away from their homes. If you leave your lights on when you are not at home it’s similar to leaving out a sign on your front lawn that says “come rob me because I’m not home right now”. These security measures are outdated and many of them are based on misconceptions that homeowners have been buying into for years.
The best solution to this problem is to use either automated lighting or put your lighting on a timer. These two solutions will help the action of your lights going on and off look more organic even when you are not home and it will help give off a more credible illusion that you are home.
The most important thing that homeowners need to remember about home security is that no security measure can stand on its own. The best form of home security is the amalgamation of measures and habits that compound to keep your home safe. These could range from having a top notch home security system to simply practicing safety habits like locking your doors behind you or not advertising on Facebook that you are taking a long vacation away from home. Homeowner’s need to be in tune with their home security. This will help them know when anything needs to be changed or updated. Home security is never a one and done affair and this is a vital point that all homeowners must be aware of. There are many people who do not put enough thought into their home security and try anything that they read about, but hopefully this article gives you some insight.