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October 6, 2015

Five Simple Tips for Tightening Up Your Home Security

Image courtesy of (Stuart Miles) /

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), there were more than 2.1 million burglaries in the United States in 2012. On average, each burglary victim was relieved of $2,230 worth of goods and 74.7 percent of all burglaries are in residential home. If you’d like to protect your home and family from a break-in, there are several steps you can take to increase your home security.

Pare Back Plantings and Trees
Criminals don’t like to do their work out in the open and will use overgrown plantings and trees to hide them from view. Ideally, entrances and windows should be visible. Trim back any plants that obscure the view of your home. If you would like to replace them, choose something dense and thorny. This is an especially useful trick for under windows. A criminal usually won’t climb through a muddle of thorns to break into a home and will, instead, move on to easier prey.

Consider Having an Alarm Installed
Alarm systems are no longer loud and complicated, nor do you have to worry about multiple false alarms and outrageous charges. Some like NorthStar Home Security, are even controlled by an app, and most companies also offer silent alarms. Choose a company who can guide you through setting up an alarm system that makes sense for your home and you specific needs.

Replace or Reinforce Easy-Entry Doors
Criminals love French doors because they can be childishly easy to break. The same can also be said for doors with normal glass within reach of the locking mechanism, as an intruder can simply break the glass, reach through, and let themselves in without hassle. Sliding glass doors, especially those on remote homes, are easily smashed with any available object. If your home has such doors, consider having them replaced with an attractive solid wood or even steel door. Some companies offer shatterproof or bulletproof glass at reasonable prices, if you don’t want to give up visibility or resort to a peep hole.

Look for Other Points of Entry

Intruders know that it’s easy to override the motor on a garage door opener using a car jack and some muscle. Some also pair with conspirators who can shimmy through a dog’s door. Even a generously sized parcel slot can give criminals enough space to enter your home. If your basement bulkhead door is secured only by a simple bike lock, bolt cutters are all a burglar needs. If you have small basement window that can be kicked out easily, consider installed glass block to deter intruders. Carefully walk around the outside of your house and look for easy ways in. Think outside the normal doors and windows and what you find may shock you.

Avoid Displays of Wealth
If you are the only house on the block with two brand-new, high-end SUVs out front, you may be inviting thieves. The same can be said for having an enormous flat-screen television within view of the living room window, or having ATVs or a boat in the driveway. While you should certainly not be ashamed of the items you’ve worked hard to acquire, you do want to keep them away from prying eyes. Use your garage to store your vehicles, or consider a privacy screen. Set your window dressings so anyone walking around outside cannot see inside your home.

Burglary is not only a financial blow, but your family and pets are also placed in danger if a stranger enters your home and is surprised by them. Tightening security works to deter thieves. If you want to avoid being burgled, these tips will help you make your home unattractive to criminals.


Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.