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10 Ways To Secure Your Home Against Home Invasion

1. Keep Curtains and Blinds Pulled
Windows are a two-way view. Criminals may look through windows to scout potential burglary targets or to evaluate whether residents are home. For your protection keep curtains or blinds closed in any room where you aren’t currently enjoying the natural light. Close them when you leave the house for work, errands or trips. Additionally, don’t leave valuables in plain sight near windows. Motorized smart shades, which can be raised or lowered through an app, are also a good idea.

2. Install a Smart Lock
Anyone can forget to lock entry doors to their home on occasion. Many smart lock systems will allow you to check the status of your doors’ locks remotely, and lock anything that wasn’t secured. With smart locks available at a variety of price points, this is a good option for homeowners that regularly come and go.

3. Invest in a Home Security System
It is highly recommended to install a reliable home security system if you don’t already have one. From ones that can be professionally installed and monitored, to DIY options that still offer great protection against home invasions, there are numerous top home security systems available that will allow you to find one which suits both your security needs and budget. Just remember to always use it!

4. Get Motion-Sensing Lights
With options available for less than $20, motion-sensing floodlights will shine on unwelcome intruders outside your home, which is a good deterrent against trespassers. Inside the home, you can set motion-sensing smart lights to activate when you are out of the house and an uninvited guest enters. If you’re on vacation, this can also signal to any helpful neighbors who are keeping watch that something isn’t right.

5. Don’t Broadcast Upcoming Departures
Vacations are best-case scenarios for burglars, so don’t make their jobs any easier. As tempting as it may be to share upcoming travel plans on social media, it’s not worth the risk. If you want to post details of your trip wait until you return home first. Even telling a friend about your itinerary when you are in a public place can be ill-advised as you don’t know who else may be eavesdropping on the conversation.

6. Develop a Vacation Strategy
Before going on a trip, create a game plan to help your house continue to look occupied while you’re gone. This includes putting your mail and deliveries on a hold. Additionally, consider asking a trusted neighbor to handle your trash day duties and check in on the house, and continue with regular gardening service.

7. Don’t be Obvious With Routines
The majority of break-ins occur during the day, as that’s when residents are most likely to be away from the home. Although your work schedule may be consistent, try to keep your comings and goings unknown as much as possible. Also, try not to widely share your whereabouts, even with people you know. According to the FBI, among 2019 burglaries with identified offenders, at least one-in-three of the burglars were known to the victim—such as the victim’s friend, neighbor or family member. (An additional 47% of the incident reports did not share the relationship between the offender and victim.)

8. Keep the Doors Locked and Garage Shut
Even while at home you should be on guard. If doors are left unlocked or the garage is open, fast-moving burglars can strike when you go out on a walk, or even are just in the yard. According to home security company ADT, 34% of burglars enter through the front door, 22% come in through the back door and 9% walk through the garage. With 23% of burglars coming in through a first-floor window, it’s also worth keeping your windows locked.

9. Look Out for Neighbors (and Vice Versa)
What’s good for your neighborhood is good for your home. By making it clear to burglars that your neighbors look out for each other, they may be deterred from criminal activity. Many local police departments offer resources for Neighborhood Watch programs. Even with an informal program, you can look out for neighbors and ask them to look out for you. If you decide to make a house key available to a neighbor, give it to them directly rather than leaving it in an outdoor hiding place.

10. Consider Your Curb Appeal to Burglars
Everyone wants their home to look good on the outside—but certain things also attract criminals. They may be attracted by shrubs that conceal entrances, personal items left around the yard and expensive landscaping features that may indicate there are pricey possessions inside the home.