Homes are built to be safe, but after years of proper wear and tear, your old house probably has a few faulty locks, ripped window screens, and obvious gaps and spaces. Robberies are more common than you think. In the United States alone, 2.5 million home-break-ins occur every year, which means that every 13 seconds, a burglar is opening a back door or climbing into an unlocked or open window.
Most robberies don’t even occur at night. Robberies occur most often in the late afternoon, so that the homeowners and any witnesses will be avoided. So, if you don’t want to stress out every time you leave your house unattended, these are the things you can do to ramp up your home’s security for no money whatsoever.
Lock the Doors
Obviously, right? Wrong. I just visited two friends recently. One of them has a huge house and was out with their family in the backyard. I rang the doorbell and they didn’t answer. So, I just let myself in. I jiggled the doorknob and I was inside as easy as that. When I asked them about it, they said that they leave the front door open all day and only lock it at night. Well, gosh I know an easy house to rob.
I have another friend who has a screened-in porch. She leaves the porch door unlocked while the door to the house stays locked. Which friend has a safer house? Well we both know that for friend #1, i’s any day now, but for friend #2, you might be surprised to hear that her home is also at risk. Your exterior doors should always remain locked. Let’s say you had a screened-in porch or an interior hallway that you left unlocked. A burglar is more likely to choose these kinds of places because if they can get into the first door easily, they have cover from neighbors while they find a way into the second.
Lock Your Windows
Obviously. Yeah, well again, I have friends who just don’t and I’m sure you do too. Lock your windows. Don’t leave them open when you leave the house. I know it’s tempting when there’s a nice breeze going, but just save it for when you get back home. Windows are actually the most common entry point for burglars, so doors aside, they’ll be crawling in through windows, especially if they’re on your first floor or subterranean. Just lock everything. Wooden dowels also make nice work of wedging those windows closed. You can use those for the screen doors as well, if you have one.
Get a Security System
Wait a minute! I said on a budget! I said for free! Before you revolt, hear me out. Homes with security systems are three times less likely to be broken into. Burglars, for smart reasons, are just less likely to target houses with security systems. Crazy, right? Want to get in on that action without paying a dime? Well, have I got a hack for you.
Now, it’s important to note that it’s a hundred times (Surprisingly not fact checked) better to have an actual working home security system, so if you can afford one, get one. If you’re hurting for cash, they have these wonderful stickers that say something along the line of “This home is protected by….” and then the name of the security company. They usually sell them with the systems so that you can let criminals know that this is the home burglary master quest level. Sometimes you can find these stickers online, ask for them from the company itself, or you’ll have a friend with extras or who just thinks that there’s no fun in owning a security system if you can’t catch a couple rats with them. Once you’ve gotten your stickers, slap one up on your back door and one on your front and voila, you’ve got a DIY home security system.
Is Your House at Risk?
The truth is that every house is at risk. And if you drive a Lamborghini, leave your doors unlocked, your first floor windows open and have a door mat that says “Welcome” in cursive, then you’re very much at risk.
Burglars target specific types of houses. This is their day job and they might just be more professional than you. Hard to tell. When criminals look at houses, they look for ease of entry, ease of exit, and a good amount of cover. You can make things harder for burglars by exposing your house a little more, making possible escape routes a little more closed off and keeping your house closed up as tight as possible. Burglars will move on past a home if it is taking too much work to get into. Unless it’s the Governor’s mansion, I’ve heard. From movies, mostly.
Be Nice to Your Neighbors
I know, it’s hard. You have to bring them cookies and their mail? That’s a lot of work, but if you can secure a friend, they’ll be invaluable. You guys can agree to watch each other’s homes, especially when the other is away on vacation and make the person’s house look lived in. That means picking up newspapers, gathering mail and packages, even parking your awesome Lamborghini in their driveway. And if they’re nice, they’ll keep an eye out for suspicious activity around your house and listen for that home alarm system that you don’t have.
Keeping your home secure is incredibly important, especially in the final warm months of the year. Remember to keep those doors locked, those windows closed, and try to outsmart the burglar before he’s even burgled you. With these awesome tricks, you and your family can stay safe from home intrusions.