Your home is your happy place, your palace, and should be your safe haven, too. But do you have the right devices and mechanisms in place to help protect your larger home and family? We delve into a list of nine home security tips to help you find gaps or areas for enhancing your home’s protection and offer provider recommendations to consider.
9 Ways to Secure a Larger Home
Create a checklist of the home areas you want to secure.
This is an important first step. Note all entryways and windows you can secure, such as a back door, garage, or patio doors. You can use door and window sensors to help secure those parameters. That way, anytime a door or window is opened, your security system can send out a chime or alert.
When it comes to securing windows, you should prioritize the easily accessible ones. Typically, this means adding sensors to the first floor and working your way up from there. Criminals looking to burglarize are often after a quick grab-and-go. Securing ground floor windows and doors could be enough to deter them from aiming higher.
Account for any unique challenges your home or living situation may present.
Are people outside of your family, like babysitters, dog walkers, or service professionals, accessing your home daily? This presents a unique challenge to take into account. Certain individuals may need to access your home. To do that, they’ll need to be able to arm and disarm your security system.
Also, consider the location you live in — is your home in an area prone to natural disasters or power outages? Do you have a pool? You may want to invest in home environmental monitoring devices like water leak sensors. Plus, it’s important to ensure your security system has a battery backup in the event of an outage. You can also consider installing an outdoor sensor or alarm to alert you if someone or something has entered the vicinity of your pool.
Pick between professional and DIY installation.
Do you want a professional to set up your home security system or are you confident in setting it up yourself? While DIY may be the way to go for smaller security systems, we recommend anyone with a larger home consult a professional. Leaning on the experts will ensure your sensors are placed in a location where they can effectively communicate with other panels or hubs. For large homes, DIY installation can be a headache to install and test properly.
Choose professional or self-monitoring.
Just like installation, you have the choice between professional monitoring and doing it yourself. And again, we recommend anyone with a larger home leave it to the experts. With an extra set of professional eyes, you’re less likely to miss notifications. Plus, self-monitoring means you’re responsible for contacting the police when an alarm goes off. While the decision is entirely up to personal preference, using professional monitoring provides an extra layer of protection.
Think about adding security cameras.
Adding security cameras is highly recommended if you want to combine intrusion detection with video surveillance. We recommend starting outside with a video doorbell and outdoor cameras covering the perimeter of your home. Indoor cameras can also be helpful if you have people outside your family coming and going. Placing security cameras inside your home can provide an extra set of eyes and even a way to communicate from afar. .
Consider adding smart lights.
Smart lights provide an extra layer of security through the help of automation. We recommend adding smart lights with a timer feature, so you can program your lights to turn on and off automatically.You can also set up routines if your lights are compatible with smart assistants, like Alexa and Google Assistant. The key is to vary your routines — or at least make it look like you are — so that criminals are less likely to guess when you’re not home. On top of the added security, smart lights can bring a bit of convenience to large homes, especially if you don’t like returning to a dark house..
Look to other smart home devices to help secure your home.
Garage door openers and smart locks are two solid choices if you’re looking to complete your smart home security package. Look for a wifi-compatible garage door opener to control your garage from anywhere. Do you have kids coming home from school while you’re at work? Use outdoor security cameras or a video doorbell to be alerted when they arrive, then open the garage door remotely. Plus, smart locks give you the option of going keyless, providing household members (or friends) with personalized codes to enter instead of separate keys. If you still value keys, look for smart locks that allow for both key and keyless methods.
Try to eliminate hiding places for criminals.
Make it harder for criminals to hide by ensuring your landscaping is up to par. Keep hedges trimmed back, limbs from shading areas of the home, and the grass from overgrowing. You should also consider adding lights to areas that are potential places to hide, such as near shrubs and areas with many trees. Another way to make your landscape an added security measure is to consider thorny shrubs or plants near your windows and fences to deter criminals.
Ensure your home internet is secure.
Last but not least, ensure your home’s internet network is secure. Have you changed the default password on your router? Are you using a unique and complex password? Have you considered using a VPN for enhanced internet security? While a physical security system can help, hackers may be able to adjust settings on your security system or hack into your camera feeds if they can easily access your home wifi.
- Best Home Security for Industry Experience
Our Take on ADT Home Security
ADT’s a well-recognized name in the home security industry. It offers traditional security that requires professional installation and monitoring at a steep price.
★ Recommended Plan
- 6-month money-back guarantee
- $500 theft protection guarantee
- High-quality equipment
- Must pay for an extended warranty
- Lengthy contracts
- More expensive than competitors
- Best Smart Home Security
Our Take on Vivint Home Security
Vivint has an extensive line of smart security equipment that you can expand over time. The downside is that you’ll have a long-term contract if you finance your equipment.
★ Recommended Plan
Vivint’s Smart Home Service is our recommended plan because it unlocks a larger selection of smart home devices, as well as video monitoring.
- Month-to-month contract option if equipment is purchased upfront
- Backup battery included with the Sky Control panel
- Extensive equipment features, including Vivint Car Guard
- Long contract if equipment is financed
- Installation can take 3-4 hours
- Short (120-day) equipment warranty and service guarantee (unless you purchase Premium)
- Best Overall DIY Security System
SimpliSafe Home SecurityOur rating9.9Starting at$14.99/mo
Our take on SimpliSafe Home Security:
SimpliSafe is our top pick for inexpensive monitoring, durable equipment and reliable services that simplify home security. You’ll have all the right devices and features to give you peace of mind — even when the unexpected happens.
★ Recommended package: Barrington
- Inexpensive professional monitoring
- Wireless equipment
- Cellular monitoring
- Mobile alerts not available in the basic monitoring plan
- No selection of smart home devices
- Smart home capabilities not available in the basic monitoring plan