Home security is important for many reasons. You want to protect your home and belongings, but you also want to protect the people inside it. Home security ensures that intruders can’t come in while also preventing the ones you love from leaving when they shouldn’t. But home security can be confusing. Where do you start? What do you need? Is it expensive?

Try these eight steps to make sure your home is safe and secure.

Install strong locks

All windows and doors in your home should have strong locks on them. Unless you are the first owner, you should change all door locks so you can be certain who has keys to the home. A deadbolt on all exterior doors is also a great idea. Stick a wooden dowel in the track of sliding glass doors so they can’t be opened from outside. But your locks shouldn’t be strong only, they should also be smart. Whatever do we mean? Well, smart locks like the August Smart Lock Pro + Connect are the first step to a keyless home.
Install strong locks
They utilize Wi-Fi to provide you with real time access, remote access and to send you alerts/notifications when someone is at your door right to your phone. Personally, we think, that a solid deadbolt coupled with a well-reviewed smart lock is an unbeatable combination.

And don’t forget your windows. They should also have solid locks. While a window can be broken, a lock prevents someone from silently opening the window, whether to come in or sneak out. But this is probably common sense. So let’s move on to the next point, shall we?

Cut back shrubbery

Tall shrubs, bushes, and hedges agaisnt your house, particularly near windows and doors, offer hiding places for intruders. Keep these plants cut back and low around doors and windows so there’s no place to hide.

If it’s important to you to have plants in these areas, use ones that have lots of thorns, such as roses. The thorns will act as a deterrent to someone trying to hide.

Install outdoor lighting

Exterior lights can be a strong deterrent to a prowler. They succeed by not being seen, and plenty of lighting prevents that. Leaving your front and back porch lights on is a good start. But you might consider adding larger lights around the corners and on the sides of your home to prevent a criminal from having anywhere to hide.
Install outdoor lighting
To avoid irritating your neighbors, you might consider installing motion-activated lights. They ensure your neighbors aren’t disturbed by a constant light through their window while also protecting you if someone is sneaking around on your property. They also make it easier for you to know if someone is out there since the light isn’t on all the time.

Buy a video doorbell

Video doorbells serve a number of purposes. They’ll protect you from “porch pirates” or thieves who steal packages left on your doorstep. They also allow you to see who is at your door when you’re not home or busy with the kids and unable to get to the door.

Many, if not most, take pictures and record video, giving you evidence to provide to police in the event that something does happen.

Buy a home security system

A home security system is the ultimate in home protection. With systems varying from a basic loud alarm to a system that’s fully monitored by a live person, there’s one to fit every budget.

For the best protection, look for a system that is monitored 24/7 by live personnel. Preferably, it should also have a direct connection to local law enforcement and fire rescue. You should also make sure that the system covers all exterior doors and windows in the house. Consider changing the password regularly, as well. If possible, find a system that allows you to set individual or temporary passwords for those who need access but don’t live in the home, such as dog walkers, housekeepers, and babysitters.

Automate your home

Long days at work, hours spent at after-school practices and activities, and vacations can all make you a prime target for burglary. Instead of allowing potential thieves to know your schedule, automate your home so it looks like someone is home.
Automate your home
Put various lights in the house on timers so they go on and off as if someone is there. Put a TV or stereo on a timer as well; the noise will deter a thief even without seeing a person inside.

Park your car in the garage

If you have a garage, park inside it. By putting your cars out of sight when you’re home, you make it more difficult for a burglar to know when you’re home and when you’re not.

However, if you have more cars than drivers, leave one car parked outside so it looks like someone is home all the time. Alternate which car is left parked outside, or move it around at least a couple of times a week so anyone casing the house won’t realize that it’s not being actively driven.

Put mail and newspaper delivery on hold

If you’re going to be gone for more than one night, put your mail and newspaper deliveries on hold. Newspapers stacking up or mail sticking out of the mailbox is a sure sign to potential burglars that no one is home.
Put mail and newspaper delivery on hold
If you don’t want to put them on hold, have someone collect them and put them inside for you.

Home security can seem daunting when you first think about it. But the steps to protecting your home and family are really simpler than you think.

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