In America, burglars hit a home every 15 seconds. There were over 5.08 million reported cases of larceny-theft in 2019. Other property crimes include motor vehicle theft and arson. You don’t want to take a chance when it comes to home security, yet almost half (46.8%) of people surveyed do not have a home security system installed. If you are one of them, here are 8 simple ways for you to ramp up home security without spending a fortune.
1) Do a home security audit
Walk around the outer perimeter and the constructed area of your home. Think like a criminal. How would you go about breaking into your own house? Does the front door seem like an easy target, because 81% of robberies start at the first door? Is the backdoor properly secured, because 22% of burglars come through the backdoor? Where would you like to install the cameras and motion sensors? Make a list of the equipment you’ll need and find out how much it would cost.
2) Invest in a home security system
A modern home security system typically consists of cameras, storage, alarms, and management software. Depending on your needs and budget, you can add smart locks, video entry intercom, and smart home components such as programmable lights and a smart-home hub. There are several home security systems available that you can install and start using yourself without needing a technician. The better ones include Adobe iota, SimpliSafe, Wyze, Ring, and Blue by ADT. Most of them offer professional monitoring for a recurring monthly fee. Installing a home security system will cost you anywhere between $200 and $600 upfront and up to $50 per month for monitoring, not a big price to pay for complete peace of mind as far as security is concerned.
3) Get a video doorbell
Strategy Analytics estimated in 2019 that 16% of U.S. households, more than 20 million homes, used video doorbells. The simple gadget is a foolproof way to visually confirm the identity of the person at the door and to record the call and the entry event. Top brands in the video doorbell space include Amazon Ring, Google Nest, DoorBird, Remo, Vivint, August, SkyBell, Remo, and SimpliSafe. These doorbells connect with your WiFi and can route the call to your smartphone if you’re not home.
4) Use a smart in-wall timer for your lights
Potential intruders can tell when you’re not home by observing changes in lighting routine. A smart light timer switch adds more security and convenience to your home. According to an NYT review, some of the leading in-wall timers include TP-Link Kasa, Monoprice Stitch, GE Enbrighten, and Lutron Caseta. These timers can connect to smart-home hubs including those from Google, Amazon, SmartThings, Ring, and other providers. You can control them directly through your mobile.
5) Use smart locks for doors
Traditional locks are easy to pick. There are websites dedicated to the art of lock picking. Smart locks provide a more secure alternative to metallic keys, which can be duplicated or stolen by criminals. You can open these modern smart locks from anywhere using your smartphone. You can send out virtual keys to your family, friends and visitors and receive alerts on your phone whenever the door is unlocked. You can even integrate them with your smart-home assistant and unlock them using voice commands. Some of the best smart lock brands include Schlage, Yale, August, Nest and Danalock.
6) Don’t forget your garage – make sure it’s secured
Vehicle equipment theft is one of the most common property crimes in America. Besides, 9% of burglars gain access through the garage door. Installing an automatic garage door opener is the first thing to do, because it will ensure the garage door is never left unlocked. Install a video camera that covers the garage to thwart illegal entry.
7) Indicate you have a dog – or fake it
A panel of former burglars disclosed that thieves are deterred by barking dogs. Most of the property criminals are just wanderers looking to take advantage of an easy entry and would avoid getting into trouble. Even if you don’t own a dog, you can post a warning sign at a prominent location to fool casual criminals into picking another property for their adventure.
8) Set up motion detector flood lights outside
Most thieves are likely to abandon their larceny attempt if a light suddenly turns on or an alarm goes off. Motion detector switches can be lifesavers. You can connect them to floodlights and alarms, even to a speaker playing barking dog audio.
Besides causing financial loss, a property crime can leave you and your family feeling insecure and distressed. The good news is that the actual crime rates in the U.S. have decreased significantly over the last 20 years, although people believe crime is up. Beefing up passive security is the first and the most effective step for preventing thefts, burglaries, and other property crimes, and to turn your home into a protected and peaceful living space.