Whether you rent or own, your home is a place where you want to feel safe. Right ?
Well in this article we are going to go over steps you can take that will go a long way in ensuring that your home is not broken into and burglarized.
What we cover:
- The 7 Basics of securing your home
- Monitored or Unmonitored?
- What Features To Look For In A Security System
Let's get into it !!!
Anyone considering making changes to improve their home security system would do well to take some time to learn about the many different things that they can do to make their home less vulnerable to intruders. The reality is that in the world we live in there is always going to be someone out there willing to victimize you and your family if it benefits them. You can see some of the staggering crime and burglary statistics here in a report the FBI releases yearly. What you need to understand is that being proactive now and making changes to improve your home security system is the best thing you can do to keep your family and property safe. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to make your home completely impregnable. If someone wants in badly enough, they will find a way to defeat any security features that you have. But the good news is that in many cases a criminal that encounters a home that is well fortified will decide it's not worth the effort. Breaking into a well-fortified home presents a lot of challenges, and even seasoned burglars would rather choose a home that may be less promising in terms of their score, so long as it's security is not as difficult to contend with. When looking at home security, and considering making changes to what your home currently has, you need to take a wide angle view and look at many different security options.
Start Out By Using Physical Barriers To Keep Criminals Out
First and foremost we should point out the obvious. Please make sure and lock your doors. The Minnesota Sheriff's Dept states that 30-50% of the burglaries it investigates occurred through an unlocked door... DOH! Once you have made sure that you have systems in place to lock all your doors (maybe even by using smart locks), the next step is to add barriers or physical obstacles that will make it harder for a criminal to get into your home. Having a solid home exterior with appropriate barriers should be the foundation that the rest of your home security system is built upon. It doesn't matter how great your alarm system is if a criminal can simply kick in a weak exterior door to get into your home. Now, this doesn't mean you have to fortify your home to the point that it looks like a prison. But what you do have to do is to take steps to make your home so challenging to break into that it's not worth the effort. The following are all things you should do to your home if you are concerned about home security.
1. Make sure that all exterior doors are solid core doors that are mounted properly and in good condition.
2. Install security doors on all exterior doors. Exterior doors are an additional barrier at the main entry point to a home which makes them a must for home security.
3. Make sure that all exterior doors and security doors have solid deadbolt locks in them. If you are relying upon a doorknob to keep your door secure then you are making a major mistake.
4. Use a security bar to reinforce your exterior doors when you go to bed at night.
5. Install clear security film over all of your windows. Security film holds glass together so that when someone tries to break a window it is much more difficult to get through all of the glass.
6. Use landscaping to your advantage. Windows are the most vulnerable entry point into a home, so make sure that you plant thorny bushes, cactus, or some other type of plant that nobody wants to touch under your windows. You also need to make sure that you keep any plants in your yard trimmed so that they don't obscure your doors and windows. The last thing you want is to have a window blocked by a tree giving a criminal a way in where they won't risk being seen.
7. Use exterior motion sensor lights. Criminals don't want to be caught so if a porch light turns on as they are trying to sneak across your yard at night there's a good chance they will turn around and head the other way.
A Home Alarm System Is A Must If You Are Serious About Home Security
Having a home that has exterior barriers that are in good condition is must when it comes to home security, but that alone isn't enough. The point here comes back to the fact that you need multiple layers of protection to keep your home safe. You need an alarm system so that in the unlikely event that someone breaks through a door there is that all important second layer of protection, an alarm that will alert you and the authorities as to their presence. There are a lot of different things to consider when you are looking at alarm systems; the following are different features and options that you should look into before making a final decision.
Should You Get An Alarm System That Is Centrally Monitored?
Whether you should get a home alarm system that is centrally monitored or not is one of the most common questions that people have when making home security decisions. There are certainly advantages to having an alarm system that is centrally monitored, but those advantages also come with a higher cost in the form of a monthly monitoring fee. The biggest benefit of a centrally monitored alarm system is that you don't have to worry about keeping an eye on things when you aren't home because the security company will do that for you. If you want to be able to monitor your home yourself when you aren't there then there are alarm systems that will link up to your smartphone giving you alerts and even video of what is going on when you aren't there. At the most basic level, you can even use an alarm that uses a simple siren with no monitoring at all. While this isn't your best choice, it is the least expensive, and it's also far better than not having anything at all.
What Types Of Features Should You Look For In A Home Alarm?
Whether you choose a centrally monitored alarm system or one you monitor yourself, there are many different types of features you will have to look at. The only way to know if a security feature is right for you is to learn about it and see how it could possibly benefit you in your current situation. It's easy to feel a little overwhelmed when you are looking at some many different options, but it doesn't need to get to that point. The following are a list of security features and their benefits that you may want to consider when planning your home alarm system.
1. Door and window alarm sensors. These are the most basic type of alarm sensor that you will need and they are the cornerstone of any good home alarm system. They are simple to use and install, and they work when they detect that a door or window has been opened. They will typically alert the monitoring station in your home, which will then emit an audible beep to let you know that someone opened a door or window. You can also read the display on the alarm panel to tell you what is opened. Once you set your alarm system if a door or window is opened it will instead trigger a siren. If you have a centrally monitored alarm system then the monitoring company will attempt to contact you and will also send the authorities if necessary. Door and window sensors are an example of an exterior alarm.
2. Glass break sensors. Door and window sensor alarms only detect if the sensors are no longer in close proximity to each other. This works when someone opens a door or window, but if they simply break out the glass then climb through a window then the sensors will not be set off. That's where glass break sensors come into play. Glass sensors detect the unique frequency sound that breaking glass makes, then it sets off the alarm. Glass break sensors are another type of exterior alarm.
3. Motion sensors. Motion sensors are sensors that are installed inside of your home that detect motion. If a motion sensor picks up motion then it triggers an alarm. Motion sensors should only be used when you and your family are not home. Most alarm systems give you the option of setting your alarm system for being home or away. When you set it to home the motion sensors are not turned on. Motion sensors are an example of an interior alarm.
4. Cameras. Cameras are an integral part of any complete home alarm system for a number of reasons. First of all when a criminal sees cameras they realize that there is going to be video evidence of them committing a crime. Second a camera that is hooked up via an app to your smartphone will enable you to see what is going on in and around your house when you aren't there. So if you get an alarm on your phone you can login and quickly see what is going on.
5. Automatic door locks. Automatic door locks that link up to an app on your smart phone are a great feature that you should definitely consider adding to your home alarm system. Have you ever left the house and not remembered whether or not you locked the door? Well automatic door locks enable you to check to see if the doors to your home are locked, and it also allows you to remotely lock or unlock them as well.
6. A loud siren. For even the most basic home security system having a loud siren that goes off when a sensor is set off is a must. A loud siren will often frighten a criminal into leaving, and it may also alert your neighbors that something is going on. Most importantly a loud siren will wake you up so that you can deal with the threat. You and your family are never more vulnerable than you are when you are sleeping, by having a loud siren as part of your alarm you can make sure that a criminal never catches you by surprise again.
7. Automatic lighting. While not technically a security feature you can use automatic lighting on timers to make it appear as if you are home when you are not. While a criminal willing to observe your home for a long time before striking will figure out that your lighting is on a timer, the fact that they have to spend time confirming this means that they probably won't bother and will simply move on to the next potential victim.
8. One very important thing you can do when you are making decisions about your home security system is to make sure you have a sign from your alarm company that you can display in a prominent place. If you are spending money on an alarm system then you want to make sure that the bad guys know it. Remember that home security is all about deterring criminals and making sure that they know there is an alarm system is a great way to accomplish this.
Home Security Needs To Be A Priority For Everyone
Every day there are burglaries, home invasions, and other types of crimes that involve criminals breaking into your home to hurt you or your family or to take your possessions. The world is a violent place, and the unfortunate truth is that is not going to change anytime in the near future. That's why it's up to you to do whatever you can to make your home as secure as possible. If home security is not a priority for you then you may as well just leave the front door open and let the bad guys come walking right in. That means starting by having secure doors and windows, and also by using landscaping to your advantage as well. You should have security doors and security film on your windows. You also need to have an alarm system that will detect an intruder in the event that they make it through all of the barriers you have up to keep them out of your home. By having multiple layers of barriers and alarm sensors in your home you can make home security a priority and help to keep criminals away from you and your family.
If you are interested in finding out more about the individual home security companies we have detailed writeups on what we feel are the best home security companies.Last Updated 5/22/2017