19 More Ways to Protect Your Home from Break-Ins

Updated: Mar 24

19: Mow the Lawn

The landscaping counterparts of uncollected mail are an overgrown grass and shaggy plants. They serve as a warning to burglars that your home is unattended, as well as a spot for them to hide on your property. To give the idea that you're at home, mow your lawn and trim tree branches and bushes before you leave, or hire a professional to do so.

20: Store Your Spare Safely

If you've been living under a rock, you could still believe it's safe to hide your spare key under a convenient rock, beneath a flowerpot on the front porch, or inside the mailbox. However, criminals have long ago discovered these not-so-secret hiding places, so you're better off leaving your key with a neighbor or stashing it in an outdoor lockbox.

21: Don’t Show Your Name

While placing your name on your house or mailbox could seem like a nice touch, criminals can seek up your phone number and call the residence to see whether you're there. They can also persuade neighbors that they know you, seek information about you, or even gain entry to your home if your neighbor has your spare key if they have your name. Keep your name, as well as the names of those in your household, off your mailbox.

22: Don’t Overshare

Sharing your vacation plans on social media alerts everyone in your network of hundreds of virtual acquaintances that your home is vacant, which is a big security risk. So, until you've returned home from your impending trip to Maui, keep quiet about it.

23: Take the Trash Out

Prowlers keep an eye out on trash pickup day for properties where the garbage truck skips—a telltale indicator that the owners weren't home to put out the trash. Ask a neighbor to put out your garbage cans (and bring them back in) while you're away to give would-be intruders the idea that you're home.

24: Don’t Leave Tools Out

The same equipment you use for gardening and DIY tasks can be used to break into your home or injure someone if they fall into the hands of an invader. Keep hammers, axes, pry bars, and ladders locked up in the garage or in a shed out of reach of criminals.

25: Use the Peephole

Some bold criminals may knock on your front door to see if anyone is home, and if you open it, they will try to lure you in by selling you a product or a captivating narrative. A easy and affordable technique to prevent questionable individuals is to put a peephole at eye level on your front door—or to install a doorbell camera.

26: Close Curtains and Blinds

If you regularly leave your curtains and blinds open, burglars are free to window-shop and pick out possessions they would like to pilfer. To keep your belongings safe and temptation at bay, draw curtains and close blinds when you're away.

27: Park Your Car in Plain View

Crooks will be hesitant to break into a house with a car sitting in the driveway since it is a sure sign that the owner is present. If you'll be gone for more than a day, park your car in the driveway, even if you have space in the garage. Be sure to remove the garage door opener and any other valuables before locking the car.

28: Fix Sliding Doors

Sliding glass doors are a weakness in the armor of your home. They're usually in the back of the house, where thieves can get in without being seen, and their locks are usually weak. The glass can also be smashed in. Install a security bar in the tracks or a pin lock through the frame to strengthen your sliding glass door. Consider adding a translucent safety film to the windows, which makes it nearly impossible for a burglar to smash them.

29: Be Careful Who You Hire

Many people are allowed into the lives of busy homeowners, as well as their homes. Housekeepers, contractors, and handymen come and go all the time, and while most are trustworthy, it's important to do your homework before employing anyone. Also, keep in mind that criminals can easily pass themselves off as one of these specialists, so don't be afraid to ask for identification when they arrive at your door. You want to make certain that the individual you're inviting into your home is genuine.

30: Be Neighborly

Every now and then, strike up a conversation or crack open a cold one with the Joneses. It's beneficial to get to know your neighbors, not only to establish community relationships, but also to keep an eye on each other's homes when one of you is gone for an extended period of time.

31: Use a Safe

If the worst happens and you suffer a break-in, you want your most valuable belongings to be out of reach. Small valuables such as jewelry, stock certificates, life insurance policies, and passports should be kept in a fireproof safe, which should be kept in a closet wall or under the bed, not in the garage, which is prone to break-ins.

32: Etch Your Name on Valuables

During a burglary, an intruder may frequently sell part or all of the stuff he steals for cash. If you carve your name on valuables, a burglar will be less likely to take them because they will be worth less when they are resold.

33: Shred Important Documents

During a break-in, identity theft is just as valid as property theft. Intruders can take and utilize personal data from sensitive papers like bank statements and credit card bills. Instead of keeping these papers on hand, destroy them. If you must keep them, file them away and put them out of sight.

34: Keep an Inventory

Make a full inventory of your home's big-ticket items, such as electronics, appliances, and furniture, on a regular basis. You can inspect the inventory in the event of a break-in and quickly identify what, if anything, was taken so you can file an accurate claim with your insurance company.

35: Use a TV Simulator

Turn on a TV simulator before you leave the house to fool would-be robbers into believing you're home. These devices use high-intensity light, color changes, and on-screen motion to give the impression that someone is at home watching TV—and keeping an eye out for intruders.

36: Show Your Street Number

Hanging a large, reflective address plaque or house number on your property does more than boost curb appeal. In the wake of a break-in, these easy-to-read signs help law enforcement or EMS personnel spot your home and attend to an emergency.

37: Install a Driveway Alarm

Installing sensors that sound harsh alarms when movement is detected is a surefire way to dissuade intruders on your property—or at the very least scare them away if they do trespass. Driveway alarms use a magnetic probe or an infrared beam to detect movement past your property boundary. Though this strategy may appear to be effective when stray deer or raccoons spend the night on your land, it will also bring attention to unwelcome humans.

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