Protecting your home from burglars
In this article
- Reinforce your doors and windows
- Technology to the rescue
- Be discreet
- Have your valuables engraved
In addition to causing stress and anxiety, a burglary can result in the loss of valuable items and mementos, such as jewellery inherited from a relative. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to enhance the security of your home and keep burglars away.
Reinforce your doors and windows
Seasoned prowlers are able to make short work of standard doors and windows. That being said, there are a few things you can do to make things more difficult for them.
Start by replacing your front door’s deadbolt strike plate (the piece of metal that screws into the door frame) with a more secure model. Traditional deadbolt strike plates are typically only equipped with two short screws that can easily be pulled out. Enhanced security models, on the other hand, are stronger and have screws that fit into the door frame jamb, so it’ll take more than a simple kick to break down your door!
You can also equip your windows with security film. This solution is easy to install and will considerably increase the resistance of your windows. You won’t even be able to shatter the glass with a hammer!
Technology to the rescue
There’s a wide array of smart devices on the market that can help make your home more secure. These smart home products connect to your home Internet network so you can control them from your smartphone. Of course, you’ll need to make sure your network is secure before you start using this type of technology.
An IP camera to spot burglars
IP cameras are a good additional solution to alarm systems. You don’t need to pay a monthly subscription fee or hire a technician to install them.
Outdoor models help you keep an eye on anyone who enters or leaves your driveway or yard, and indoor models allow you to monitor different areas inside your home.
Although there are many different brands available, most IP cameras offer the following features:
- Motion detection. If the slightest motion is detected, you’ll get a notification on your smartphone. You’ll then be able to check the footage recorded by your IP camera in real time.
- Alarm. You can use your smartphone to activate an alarm that will scare off any prowlers.
- Night vision. The camera records at all times, even in the middle of the night.
- Two-way audio. This feature allows you to speak with and hear the person you are talking to. It’s extremely practical and a great way to catch thieves in the act!
Smart light bulbs to create the illusion that someone’s home
In addition to saving energy, most smart light bulbs on the market are equipped with a timer to give outsiders the illusion that people are home.
For example, before you leave for the evening, program your smart bulbs to stay on from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
A smart lock to control access to your home
A smart lock gives you more control over your front door. It offers several key features:
- Remote locking. Are you the type of person who forgets to lock your door when you go out? A smart lock makes it possible to lock or unlock your door from a distance, using your smartphone.
- Virtual keys. Instead of making copies of keys, which are likely to get lost, assign virtual keys to people who might need to enter your home when you’re not there. As soon as someone is no longer welcome, you can simply delete their key.
- Log of entries and exits. With this feature, you can easily see a list of people who’ve visited and left your home.
Not sure whether you should keep your blinds open or shut when you’re not home? Choose smart blinds and you’ll never have to struggle with that decision ever again. Fully programmable, they open and close according to a schedule that you get to establish.
If you’re planning on being away for a few days, you can program your blinds to open in the morning and close in the early evening. This way, burglars are likely to think someone’s home. Your home will be a lot less enticing to crooks.
Are you going out of town for a few days? Whatever the reason, avoid announcing it publicly on social networks. Criminals have all sorts of ways to find properties to rob. You should also wait until you get home before publishing vacation photos online.
The same principle applies to your answering machine and smartphone voicemail; don’t change the message to let callers know you’re out of town.
If you’re going to be away for several weeks, ask a family member to come pick up your mail periodically or put your mail service on hold temporarily. A pile of letters and newspapers at your front door can attract unnecessary attention to your home.
Are you planning to be away for part of the summer? Hire someone to mow the lawn and water your garden to make it look like someone’s home.
Finally, stickers with messages such as “Property protected by an alarm system” or “Beware, watchdog on duty” can be a simple yet effective way to reduce the risk of break-ins. Put them on your doors and windows!
Have your valuables engraved
Engraving your valuables automatically makes them less attractive to criminals, since they’ll be more difficult to sell on the black market. This tip also makes it easier for police to return your valuables to you if they find them.
Certain businesses offer engraving services, and you can also borrow a chisel from a police station. To make it easier to identify your items, engrave them with your driver’s licence number.
- A reinforced deadbolt strike plate and security film will enhance the strength of your doors and windows.
- An IP camera will send notifications directly to your smartphone if movement is detected near your home.
- Automatic blinds can simulate your presence and make your home less attractive to burglars.
- Be discreet on social networks—refrain from advertising the fact that you’ll be away for several days.
- Engraving your valuables makes them more difficult to sell on the black market.