Everyone wants to feel secure and safe at their home. Unfortunately, it’s not always cheap. Fancy monitoring systems and security cameras can cost a pretty penny, especially when you consider all the ongoing maintenance involved. Here are some cheap and in many cases FREE ways to keep your home safe and secure from would-be thieves as well as some crime prevention methods.
Keep your window blinds shut
Make sure you aren’t allowing anyone to peek in your window to see your valuables. Close your drapes and shut your blinds. And just to be safe, always make sure to leave your iPad or Rolex or gold-plated backscratcher away from any type of window, at all times.
Get a dog
So you don’t want to pay for an alarm system. Well, then why not pick up a dog at your local animal shelter? Even a small dog barking at someone lurking around your backdoor is enough to deter a criminal looking to come and go unnoticed. Granted, adopting a pet usually is in most cases not free, but even considering potential costs of any deposits, vaccinations, spaying and neutering, it’s still way cheaper than paying for an alarm system.
Keep trees and shrubbery pruned
This one is three-fold. You want to make sure you provide street visibility to windows, doors, and any other points of entry. Secondly, keep in mind this can provide excellent hiding spots for wily ragamuffins. Thirdly, take notice of any tree limbs that may provide access to upper floors of the house.
Hide boxes from fancy new electronics
You’re not the only one who enjoys a new 65” Plasma TV. If a criminal passes by your house and notices that empty box sitting out there in your front lawn ready to be picked up for garbage, they will surely take note of this and start picturing how well it would look on their entertainment center. Either wait until the morning of trash pick-up, or better yet, rip up the box into smaller pieces and hide them in with rest of your trash.
Befriend your neighbors
Though this is 100% free, it’s not always the easiest thing for some. My neighbors drive me crazy, to be honest. However, don’t you want them on your team when you need them the most? If you are out of town and they notice someone snooping around your house (and that seems suspicious to them because they know you are out of town because you guys are best of friends and share things like that) they will be sure to notify the police.
Don’t Broadcast That You Are Not Home
Turn down the volume of your phone
Ok, so in the age of cell phones, this obviously won’t apply to all, but if you do have a landline, make sure the volume is turned down to a minimum. It’s a dead giveaway that no one is home if the burglar can call and hear from the outside that no one is picking up.
Bonus: Conversely, turn UP the volume on the TV. Having the television on will greatly decrease the odds of getting burglarized.
Avoid the “burglar beacon”
Many people want to leave on the tiniest bit of light when leaving their home, so that when they return they don’t trip over the cat. This could be the light over the kitchen sink, in the hallway, or that tiny lamp in the corner of the room. All of these provide the burglar with more than sufficient evidence that you are in fact not at home. It’s like leaving a “Gone Fish’n” sign on your front door.
Stop your “I’m leaving the house” routine
Avoid doing the same things every time you leave the house, or leaving for precisely 8 hours from this time to this time. This will make you a much easier target. Come home early some days or leave for work later. Look for things in your routine that others might notice, like always closing the shutters.
Don’t announce your vacation on Facebook
This is pretty much self-explanatory. But I do want to mention, that as I’m writing this, I went to double check my Facebook profile and just found something interesting in my Privacy settings. I (for whatever reason) have my “Who can see my Wall” settings set to “Friends of Friends”. So if I have 250 friends and all of my friends have 250 friends, that’s… 62,500 people that can look at everything that has ever happened on my Wall, including vacations. Yikes. Needless to say, I’ll be fixing this.
This guest post was written by Clint Henderson of 2MCCTV Security, a distributor of surveillance cameras and other CCTV equipment.