A home invasion can be devastating. Even if you’re not at home when it happens, you feel violated and vulnerable. You wonder if it will ever be safe to sleep at night, especially if the criminal is still out there.
Keeping your home safe means being diligent and it means being smart. Simply installing a home security system will help, but it won’t guarantee your safety or the safety of your family. You need to perform a security audit in order to detect and address any vulnerabilities in your home.
If you want your home to be truly secure, follow these steps:
- Try to view your home through a criminal’s eyes. Realize that most home invasions are crimes of opportunity. A burglar is going to decide within about five minutes whether your house is a good target or not. That means you need to take a hard look at the things he’s going to be looking at.
- View your home’s security in layers. There are three layers to home security: external, internal, and personal. Look at every aspect of how your home and yard are set up, and consider how your daily routines work. Consider implementing an emergency plan with your family in the event a home invasion happens while you’re at home.
- Look at your home at night. At heart, home invaders are cowards. They don’t want to be seen. Walk out to the street and look toward your house. Are all of the window and door areas well-lit? If not, consider motion-sensitive flood lights for those dark areas.
- Examine each entry point closely. A good burglar can pick a standard lock in less than a minute. If the burglar is sure no one is home, he can break a window and have it open in the same amount of time. Figure out what the most vulnerable entry points to your home are.
- Secure vulnerable entry points. Ground floor windows would benefit from glass break sensors. Exterior doors would benefit from deadbolt locks. If a burglar doesn’t see deadbolts, for example, he’s much more likely to simply try the front door.
- Identify and remove enticements. Home invasions happen for a reason. In most cases, that reason is theft. A burglar wants to be confident that your house is worth the trouble, however. If you leave expensive jewelry sitting on a nightstand in view of a window, or leave the box to your new 72-inch TV out at the curb, you’re inviting trouble.
- Give home invaders a reason to think twice. Look around your home and yard. Is there anything to indicate that a home invader would be in danger? Things like security yard signs, the presence of security cameras, or even a large dog bowl sitting on the front porch can all act as psychological deterrents to home invasion.
Don’t leave your home’s security to chance. Evaluate your home’s vulnerabilities, and use high-quality home security systems and smart home security tactics to overcome those vulnerabilities.
Madison Parker is a home security expert whose advice is sought after by friends and strangers alike – Read more of her work at the blog Home Security Systems!