Home security checklist: 9 ways to protect your home from burglars

Chris Monroe / CNET

Keeping your home and everything in it safe from intruders is a big concern for many homeowners. FBI data shows burglaries are surprisingly common – occurring in the United States about once every 30 seconds.

The good news is that break-ins are less and less common every year, and you can take more steps than ever to secure your home and deter potential intruders from breaking and entering. In addition, most of these measures are inexpensive. – or cost nothing at all.

Lock your doors and windows

Locking your windows and doors is the first and easiest defense against home intruders, but how many of us do it consistently? Burglars often look for easy targets, and an unlocked door or window is just that. Even at home, it’s good to keep them locked. And when you leave the house, check the doors and windows on the first floor to make sure they’re all secure.

Certain devices can also help you keep track of your entries: Door / window sensors can tell if a door or window has been left ajar, and smart locks can be programmed to automatically lock at certain times. Which brings us to our next tip.

Upgrade your door locks

Locking your doors and windows may not be enough if you don’t have high quality locks. First, make sure all exterior doors have a deadbolt, which makes it more difficult for intruders to break in. While you’re at it, make sure your door frames and hinges are strong enough to withstand an attempted break-in – old doors or exposed hinges can pose an unnecessary risk. Finally, as mentioned earlier, you can move on to smart locks, which you can use remotely.

Invest in a home security system

Install a home security system is one of the most effective ways to keep intruders out and alert you in the event of a break-in. First, the data shows that a home without a security system is about three times more likely to be burgled. If an intruder sees a security camera or a sign indicating that you have a security system, they will likely continue to move.


Home security systems are one of the best all-round defenses against potential burglars.

David Priest / CNET

A home security system can also alert you when someone has broken into your home. Security cameras will alert you if there is movement in your yard or on your porch, and door / window sensors will let you know if someone has entered your home. Depending on your security company, they may also alert law enforcement on your behalf.

Security systems don’t have to be expensive either. There are plenty of great DIY security systems, in addition to stand-alone devices, there you can settle on a budget.

Don’t leave your valuables on display

Some burglars can target potential targets in advance, making sure they reach homes where they can get their hands on valuables. Therefore, it is best to avoid keeping your expensive items where intruders can easily see them as they pass. For example, avoid leaving expensive tools or bikes in the open, and don’t leave expensive electronics, handbags, jewelry, etc. in front of the open windows.

Brighten up your outdoor space

Burglars don’t want to feel exposed when they enter a home, and exterior lights can help do just that. Since these crimes are often opportunities, outside lights can encourage the intruder to keep moving. Rather than keeping your outdoor lighting on all the time, consider investing in motion sensing lights that light up the yard when they sense movement. The light will catch an intruder off guard and potentially frighten them.

Secure your garage

People go to great lengths to secure their homes, but often forget about their garages altogether. Unfortunately, this can be an easy way to get into your home. First, make sure all regular garage doors and windows are locked. Next, consider keeping your garage door opener in the house rather than in your car where someone could steal it. Finally, you should also keep the interior door of your garage at your house locked. That way if someone walks into your garage, they still can’t get into your house.

As with door locks, buy a renovation smart garage door opener is an option: these devices allow you to check the status of your garage while you are away, to control it remotely and to schedule it to close at certain times.


Spare keys are a lifeline if you are left out of the house. But they can also make a burglar’s job a lot easier.

Tyler Lizenby / CNET

Rethink your hidden emergency key

If you have a key hidden under your doormat or flowerpot, now is the time to rethink it. Intruders know about these popular hiding places for spare keys, and these are the first places they go to look. If you must have a spare key outside your home, look for safer alternatives such as a concealed combination safe – or at least an inconspicuous place away from your door.

Makes someone feel like they’re home

Most burglars don’t want to enter your home when you are there. They prefer to find an empty house and get in and out as quickly as possible. Therefore, one of the best ways to prevent intruders is to make it look like someone is home at all times.

During the working day, this may include leaving an indoor light or the TV on. When you go away for a longer period, like a vacation, make sure a neighbor or family member collects your mail, as mail is building up can be a sign that the owner is gone for a while.

Smart lights can create an even more compelling effect: many can be programmed to turn on and off periodically to simulate a person returning home.

Keep your valuables in a safe

In a perfect world, intruders would never enter your home and so you would never have to worry about your valuables being stolen. Unfortunately, even the best-designed plans can go astray. And in case an intruder does enter your home, you want to make sure they can steal as little as possible.

First, consider purchasing a safe or safe where you can keep items such as money, jewelry, important documents, and other items that you wouldn’t want to have. thief takes away. When it comes to larger items like electronics, you can make them harder to steal by putting them in a hidden location when you’re not using them. Thieves want to get in and out of your home as quickly as possible, so even the smallest deterrent can help.

The bottom line

No one wants to be the victim of a home intrusion. Implementing the tips in this checklist will help deter and prevent burglars and protect your family and property. You can start small and choose just a few items from this list to focus on. Once you’ve saved them, you can move on to other checklist items. Every little improvement you make will ensure that your home is much safer.

About Justin Howze

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