11 ways to make your property more secure
- Do not open the door to uninvited visitors.
- Close and lock the garage door.
- Use your alarm system all the time, even when you take a quick trip to the store or visit next-door neighbors.
Choose a coming weekend and go over these 11 steps—which vary from low-effort, no-cost tasks to more-involved, pricier plans—to improve your property’s security.
1. Be smart with your keys and garage door remotes.
Don’t leave car and house keys and remotes near the door or otherwise visible inside your house. Secure them inside a cupboard or a drawer to keep them hidden.
2. Add warning signs
Place security company lawn sign or window stickers near all entryways of your property. Also, post a few “Beware of Dog” signs in visible spots, say at the front of the house or on a gate to the backyard.
3. Lock up the ladder
Don’t store a ladder outside. A burglar, perhaps posing as a laborer or contractor, could use it to gain access to a second-floor window or balcony.
4. Light up the outside
If you don’t have them already, install outdoor lighting with infrared motion sensors and install one near each point of entry. Replace any burned-out light bulbs and put your porch lights on timers. Find the best bulbs for outdoor uses.
5. Install timers
When you leave for work or errands or go on vacation, you can create a “someone’s home” look using timers on lights and TVs. The fake television, for example, simulates the flickering lights of television, and from outside, it appears that somebody is watching TV.
6. Protect air conditioning units
Unprotected window air conditioners could provide an easy entry point for a burglar. Use an air conditioner support, sliding window lock, or corner braces.
7. Eliminate hiding spots
If your shrubs are too tall, bushy, or not well spaced, you’re providing a nice hiding spot for a potential thief.
8. Check windows
Are the window locks functioning? If not, get them fixed or replace them. Also consider aftermarket window locks, which let you open the window a few inches while still keeping it secure. Another alternative is to use inexpensive window break alarms.
9. Evaluate doors
Okay, so you’re probably not going to be able to install new doors by yourself over a weekend. But you can inspect your front, side, and back doors. Replace hollow doors with solid-core (solid wood or metal) or metal-clad doors.
Sliding-glass doors have a lock to close them but are often an easy point of entry for burglars. To make one more secure, place a wood pole cut to size or an adjustable safety bar available at any hardware store, or consider adding a floor bolt.
10. Call a security expert
Many local security companies offer complimentary home inspections. A security expert walks through your property and recommends simple, cost-effective changes to tighten security.
11. Replace weak locks
Locks are the weakest point on a door. Make sure you have a grade 1 or grade 2 deadbolt lock that penetrates the door frame. The strike plate—the stationary piece that the bolt enters—must be heavy duty, made of solid metal or brass, with six three-inch-long screws that penetrate the door jamb and the door frame.