Sofa? Check. Entertainment system? Check. Home security system….?
Moving can be an exciting (and exhausting) time in our lives. While our minds are often on the numerous items we’ve got to pack, unload, and situate in our new homes, we can easily forget about putting measures in place to protect our new home.
According to Reolink, 88% of burglaries happen in residential areas. And, surprisingly, more than half of “home burglaries happen between 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.” while people are working, at school, or participating in other activities. Burglars look for opportune times to take advantage of.
Let’s keep that from happening right? Whether you’re getting ready to move or are just getting settled in, here are some things you should do to strengthen your home security.
12 Home Security Tips for Movers
Check to see if your new home has an existing security system.
If you’re purchasing a previously owned home, check to see if there is an existing security system. In some cases, owners may leave behind a security system because they don’t want to take it with them, or they may be considering switching to another provider for their new home. Did you know that some providers offer cheaper professional monitoring for an existing system? Yep, and if your new place doesn’t have one, there are a number of home security providers and options you can consider, ranging from those that come with professional installation to those that you can set up yourself.
Install an indoor/outdoor security camera.
As a great follow-up to the security system, you should definitely consider purchasing a security camera so you can keep tabs on what’s happening in and around your home. Part of the good news is that security cameras also work as burglar deterrents, and you don’t need a complete closed circuit system to have what you need. You may, however, have to pay extra if you purchase one with a home security system, but you can definitely purchase a camera as a standalone device as well. Here are five features you’ll want to look for: HD live streaming footage, two-way audio, night vision, notifications, and deterrence features (an automated light or siren).
Change the door locks and consider a smart lock.
One of the first things you should do if you’re moving into a pre-existing home is to change the locks. You may want to consider deadbolt locks for your exterior doors. Now, if you’re prone to forgetting to lock the door, you should think about buying a smart door lock. One of the biggest perks of a smart lock is the ability to use your smartphone to check its status and lock or unlock your door no matter where you are. When choosing a smart lock, look for those that allow you to set up numerous PIN codes to bolster your security.
Keep your exterior well-lit and consider motion lights.
We might not always consider it that great of a risk to come home after dark without much lighting, but keeping your exterior well-lit can help to deter the bad guys. Make sure you have some sort of exterior lighting, whether they’re yard lights, lights at your garage door, or even motion lights. One perk you’ll have with motion-sensing lights is that they’ll come on whenever activity is detected, so if you’re in your room at night and happen to see your light turn on outdoors, you’ll know some activity was detected. You should also consider smart lights, as you can automate the different times at which you’d like for them to turn on. *Hint: make it look like somebody’s home even while you’re not by randomly scheduling your lights to come on.
Use smart plugs for automating other devices in your home.
Another way you help protect your home (without lots of smart devices) is by purchasing a couple of smart plugs. These devices allow you to control devices in your home like lights, small appliances (i.e. coffee machines), your television, and various others. You can schedule your television to come on and off at certain times of the day to make it appear as if someone is home watching T.V. If you have a smart home hub, you could also schedule music to turn on at certain times of the day.
Ask Alexa to Help!
The Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Generation) was one of the most popular items purchased on Amazon during the 2019 holiday season. There are a couple of home security options with Alexa that you can try like the Alexa Guard feature, which can be activated in the Alexa app. This feature allows you to get alerts if Alexa detects certain sounds like glass breaking or if your smoke alarm goes off.
You can also use Alexa skills like the Burglar Deterrent skill which will allow you to make it seem like you’re home through sound. Choose the environment you want Alexa to play sounds for, like the kitchen or living room area, and Alexa will make it sound like someone is watching TV or washing the dishes. You can now use Real Time Mode to enable Alexa to choose the right sounds to play based on the time of day. For instance, while it’s daytime, a passerby would hear dogs barking.
Secure your windows with glass-break detectors.
If you have an existing home security system or decide to purchase one, you can also purchase glass break detectors. These devices are good to add to ground-level windows for extra security. In the event someone attempts to break in and shatters glass, your security system will be triggered. These devices differ from window sensors in that they listen for the sound of shattering glass, whereas window sensors (another great option) detect whenever a window is opened. Look for glass break sensors that can cover wide areas of your home.
Optimize your landscape (and keep your yard well “kept”).
By keeping your yard tidy, you prevent others from thinking your home is uninhabited or in disrepair. Did you also know that your yard can be optimized to deter intruders? It’s true, think about adding thorny plants to the front of your house in front of windows like rose bushes and thorny shrubbery to make prowlers think twice before accessing your windows. Another good location to place spiny plants is right behind a fence if you have one. That way, if a lurker decides to jump your fence, he or she will find a not-so-pleasant surprise. If you’ve got boatloads of money – there’s this: Tom Brady had a moat dug at the front of one of his homes. We’re guessing a moat is not going to work for most, but you understand how your yard can be used to help deter intruders. Also, if you have a home security system, don’t forget to put up any yard signs or stickers.
Keep a car parked in the driveway.
Another way to let passersby know your home is occupied is by keeping a car parked in the driveway. If you and or your spouse have more than one car, instead of keeping them both parked in the garage, leave one out in the driveway so that people can more easily know that someone is home. You can give the appearance that someone is home by periodically changing up the way your car is parked. One mistake that some people make with any vehicles they’re not driving is by keeping that vehicle parked in the same position over time rather than changing its place. As one note to remember, you’ll want to be wary about car theft, so make sure your vehicle is locked while it’s parked in the driveway.
Connect with your neighbors.
Get to know your neighbors. They can let you know if there’s suspicious activity in the neighborhood or around your house. Some neighborhoods have designated individuals who keep watch for strange activity and people who aren’t known to visit the neighborhood. You never know when you may need someone else to be your eyes and ears when you’re not able to.
Be sure to close your blinds at night.
It can be easy to forget to check all of the blinds before heading to bed at night, but be sure to close them at the end of the day to prevent any lurkers. This is especially important if you’re planning to head out for the evening. Although this may seem like a given, some people leave their blinds open and don’t realize that not all passersby are harmless. You really end up giving others a look inside of your home and at what you have. Set a reminder on your phone if necessary to make this small change in the evenings.
Let Sparky help.
Besides being cute, cuddly, fun, and full of unconditional love, dogs are of course great at protecting your home. If someone approaches your yard, your dog is bound to bark and let you know that someone or something is outside. If a burglar suspects you have a dog, they’ll be more likely to avoid your place.