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8 Simple, Inexpensive Ways to Make Your Home Safer This Summer

Home Security, Home Monitoring

Published: June 22, 2020

We couldn't be more excited for the warm weather and long days of summer. Unfortunately, however, summer carries with it a new set of home security challenges. Break-ins are more of a summer phenomenon in the U.S., becoming more commonplace as the evenings grow brighter and as we spend more time outside of our homes.

Making your home more safe and secure this summer doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. In fact, some of the most effective precautions are also the simplest and most cost-effective. Read on for eight easy summer home protection tips.

1: Use your locks — and consider upgrading them.

locking door with key

It can be tempting to leave a door unlocked — especially if "you'll only be gone for five minutes." Not all burglaries are planned — some intruders are opportunists, ready to take advantage of the next unlocked door they happen upon. Always lock your doors — even if you're just stopping by the neighbor's house to say hello.

You might also want to consider upgrading your locks, particularly on your front door. Replacing the deadbolt strike plate (or the metal piece where the deadbolt latch secures into the door frame) with a stronger box strike model will improve its ability to withstand attempts at forced entry. Adding a deadbolt or simple chain can also help to fortify your door.

2: Secure sliding windows and doors.

hand closing window

Sliding glass windows and doors can be particularly vulnerable to break-ins; it doesn't take too much effort to lift older models off of their tracks. One simple and inexpensive way to fortify sliding windows and doors is to add a dowel or shower curtain rod to the track. That way, even if an intruder is able to break the lock, they won't be able to slide the door open.

3: Make it difficult for an intruder to hide among bushes and trees.

hedge trimmers and bushes

Take a look at the bushes, trees, and vines near entry points to your home — doors, windows, and your garage. Do these provide cover to burglars: an easy place to hide? If they're overgrown, trim them back. You could also go the extra mile and plant thorny shrubs in their place (creating the opposite of an ideal hiding spot).

4: Deter would-be intruders with warning signs.

beware of dog sign white fence

Sometimes, all you need is a security system or "Beware of Dog" sticker or sign to deter would-be burglars looking for an easy target.

Even if you don't have a security system (or a frightening dog), a sign or decal can be an effective deterrent — a burglar will be none the wiser.

5: Close blinds and curtains after dark.

hand closing blinds

This is a no-brainer... but you'd be surprised how many people don't take advantage of this simple home security tip (just take a walk around your neighborhood in the evening and you'll likely see what we mean). When night falls, it's easy to see into a well-lit home. If the blinds and curtains are wide open, a potential burglar can easily discern the layout of your home and see where your expensive electronics are located. Closing blinds and curtains is an easy, immediate way to better secure your home.

6: Use timers and motion-sensing lights to make it look like you're home.

electrical timer

Most intruders want "easy in, easy out" — they don't want you home when they break in. That's why many home break-ins occur during the day when occupants are at work or school — or conversely in the evening if a home is dark and it doesn't seem as if anyone is home.

Fortunately, there are ways to make it look like you're home — even when you're not. Inexpensive timers can turn on your lights or even your TV at a specific time of day or night. Motion-sensing lights can also make it look as if someone is home.

7: Take extra precautions before you go on vacation. 

green mailbox

Similar to the previous tip, the goal of this one is to make it look like you're home — even when you're not. Before you go on vacation, ask a trusted neighbor or friend to pick up your mail (you can also put a temporary stop on your mail delivery), and take your garbage cans down to the street on collection day.

Also, resist the urge to broadcast your vacation plans on social media before and during your vacation. If you do — you're essentially promoting an empty house. Just wait until you're home to post.

8: Monitor your home from afar.

hedge products

When it comes down to it, protecting your home doesn't have to be complicated.

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