[dropcap]W[/dropcap]ith the state of the world today, it’s likely that you’ve begun to see some changes in your neighborhood. If you’ve witnessed increased activity in your area at night or an increase in “strangers” that seem to be visiting your neighborhood at various times of the day and night, it may be time to step up security.
Luckily, there are some quick things to improve your home security that you can do gradually or in phases, without breaking the bank to do it.
#1. Use Your Locks…
…that are already in place to keep would be intruders out. You’d be surprised how many thieves will simply move on to the next home if doors at your house are locked.
#2. Beef It Up…
by swapping the standard short screws in your locks and door frames with longer less easy to compromise screws. This reinforces your existing locks quickly and easily. When feasible invest in a metal frame and metal door.
#3. Leave the Light On…
…outside to make it more difficult for would be thieves to sneak around your yard and get close to your house, shed, or garage without being spotted.
#4. Keep Your Mouth and FB Status Shut.
You’d be surprised how many would be thieves and other criminals monitor social media and eavesdrop at local businesses to find out who will be out of town, when, and for how long. Be careful who you brag to about that next vacation or your latest big purchase, it could cost you everything.
#5. Security System Warning Sign…
…may not do much to deter intruders once SHTF but up until then, just getting a decal for your window or sign in the yard can be enough to make would be robbers think twice.
#6. Home Automation…
…via light bulbs, smart curtains, and other tricks to make it appear like you are home when you are out of the house.
#7. Keep a Clear Line of Sight…
…between your house and the neighbors on each side as well as the street by trimming bushes and hedges down below eye level. This not only lets you see what’s out there but makes it more likely a neighbor or passerby will intervene if they see something going down at your house.
#8. Take Advantage of Technology.
Whether it’s a simple game trail camera in the backyard or a more sophisticated security camera, installing cameras around your home lets you see if someone is casing your home and sends a clear signal to thieves that you are watching.
#9. Make Getting In Harder.
Reinforce sliding doors and all entry doors with floor locks and put window stops on the windows to make it that much harder for intruders to get inside. Sure they can break glass but that’s noisy and they risk attracting the attention of your neighbor or waking you. Add safety glass window film to windows. Most thieves will take the path of least resistance.
#10. Build Your Network.
You don’t have to share all your secrets with your neighbors but keeping in occasional touch with them and playing nice can make them more likely to give you a heads up when they see someone lurking about your house.
#11. Capitalize on Cynophobia.
Many people have a fear of dogs. It won’t work on all thieves but you can capitalize on this by putting up a beware of dog sign and some other little things in plain sight such as dog toys, a huge dog bone, and a food bowl or dog chain by your back door.
#12. Install a driveway gate and keep it locked.
Don’t allow people access to your property unless you can verify their identity, especially in times of crisis.
#13. Hang something noisy over doorways at night…
…to give you a heads up if someone is getting in and possibly startle them enough to make them run the other way. Anything that will make noise such as bells that brush the top of the doors when they open will work. The downside is you have to remember to drop them down low enough each night before bed and hook them up in the morning or listen to them any time someone goes in or out.
#14. Make Use of a secure indoor safe…
…for valuables, documents, and weapons. If someone does get in when you aren’t home, don’t make it easy for them to get your most valuable items.
#15. Use solar powered lights or solar powered motion sensors…
…to keep your outside lighting working for you even when the power is out. Power outages are an opportune time for people to try to break in, don’t make it easy for them.
#16. Use unfriendly plants and other landscaping around the perimeter of your home that will deter intruders…
…and even those who are just curious. Thorny plants or flowers, impenetrable hedges, and even a lattice with vining or climbing plants can deter unwanted company from coming onto your property.
#17. Don’t hide your spare key in the usual places
Any thief with experience and even most new thieves know that people hide spare keys under the welcome mat, above the door, or in a fake rock or other item near the door. Don’t use these usual hiding spots.
Use an item that blends into the surroundings that is away from the door where thieves won’t think to look. On the side of the house beneath your bedroom window or behind the shed or the barn will be less obvious. Better yet use a key vault with a code like real estate agents do.
#18. Have important mail sent to a PO Box rather than to your home mailbox…
…to keep your most critical mail safe. I doubt even SHTF can stop the U.S. postal service so better safe than sorry.
#19. Eliminate hiding places around your home
Cut back shrubs and trees or bushes near or under your windows and around your doors or along the driveway.
#20. Identify and gradually fortify a safe room or area
No matter what security measures you take, there is always the chance that you will fail and an intruder will get into your home. Once this happens your best bet is a safe room or area that you’ve fortified in advance.
#21. Use decoy supplies and weapons
Most thieves won’t know in advance if you have weapons or supplies. They’ll take what they see or can find easily and be happy with that. If you leave an old gun and small bills where it can be easily found, you may trick the thieves into thinking that’s all there is and they won’t look further.
#22. Email a list of serial numbers and photos of appliances, electronics and other assets to yourself every three months.
If things are stolen during non-SHTF times, you’ll have something to start from for insurance purposes.
#23. Close It Up
Don’t leave your garage door open during the daylight hours for everyone to see the great toys and other things you have that they may want. You’d be surprised how often thieves decide their targets by cruising through and checking out open garage doors.
#24. Keep your vehicles locked up
This includes your car, motorcycle, ATV, boat, or RV. You’d be surprised how often vehicles are ransacked simply because the thief found it unlocked.
#25. Stay Alert and Learn Self-Defense
Two of the best ways to improve security around your home are to stay alert to your surroundings and learn self-defense. Both of these skills may mean be the reason you get to keep your life in some situations and can certainly help deter a would-be thief.