Your home is your castle, a special place where you feel most relaxed and at ease, in a safe and peaceful environment. It’s where your family lives, where you store your prized possessions, and where you lay your head at night for a quiet rest. For those reasons, you should always take the safety of your home seriously. While many homeowners may not want to dwell too much on the “What Ifs”, it’s entirely reasonable- and responsible – to take some basic precautions to protect your home, your family, and your possessions.

  • Lock Up- Before you leave for the day, or before you go to sleep, make sure that your doors are locked. This basic step will help make your home safer, especially from opportunists looking for an easy target. The same applies to windows- even those on second stories. Secure backyard gates, garage doors, and especially vehicles parked outside overnight. If you struggle to remember to lock the door, consider a smart lock, which can be locked remotely should your forget: just set an alarm for when you get to work and right before you go to bed, so you always check before getting busy or going to sleep.
  • Establish a Routine – You’ve probably noticed what time your neighbors often leave for work, and when they return. You probably also know what vehicles they drive, and what each member of their family looks like. They probably know the same information about you. Talk to your neighbors and ensure this understanding, and build a line of communication where both parties can keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary.
  • Automate – If you’re going out on a vacation, you’ll want to take some precautions to make it look like you’re still at home. Use timers to keep up the appearance of your family being home. Most thieves try to avoid breaking into occupied homes. Lights, television, and music are all very visible and audible signs of a family being home. There are both old fashioned, and digital/internet connected timers, to help find a solution for your situation. Another great aspect are motion detector lights, which can help give you a bright pathway when coming home after dark, or leaving home early in the morning.
  • Maximize your Privacy– A criminal may go ‘window shopping’, so use windows and blinds to ensure both your family’s privacy but also keep them from seeing valuables or electronics they may want to return for.
  • Utilize Technology – Home security is more affordable today than ever before, while also being easily integrated into devices we already own. Security cameras can connect with your phone and provide a live video feed wherever you are, complete with notifications and recordings of anything the cameras detect. Electric doorbells can give you an idea of who’s knocking without having to come face-to-face through a peephole. Alarm systems come in all shapes and sizes, from full home systems that notify police automatically, to window-switch alarms that could scare off an intruder.
  • Don’t broadcast – Social media is an easy way for a bad guy to get information on what you’re doing and when you aren’t around. Keep your plans off the internet, and utilize functions such as “friends only” posting preferences to keep your family’s whereabouts away from unwanted eyes. Avoid talking about your plans or schedule in social media groups based in your town or neighborhood- would-be baddies can access these groups and find out when you need a dog sitter, for instance, and infer when and where you’re going to be out of town.
  • Secure your Internet and WiFi – So many of our devices are connected through our home wireless network. It’s important to keep it protected with a password that isn’t easily guessed. Don’t post it in a spot that is visible from a window. Security cameras using your wifi could be remotely accessed and give a criminal a view right into your home. In the case of smart appliances, what starts as a minor prank (such as turning your coffee maker on in the middle of the night) could lead to major issues, should the device run too long, overheat, and start a fire.

It’s easier than ever for you to keep your family and your home safe. Follow these few tips and explore the many new ways to secure your home. Use technology intelligently to help augment the basics of physical security and your home will be safer than ever! Lock your doors, stay private online and in real life, and stay secure no matter what you and your family are doing!