Blog Post

Do-It-Yourself Home Safety

One of the most essential elements of owning a home is to keep it safe at all times. It’s easy to avoid thinking about how easily a burglar could gain access into your home when you are fast asleep or when you’re away. While it’s difficult to protect your home from professional thieves, most home burglaries are done by amateurs. These thieves are more easily thwarted if you employ some of these simple security precautions. Every home is at potential risk of a burglary or break in, especially if you make your home an easy target to thieves by neglecting a few security details. This is why it is very important to know a few home safety tips.

If installing a top of the line home security system will overstretch your budget, these are a few tips you can use to keep you and your family safe.


You want to keep your landscape in the best shape without creating spots for burglars to hide. Tall trees can provide perfect hideouts for burglars to hide. Keep the trees well-trimmed to avoid giving thugs a hideout . Also, avoid dense shrubs, plantings near windows and doors neat and hedges low.


Research has shown that a well-lit home has a lower likelihood of being broken into. So make sure your home is well lit with strategic outdoor lighting fixtures and motion detector spotlights. When you are out of town, make use of timers on interior lights to give the impression that you are home as usual. Digital and manual timers can be easily found at your local store.

Door stops

If your door has only a handle lock, you’re making things easy for someone who wants to break into your home. Install an additional layer of security by finding a local locksmith in your area and have him install additional deadbolts and strengthen every installation by using long, heavy duty screws. You can also add a door reinforcement plate to make the area around the lock more secure. A wide angle peep hole in your front door can also come in handy so you can easily see who is knocking. If you choose to install the lock yourself we recommend you order your hardware from a locksmith or specialized hardware store. To prevent Lock Bumping we recommend to avoid buying hardware from mega-stores like Home depot.

Internet & Social Media

Given the prevalence of the Internet and social media, ensure your children know to never give out personal information such as their home address over the Internet. Thieves and burglars will often use such information to target your children and or your belongings. Think before you post on social media: do you want burglars to see what you have, where you live (Google street view), and how-long you will be away on vacation? Use the internet and social media with care.

Weak windows

Windows, especially when left open and unattended, are often the weakest link in your home’s security. Be sure to close and lock all your windows before leaving your home even for the shortest period. You can add shades and window dressings to discourage prying eyes. Another option is to have security bars in ground-level windows, but ensure they are fitted with quick release mechanisms for easy opening from the inside in case of an emergency.

Self-service security systems

Affordable, high-technology home security systems incorporating remote controls, infrared motion detection and easy to install window and door break-in sensors are readily available in the market. Some systems even incorporate pet settings that prevent false alarms for people who have pets. They work by keeping detection just above the pet’s visual paths.


Invest some time to research and monitor the type and number of crimes in your neighborhood. Get information on the types of crimes, including homicide, sexual crimes and burglary. Such information can be particularly useful when tailoring your home security to protect you and your property against the types of crimes occurring in your local area.

Clean up

Check the area outside your home for hammers, screwdrivers and other tools that could be used to break a window or open a door. Easy access to such tools can encourage a criminal to try breaking into your home.

Keep your keys safe

Never hide your spare keys in a place just outside your home. Someone with the intention to break into your home may be watching and identify where you hide it. You should also be cautious about issuing spare keys. Although you may be careful about the person you give your spare, you can’t control the situations in which your key may be exposed to duplication.

More Tips:

  • Plan to “burglarize” yourself. You’ll discover any weaknesses in your security system that may have previously escaped your notice.
  • Lock up your home, even if you go out only for a short time. Many burglars just walk in through an unlocked door or window.
  • Change all the locks and tumblers when you move into a new house.
  • For the most effective alarm system, conceal all wiring. A professional burglar looks for places where he or she can disconnect the security system.
  • Your house should appear occupied at all times. Use timers to switch lights and radios on and off when you’re not at home.
  • If you have a faulty alarm that frequently goes off, get it fixed immediately and tell your neighbors that it’s been repaired. Many people ignore an alarm that goes off periodically.
  • A spring-latch lock is easy prey for burglars who are “loiding” experts. Loiding is the method of slipping a plastic credit card against the latch tongue to depress it and unlock the door. A deadbolt defies any such attack. It is only vulnerable when there is enough space between the door and its frame to allow an intruder to use power tools or a hacksaw.
  • If you lose your keys, change the locks immediately.
  • Before turning your house key over to a professional house cleaner for several hours, make sure the person is honest and reputable as well as hardworking. Check all references thoroughly. If the house cleaner is from a firm, call your local Better Business Bureau to check on the firm’s reputation.
  • Instead of keeping a spare key in a mailbox, under the doormat, or on a nail behind the garage, wrap the key in foil — or put it in a 35mm film can — and bury it where you can easily find it if you need it.
  • Don’t leave notes for service people or family members on the door. These act as a welcome mat for a burglar.
  • Talk to your neighbors about any suspicious people or strange cars you notice lurking about.
  • To keep your tools from being stolen, paint the handles. Thieves avoid items that are easy to identify.
  • Trees located near windows or shrubbery that might shield a burglar from view can be major flaws in your home-protection plan. Consider your landscaping plan in light of your protection needs.
  • Ask for credentials from any sales-person who requests entry to your home. Ask that their ID be pushed under the door. Many professional burglars use this cover to check out homes. If you’re doubtful, check with the person’s office before letting him or her in.
  • Do not list your full name on your mailbox or your entry in the telephone book. Use only your initial and your last name.
  • If someone comes to your door asking to use the phone to call a mechanic or the police, keep the door locked and make the call yourself.
  • Dogs are good deterrents to burglars. Even a small, noisy dog can be effective — burglars do not like to have attention drawn to their presence. Be aware, however, that trained guard dogs do not make good pets. Obedience training and attack training are entirely different, and only the former is appropriate for a house pet.