What Can I Do? 15 Security Tips for Homeowners

small combination lock and house-shaped keyring against green background

Thanks to the internet, you can learn how to repair or replace many basic home installations or appliances safely and efficiently. Do-it-yourself (DIY) homeowners are also interested in protecting their homes and families.

Here are 15 low-tech tips for home security* you can do yourself.

15 DIY Security Tips for Homeowners

So many people don’t think about home security until it’s too late; until after someone has broken into their home. Susan Phillips

Implement these low-tech tips for DIY home security:

  1. Ask questions – Ask police about recent break-ins within 5 miles of your property.
  2. Be neighborly in your neighborhood – We once distanced ourselves from our neighbors, but that is changing. Introduce yourself to your neighbors. Tell them you’re available to watchdog if they are out of town and ask them to “keep an eye out” for suspicious behavior on your property. Let them know when you’ll be out of town and provide them with contact information (including local police phone numbers).
  3. Be neighborly online – Join online groups like Nextdoor™. Does your neighborhood have a Facebook group? Check the page frequently. Some police departments have text alerts or real-time online groups.
  4. Create a safety routine – Lock all windows and doors and activate alarms at the same time every evening.
  5. Get a dog – Dogs are natural crime deterrents! You don’t need a trained-to-kill breed of dog. A small dog makes a lot of noise when anyone approaches your home. And you’ll have a loving live-in furry friend. It’s a win-win.
  6. Hide keys with creativity – Thieves know about fake rocks and under-the-doormat/in-the-planter spare housekeys. But they probably won’t look inside your barbecue grill.
  7. If it’s valuable, put it away – Bicycles and even plastic toys are stolen frequently. Your fishing gear and lawnmowers, etc. are also targets for thieves.
  8. Let there be light – Illuminating your yard can be attractive. It’s also a great nighttime trespasser deterrent. Consider putting front and back lights on timers outside and select one or more indoor rooms to auto-light evenings.
  9. Look before you leap – You shouldn’t need to open your door to see who’s there. If you have an outside alarm panel, position it so the keypad isn’t visible from the street. Doorbell surveillance has become more affordable, so consider one of the approved security systems in your area.
  10. Pause deliveries – If you can pause mail delivery and put a hold on your newspaper account when you are away, do so.
  11. Position pin locks – Any window that can be opened from the outside is a liability, as are sliding doors. Pin locks can make outside access more difficult, if not impossible.
  12. Reinforce doors – Exterior doors have vulnerabilities: hinges, the deadbolt and the site where the deadbolt connects with the frame. Door reinforcement kits like Armor MAX can help.
  13. Secure landscaping – Take a tour of your lawn and gardens, front, sides, and back. Do you have bushes or shrubbery large enough to hide a trespasser? Consider illuminating them with ground lights. Trim back any plant growth that touches your home. Consider planting thorny bushes near windows.
  14. Sink porch pirates – If you’re not home, you can use an alert system that a package has been delivered. Ask a neighbor to retrieve your package. Even better, re-route deliveries to another address while you’re away.
  15. Use social media cautiously – “We’re going to Paris!” Avoid posting particulars about when you’ll be out of town. And when you’re out of town, don’t post vacation photos until you’ve returned home.

Over 1 million home burglaries occur in the United States every year. And fewer than 25% of U.S. homeowners have any kind of home security system. No matter where you live, you are at risk for home burglary, so managing security is smart.
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*This content is for informational use only. We do not recommend nor endorse any product or brand mentioned.

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