Home Security: Basics of Protecting Your Home From Crime

by : Susan-Jane Frank

It can be a nightmare scenario. You return to your home only to find it to be in shambles with most of your home's valuable gone. You feel violated and sick to your stomach. But it does not have to be that way. Preventing a burglar from breaking into your home and making off with your things can be done simply by practicing and implementing a well-thought-out plan. While there is no security system that is one hundred percent effective against a determined thief, this guide can help dissuade the amateur criminal which is the most frequent offender.

The first step in any home security planning is to survey your property inside and out to look for security risks that are obvious or stand-out. For instance, are there any open or unlocked windows that are easily accessible from the ground? When you are away make sure all doors and windows are closed and locked.

Are your valuables or high ticket items easily visible from the street? Computers, digital cameras, hi-def televisions, cash and jewelry are always hot on the list of stolen items. Avoid having these items too close to windows if possible and close your blinds or drapes when you leave the home. The old saying 'out of sight, out of mind' applies here.

Second, take a look at the surroundings of your home. Are there areas around your house, especially close to windows and doors, that are not easily visible from the street or by neighbours? Hidden areas on your property can allow burglars to take their time trying to gain access. These areas may need additional security measures on the windows and doors. Having a fenced yard will help to keep criminals from being able to casually scope-out all your homes potential entrances. Just remember, having a privacy fence is private for you but also for a thief as well. If you back door has a deadbolt then use it.

Is your neighbourhood at a higher risk of being burglarized? Homes that back onto ravines or woodlands, are close to subway stations, or are on corners tend to be bigger targets as they provide easier escape routes for thieves. This does not mean that you should avoid buying these types of properties, but just that you need to be aware and take extra precautions.

If you have just moved into a new home, take the time to walk the neighbourhood and make a habit of it. This will allow you to not only get to know your neighbours but also start to recognize the faces of the people in your area. If someone does not belong in your community you will be able to spot them more easily. It might even be an opportunity to organize a neighbourhood watch.

Making a checklists of all of the things you need to do to make your home more secure will help and ensure that you do not overlook any important details. You can also speak to your local police department. They will usually have a list of tips for you and provide you with information on specific things to watch out for in your community.

Securing your home will not only help protect your home but also your family. By following a few simple measures you can make your home less appealing to thieves and less likely that you will become a victim of burglary.