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There are a lot of effective ways to keep your home safe, secure, and free from intrusion, but those techniques are of little use if you don't consistently use them.
Technological solutions are well worth considering because they can be activated and monitored from almost any location.
Whether you're at a restaurant across town or comfortably lying in bed on a chilly night, the cost of a high-tech security system can be worth it, in terms of convenience, safety, and peace of mind.
If the cost or learning curve of using an automated home security system is outside your comfort zone, there are still plenty of simple and inexpensive techniques you can use to keep your family safe and sound. Regardless of the strategies you choose, it's better to err on the side of caution than to assume it'll never happen to you.
Change your locks: If you've just bought a new home or recently moved into one, having new locks installed on your doors is one of the cornerstones of a good home security plan. While some homeowners tend to be rather tight fisted when it comes to lending their house keys to friends, neighbors, housekeepers, and contractors, others tend to be quite liberal with the practice. Each time your house keys have been copied and passed along to people you don't know well (or at all), the overall security of your home has been compromised. If you're not sure which category the previous owner of your home fits into ("tight fisted" or "liberal"), then it would make sense to change the locks on all your doors. That way, you're eliminating the element of doubt and fortifying the secureness of your new home. It will also help you sleep better at night and increase the chances that only welcome guests will pass through your doors!
Get to know your neighbors: By maintaining friendly relations with your immediate neighbors -- especially those that live next door and directly across the street -- they will be more likely to contact you or the police if they see anything suspicious. If you happen to be chatting with neighbors and they mention that they're going away for the weekend or longer, they'll appreciate it if you promise to "keep an eye on their house" while they're gone. Hopefully, they'll return the favor when you're away for the day or out of town for longer. It's a good feeling when neighbors are looking out for neighbors, but -- as is the case with all relationships -- it does require some maintenance. More often than not, however, it's worth it!
We all want our homes to be secure, but do we really take the steps that are necessary to make security a priority in our homes? Between home security and neighborhood security, you’ll want to do whatever you can to keep both your home and your neighborhood safe. Below, you’ll find some tips to help you select and maintain a safe home an neighborhood. From the moment you move into a new home, you should have your eyes peeled for ways to make your home and neighborhood a safer place to live. Some often overlooked parts of home security are:
- Door locks
- alarm systems
- Smoke detectors
- Neighborhood visibility
- Window locks
- Home entrances and exits
Make Safety A Part Of Your Search Criteria
If you do research before you even buy a home, you can avoid living in an area where you will regret moving to. There are plenty of online resources to help you see where crime is prevalent as opposed to where safer neighborhoods are. Doing this research can be extremely valuable to your home search. Some search engines even provide a certain amount of data that’s available by street as to when and where incidents have happened. Although you may not want to get that detailed, you can use the data you find to help you in your home search. A neighborhood with a large number of incidents may not be where you want to start your home search.
Find The Holes In Your Home’s Security
Once you close on a home, one of the first things that you should do is asses the security inside the home. This means changing the locks, checking the windows, looking for entrances such as a basement door, and more. Check the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors as well. This can really help to ensure that your new space is safe in a few simple steps. To get more heavily into security, install a security system. You can get a system that’s professionally monitored or a simple home alarm to ward off thieves.
Get To Know The Neighbors
If you take the time to get to know your neighbors, your neighborhood is more likely to be secure. If you are acquainted with the people next door, they’re apt to keep an eye out on your property and vice versa. You may even want to get involved or begin a neighborhood watch program to help keep the neighborhood safe.
The key to home and neighborhood security is vigilance. The more observant you are, the better chances you have of preventing crime from striking your area.
Monitored or unmonitoredOne way of dividing up security systems is monitored and unmonitored. Monitored systems depend on landline, cellular, or broadband connection to communicate with the security provider who will call your home and alert authorities in case of a break-in. Unmonitored systems, on the other hand, rely only on alarms such as sirens and flashing lights. Monitored systems that are connected via landline have the disadvantage of being cut or by losing connections due to power outages. Cellular-based systems (a.k.a. wireless monitoring) have the advantage of staying up even if your telephone line is cut. One disadvantage of monitored systems is that they often come with monitoring fees. The disadvantage of unmonitored systems is that it relies on your neighbors to call the police in case of an emergency. The problem with this is that not all neighbors are going to go see if everything is okay until it's potentially too late.
Contracts and InstallationDepending on whether you rent or own your house and how long you plan to stay in your house, you'll want to read over contracts before signing away. If you plan on moving or are only leasing your apartment, it might be a better option to buy a system outright that you can set up yourself at your next home. Systems that rely on technicians for installs may charge you fees for having to relocate or uninstall your system.
Added featuresHome security and home automation are two separate industries that have become one due to similarities in the way they function. Many home security companies now offer automation technologies that allow you to control various items in your home remotely. If you can't remember if you locked your door or if you need to unlock it for a house guest, there's no need to leave work--just hit a button on your smart phone to unlock the door. Other systems even allow you to answer your doorbell remotely from your smartphone in the same way that you would have a conversation on your phone. If you are paranoid about checking up on your house, you could go with a system that allows you to view your security cameras live feed right from your phone or computer. Now that you know the basics of home security systems, go check out some of the top rated providers and compare prices. You'll soon be on your way to making your home an even safer place for you and your family.
A vacation is a time to rest, relax, and stop worrying about all of the things you have to do around the house on a day-to-day basis. However, it’s hard to relax if you spend the whole vacation worrying about your home.
Home intruders prey on people who are clearly away from their home. It’s much easier to plan a break-in from a house you know is empty for an extended period of time than trying to figure out when someone won’t be home.
There are a number of ways to improve your home security to ensure your home and belongings are safe while you’re on vacation. In this article, we’ll provide you with a list so that you can relax and enjoy your time away from home.
1. Ask a favor from the neighbor
Being friendly with the neighbors has a lot of benefits. You can borrow their tools or ask for a hand moving something. When you go on vacation, ask your neighbors to bring in your mail for you. An overflowing mailbox is a clear sign that you’re away from home.
Make sure your neighbor has your cell phone number so they call you if anything seems out of place--like if they notice a strange vehicle in your driveway.
2. Get a house-sitter
If you have a relative in the area, maybe a niece or nephew, ask them to stay at your home while you’re away. If they live with mom and dad, they’ll probably be thrilled at the chance to have their own place for the weekend.
As an added bonus, they’ll be able to feed your pets, water your lawn, and take out the trash for you while you’re away.
3. Don’t advertise that you’re away
Most people these days have grown comfortable posting their whereabouts on social media. However, doing so when you’re away is an easy way to tip off would-be burglars that your house might be empty for a week or more.
4. Buy a cheap security system
You can find dozens of security cameras for under $60 on Amazon. When asked, 60% of burglars said the presence of a security system made them decide to move on to another home.
Complement this with a sticker that says you have a security system in place. It could be the one-dollar sticker that makes a would-be burglar decide to leave your house without breaking in.
5. Remove spare keys
Many people leave spare keys in obvious places because it’s easy to describe to people who might need to get in. However, if it’s easy for welcome guests to find it’s also easy for unwelcome guests.
6. Double check doors and windows
When making your to-do list for vacation, be sure to include double checking the locks on your doors, windows, and garage. Almost 30% of burglaries occur when someone enters through an unlocked door or window.
This also applies to any vehicles that you might be leaving in your driveway during your vacation. Remove valuables from the vehicle and place them inside your home in a safe place.