10 Tips for Creating a Home Security Plan
Everyone’s home is their castle, but even the most fortified castles aren’t always as secure as they appear. That’s why developing a home security plan makes sense, and it isn’t difficult if you know the right questions to ask.
A home security plan is an end-to-end strategy designed to safeguard your home and family from potential threats and intrusions. A well-considered plan identifies vulnerabilities in and outside the home, implements security measures to mitigate them and creates protocols for responding to emergencies effectively. A thoughtfully considered and executed security plan can ensure everyone in the home feels as safe as reasonably possible.
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These tips should provide you with enough scope to develop a comprehensive home security plan.
Begin by conducting a thorough audit of your home’s existing security measures and focus on identifying vulnerabilities. Put yourself into the mind of a burglar trying to find ways into your property. They’ll be looking for weaknesses, such as broken locks and poor lighting that will give them cover if they return at night. Additionally, they'll look for signs people aren’t at home, such as open garage doors and accumulated mail.
High-quality locks can deter thieves, so it’s worth investing in the best you can afford, particularly deadbolts for exterior doors. If you’re comfortable with smart home features, consider an electronic entry system. If your budget allows for it, a comprehensive security system that includes burglar alarms, security cameras and motion sensors may be a good option. Some features may also be accessible from your smartphone.
Proper lighting is one of the most effective deterrents because even the best burglars need time to break locks without being seen. Consider installing motion-activated lights at key points around your property, especially near entrances and dark corners where someone can lurk.
Windows and sliding doors can be vulnerable to intruders. Consider reinforcing them with window bars or security films that increase their resistance to forced entry. You can also insert wooden dowels or security bars in sliding door tracks.
Empty homes are more vulnerable than obviously occupied ones. Your plan might include creating the illusion of occupancy, such as timer-controlled lights, TVs and radios. If you and your family are going to be away for some time, consider asking a neighbor or friend to collect your mail and newspapers because piled-up deliveries tell thieves that no one’s at home.
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One of the less discussed disadvantages of social media is that some burglars are known to monitor accounts, looking for users making posts that prove they're not at home. Everyone's so used to broadcasting where we are that it’s almost second nature. Your plan should account for this vulnerability, particularly if you have children who might be posting vacation snaps to their accounts.
A strong and secure Wi-Fi network is an essential tool in preventing home invasions, but it’s only as secure as the password, which you should change regularly. Also, enable network encryption and consider getting a separate guest network for visitors to ensure your personal details aren't exposed.
Consider investing in a fireproof safe to securely store important documents, jewelry and other valuable items, such as passports. If there’s a fire or break-in, the safe will provide additional protection.
Overgrown bushes and trees are ideal cover for burglars looking for ways into your property. Your plan should account for trimming the landscape regularly, particularly near entry points, such as windows and doors. Consider the height and condition of your fences and ask yourself if they make your property more secure or simply make it look like it is.
Finally, any plan is only as effective as the people who implement it. Ensure you and your family are well-versed on the plan and how to follow its good practices, such as setting alarms when leaving the home. Also, ensure they know how to respond in an emergency, so if the worst happens, they can get to a place of safety and raise the alarm.
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