Don’t Worry, Be Happy: Install the Best Home Security System Today
Our guide in securing your home will show you how to keep intruders at bay.
Easy Ways to Protect Your Home from intruders
Everyone wants to be safe.
It seems like every day there is something new to worry about.
Natural disasters, ever-smarter technology, job stability. And most of all, the safety of your home and family.
When you’re out of town, you worry about your home and your belongings. You worry about criminals and break-ins and the crime rate in your neighborhood. And before you know it, your vacation has become anxiety-filled chaos. Instead of relaxing while the sound of the waves lulls you to sleep, all you can think about is some black-masked villain creeping into your home.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
You can, on any budget, give your house the best home security system. Not only will you be protecting your home and your stuff, you’ll finally be able to rediscover your peace of mind.
Move from the Outside In
The best home security systems don’t just set up a little electronic system, press “go,” and work always and forever. You might include a tech or smart home element in your home security plan, but in order to really give yourself and your family the security you deserve, take a couple of steps back.
Focus for a moment on the outside of your home. In our tech-focused world, sometimes we miss the easiest break-in opportunities just because we’re so committed to automatic locks and timers and identification. That’s all well and good, but don’t miss something simple because you’re spending all of your time setting up the fingerprint scanner.
Are there tree branches reaching out to touch second story windows? Cut ‘em down. Would the bushes or shrubs surrounding your property line give would-be criminals the perfect place to hide in wait? Consider trimming them back to make them look less inviting.
And then, the even more obvious. When washing the windows last weekend, did you put away the stepladder? Do you leave your garage door open all night long? Is your spare key hidden in a hide-a-key rock next to the garden gnome next to your front door?
You could be inviting a criminal in without even knowing it.
Luckily, these are some pretty quick fixes. Add a weekly or monthly walk around your house to your schedule to make sure you’re catching these easy mini mistakes.
What If You Never Leave?
Well, never leaving your house isn’t super healthy, for one, not to mention your boss probably wouldn’t love it if you just stopped showing up. And how are you going to really make the most of your beach vacation if you’re only sitting on the couch?
But what if you could make potential criminals think that you never left your house even when you’re relaxing in your dream location? Perhaps a little bit of subterfuge could be the best home security system ever.
But wait, you say. Won’t keeping my lights on all the time just ramp up my utility bill? And what if the would-be criminals realize that my lights are just always on and figure out my trick?
Well, it’s not called the best home security system for nothing. You’ll need to do a little bit of thinking, planning, and possibly even some installation to make this part of the plan really shine.
First off, when you’re getting ready to leave on a trip or vacation, don’t post about it all over social media. You’re right — what fun is that? But social media has become a pretty popular place for criminals to find excellent future targets, so don’t make it easy for them. Still take all the pictures you want throughout your trip, just wait to post them until you’re safely back home.
Then, make some plans for when you’re actually going to be gone. Think of the obvious exterior things that you do around your house every week or every day and find ways to make them look like they’re still being done.
An overflowing mail or newspaper box is a clear sign that someone’s out of town. To solve this, you’ve got a couple of options.
Do you have nice neighbors who won’t steal your Bed, Bath, and Beyond coupons? If so, ask if they’ll pick up your mail every couple of days while you’re gone.
Alternately, if you know that anyone would snag BB&B coupons if given the chance, call your post office. They’ll temporarily suspend service for you, no problem. Just remember to go pick it up when you return home.
This is an extra level of sneaky.
While you’re away, you obviously won’t be creating or taking out the trash. But to anyone watching on trash day, it would be pretty clear that you’re out of town if your trash doesn’t appear on the curb that particular day. See if you can get a neighbor to set your empty trash can out on trash day to up your I’m-really-home game.
Depending on the length of time you’ll be gone and the weather in your area, you might be preparing to come home to some overgrown grass, and nothing says “I’m not here” like a messy lawn (especially if you’re usually pretty good about keeping up with it).
Your poor neighbors might make you take them with you on your next vacation after this, but ask if someone could do a quick trim of your lawn if you think extra growth will be noticeable. You could also look into hiring a lawn service if you don’t want to burden your next door people anymore.
Outside the realm of neighbor tasks, you can also install things like automatic timers and motion sensors on your lights. You also might want to consider moving or removing your spare keys from around your house just in case, and, obviously, make sure all of your doors and windows are locked before you head off into the sunset.
Serious Best Home Security System Stuff
Now it’s time for the real stuff.
You’ve gotten rid of the ladder you had propped up against your garage, installed some motion sensor lights, and have an action plan for when you leave on your next vacation. But what about your everyday security concerns?
Here are some everyday additions that can help make your home safe, secure, and worry-free.
Yes, you should have doors. But if you’re not ready for heavy-duty prison level doors yet, you can still make your doors more effective at blocking the bad.
Consider installing deadbolt locks to your exterior doors. If you’re looking for the next level in security, you can even install smart locks so you can lock your doors remotely, make sure they’re locked once you’ve left the house, or monitor any unusual door action.
And always, always, always lock your doors at night. If you’re concerned about criminals trying to sneak in using the front door, you can even consider installing a video doorbell so you can always see what’s going on on your front porch without having to step out onto it.
Safety and security doesn’t mean you can’t have windows. Just consider making your windows a little more secure.
Make sure all your windows have locks and keep them locked, especially at night. You might want to use a window security film to reinforce your glass, especially on a sliding glass door.
If you’re really concerned about window-based break-ins, consider adding bars to some of your ground-level windows. There are lots of styles and options — just because you add bars doesn’t mean your home has to look like a prison.
And even if you’re not moving towards the smart home systems, you can still install little alarms on your windows. These will alert you to any movement on or around your windows so you (or the police) can race to check it out before any damage happens.
No matter how big or small your house is, there will probably be areas of the exterior you won’t be able to see all the time. This is where cameras come in handy.
Set up cameras in the most hard-to-see areas of your home for constant monitoring. Consider also adding motion sensor lights to make it obvious when someone or something is rustling through those back bushes.
Systematic Destruction of Security Concerns
In addition to (and oftentimes in conjunction with) the previously listed safety additions to your home, you might want to add a whole system to keep your place safe.
As always, you’ve got options.
It is what it sounds like.
A monitored system will keep track of your home and its safety 24/7. This could be a standard old-school security system where it triggers the company when there is a break in or unusual activity, or you can transition to a smart home where you are alerted, too.
The main point of a monitored system is that it contacts someone when the system is triggered. Break-in? Alarms, company contact, arrest. Boom…
It’s almost the same as a monitored system, just with a little “un.”
It will still keep track of your home and its entry points, and an alarm will still go off if unusual activity triggers an alert. However, unmonitored systems won’t contact a company when triggered. If you’re just looking for an alarm system that can give you information about your home, this might be a good call for you.
Burglar Alarm System
Often, burglar alarm systems are part of overall monitored systems. You can get them solo, though, too.
A burglar alarm system will alarm you when someone is trying to break in or when someone crosses the threshold into your home. You can set these up along windows, doors, or any other points of access to your home, and the alarm will let you know if they’re ever bypassed.
That’s right, your home isn’t only at risk from other people. House fires are also pretty serious destroyers.
All homes should have working smoke alarms no matter what other best home security systems you also have in place. Check batteries regularly, especially before you go out of town.
Like smoke, CO2 poisoning isn’t caused by other people breaking and entering.
Unlike smoke, CO2 is scent-less. If you don’t have a CO2 alarm in your home, you could be subjecting your family to CO2 poisoning without even knowing it. Don’t take the risk: install an independent CO2 alarm system or make sure your overall security system includes one.
Critical Alarm System
If you’re in a flood-prone area and leave town a lot, this alarm is for you.
A critical alarm system will warn you if your home is flooding and enable you to do something about it early instead of returning home to a sad sodden mess.
Homeowner’s or Renter’s Insurance
Super, super, super important.
No matter what other types of best home security system you have, insurance is a must. There are a number of different types of homeowner’s insurance, so do some research and talk to your insurance company, but make sure you have it. In a worst-case scenario, it could save you.
Secure Your Future
Home security is no joke, but it doesn’t have to consume your mind all the time, either. By adding some simple elements of security to your house and your routine, you can rest and travel easy knowing that the best home security system is protecting you and the ones you love.
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William is a tech buff and former corporate security officer turned cybercrime analyst. Computers have few secrets left for him, but home security and alarm systems… Well, those have plenty of secrets for their users, which William is now uncovering and explaining. His articles on home security helped many people take the matter seriously, invest in highly performing systems, and avoid becoming victims of burglaries.