Home security is one of those things most people don’t know much about and because of that, they often hire a company to install a system for them. However, this often includes signing a long-term contract and paying multiple fees for months on end to keep everything running. This does not include the cost and time of having professionals come to your home to install all the hardware you will need. Even once everything is set up, the systems themselves can be very inflexible with false alarms being common occurrences. With these drawbacks in mind, it’s important to consider the alternative security options for your home. Below are just a few of the many steps you can personally take to make your home more secure.
What’s in the Box?
A lot of homes that get robbed didn’t need to be broken into because the thieves found a key in the mailbox or under the doormat. It’s fine to plant a key somewhere outside the home but consider hiding it in a lockbox for security purposes.
Alarm Monitoring Signs
If you have your home monitored by an alarm system, be sure to post signs around your property and windows to let unwanted visitors know that the home is under surveillance.
Believe it or not, it doesn’t always matter if your surveillance device is working just as long as it’s visible. Burglars are constantly worried that they’re being watched so all that matters is that they think the cameras are real. You can actually find fake surveillance cameras at home centers and online stores. It’s best to mount them near your home’s vulnerable doors and windows, but if they have flashing lights, don’t activate them. Real security cameras don’t have lights.
Most burglars operate by scouting neighborhoods in search of unoccupied homes whose inhabitants have been gone for several days. It’s a good idea to use automatic timers that will turn on lights at the right times so that it always looks like someone’s inside. The trick is to be sure to rotate the lights to turn on at different days and times, since it would be pretty obvious if a certain lamp turned on at the same time each day. Motion-activated lights around the perimeter of your home aren’t a bad idea either.
Burglars often look for exposed wires on the outside of homes and disconnect them in order to disable security devices. If you have exterior wires that run outside your doors, conceal them as much as possible by taping them down to the walls or painting over the wires to make them less visible.
Put deadbolts on all your exterior doors because they’re stronger than spring latch locks and provide much more protection. When installing them, make sure to leave as small a space as possible between the door and its frame to prevent intruders from prying open the gap between them.
Interior Hinges & Metal Bars
Hinge pins can actually be removed if their hinges are on the outside of the door, so it’s a good idea to reset hinges to the inside of the home. And for those who have sliding doors, it’s smart to install metal bars behind them, which will prevent burglars from getting through them if they smash the glass.
Available at home centers and online, wireless alarms are extremely easy to use and emit a screeching sound upon detecting the forced movement or broken glass of a door or window. If you decide to set up an active monitored alarm in your home, be sure to check with your city to see if you need an alarm permit. Without one, the first responders may not be notified of the alarm.
For double-hung windows, these are an extra measure that are much harder to penetrate than the standard issue factory latches. At $2 per pin, these are not only cheap but can also be installed in a matter of minutes. Drill a hole for the pin that locks the window closed and then a second one a few inches up for the pin that locks the window open.
There are also more advanced devices, referred to as plug-and-play that are smartphone compatible, mobile and equally useful in any domicile. Below are some examples but if you’re interested in finding more, check out this website.
An all-in-one security system, this device boasts a wide variety of features including Wi-Fi, a night vision camera and motion sensors along with learning technology that adapts to your habits.
While there are a lot of cameras that allow you to view your home remotely, few are as simple to install as this one. All you have to do is plug the Dropcam into your computer with a USB cord and download the free Dropcam app to your phone. Then you’ll be able to monitor the camera’s feed remotely.
A budget-friendly device, it includes motion sensors, panic sirens, keychain remotes and contact sensors for doors and windows. There’s also the option of an additional camera for $149 that automatically takes pictures during a break-in.
Oplink TripleShield Security
In a similar vein as the iSmartAlarm, this device boasts open/closed contact sensors, a motion detector and a smartphone app. It also includes two wireless high-quality cameras that are extremely easy to use and will automatically record 30 seconds of video whenever the alarm is triggered.
For those craving a simpler option, the Korner solely consists of one-piece entry sensors. Just stick each one in the corner of an opening in your home and plug a flash drive-sized dongle into your router. If anyone tries to break in through those entrances, the router dongle will emit a piercing wail and you’ll receive an alert on your phone.
What preventive measures do you take to keep your home safe? Are you as impressed as we are at all the various home monitoring options there are on the market these days? Share your thoughts below.