Home Security

Visual Security – Home Security Starts Here

Most home security advice focuses on electronic security systems and physical protection. But a good home security plan starts with a look at visual security. Visual security measures are often free - or at least very inexpensive – but can be some of the most effective steps you can take.

Your Neighborhood

Before you even look at your own property, consider your neighborhood. Is it a warm place that shows a community spirit or is everyone on their own to worry about their own home security?

Neighborhoods that show signs of pride, community involvement and residents that keep an eye on each other are not appealing to thieves. Thieves are looking for easy targets and a slim chance of being observed or caught.

What can you do? The first step is to get your community involved in Neighborhood Watch or a similar program focused on crime prevention and home security. With the aid of these programs, your neighborhood can minimize the incidence of crime.

Your Property

Next comes a look at your property. When potential thieves are cruising your neighborhood, they are looking for a home that is an easy target. A well maintained home and property convey the message that you care about your home security. On the other hand, a home in disrepair, with broken windows and untrimmed bushes, looks like an easy target.

What are some of the visual deterrents you can use to improve your home security and make burglars think twice about trying to break in?

  • Make sure your property shows you care. A well-kept property gives the signal that you also care about your home security.
  • Keep shrubs and trees trimmed so they do not allow an intruder to hide while trying to gain entry.
  • Make sure tree limbs do not provide an opportunity to climb to a window or balcony on an upper story.
  • Lock up any items such as ladders, tools, garbage cans, that might be possible aids to breaking into your home.
  • Place alarm-company signs, neighborhood-watch decals or dog notices on your property. Make intruders think twice about trying to break in.
  • Fences may provide privacy but can also provide a burglar with cover. Low fences, or fences that aren’t solid make it more difficult for a burglar to act without being seen.
  • Ensure all entry points to your home are well lit, with either timed lights or motion-sensor lights.
  • Don’t put your name on your house or mailbox. Anyone can use it to look up your phone number and call to see if someone is at home.
  • Use security bars on all basement windows and any windows that are easily accessible. Burglars can’t afford to spend much time trying to break in.
  • Install wide-angle peep holes in all exterior doors.

When You’re Not at Home

Most burglaries occur during the day, when no one is at home, or when you’re off on your vacation. Thieves are often very good at knowing when you’re away. Follow these home security tips and you’ll make the thief think twice.

  • Keep all window coverings in their normal positions. Covered windows during the day are a telltale sign of an empty house.
  • Make your house looked lived in. Use automatic timers to turn on lights, radios and TVs.
  • Get a trusted neighbor to park a car in your driveway and to pick up mail and newspapers daily.
  • Ask a neighbor to put some of their garbage in front of your house on collection day.
  • Cancel any regular deliveries, such as mail or newspapers.
  • Arrange to have your lawn cut and snow shoveled.

Next topic: Physical Security

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