Thanksgiving is next week and it’s the biggest traveling holiday of the year. Taking steps to burglar proof your home can put your mind at ease as you travel and keep your home and valuables safe.
The experts at Allstate have offered 12 Ways to Burglar Proof Your Home for the holidays. Of course, these tips will keep your home safe 365 days of the year!
1. Change the locks – Remember to change all the locks when you move into a new house. You’ll never know who had access to the keys before you moved in. If you lose the keys to your house, you should also replace all the locks for the maximum home security.
2. Invest in an Alarm – There are many companies that will install and monitor a home alarm system for a very little monthly fee, however sometimes you do not need an additional monthly expense. If an alarm company is not an option for you, you can visit your local hardware store to invest in home alarms that take seconds to install. They will make very loud and obnoxious sounds if the doors or windows are open. This is a very inexpensive option but can be a large deterrent from theft.
3. Surveillance Systems – A surveillance system is a good line of defense to view the exterior of your home without actually putting yourself in harms way. Although you can purchase an adequate surveillance system for a few hundred dollars, not everyone has the additional funds to incorporate into their budget for such systems. Be sure to find out which system works best for your home situation.
4. Conceal all wiring – Burglars often look for wiring around the exterior of a house and can cut it to disable a security system. Keep your home security wires hidden.
5. Give the appearance that your house is occupied – Professional burglars scour neighborhoods looking for homeowners who are away from their home for an extended period of time. Automatic timers are a great way to turn lights on and off while you’re away.
6. Light up the entrance to your home – A smart way to keep thieves away is to utilize lighting. Lighting with a motion sensor automatically turns on when someone is in a specific zone or area. Installing your own exterior motion sensor is a relatively easy DIY project.
Landscaping lights are also helpful for illuminating your home after dark. You can easily add low voltage landscape lights in an afternoon.
7. Install deadbolt locks – All exterior doors should have at least 1 inch thick dead bolt locks. Although more expensive than spring latch locks, dead bolts are much stronger and provide significantly more protection. When installing deadbolts, make sure to leave minimal space between the door and its frame, as a large space provides an opportunity for an intruder to pry the door apart. Doors can also be reinforced with plywood or a piece of sheet metal.
8. Use metal bars on sliding doors – Any sliding glass doors, patio doors, or sliding windows should have a metal bar that is placed along the bottom track of the door or window. The metal bar will prevent a burglar from forcing the door or window open. An inexpensive alternative is a closet rod cut to fit into the track.
9. Protect your windows – Burglars often gain entry into homes through windows. Protect these vulnerable areas with window locks and/or burglar-resistant glass. Installing many small panes of glass instead of one large pane of glass is a good option. You can also easily beef up your windows by installing window security film.
10. Hide valuables – Don’t leave your computer, cameras and other valuables in plain view. Keep them stored away and/or draw your blinds and drapes when you leave. No need to let potential burglars window shop.
11. Keep your landscaping trimmed – Keep your bushes and landscaping trimmed and low around your home’s windows. Overgrown shrubs make great cover for burglars trying to case and break into your home.
11. Alert neighbors and police of your absence – Let a few trusted neighbors and the local police know when you will be going out of town. A good neighbor will keep a closer eye out on your home. And police can swing by your property if there is a lull in activity.
12. Resist the urge to post on social media – I know it’s tempting, but posting about your vacation and trip on social media can be an easy tip off that your home is empty.
I hope if you are traveling for the holidays you have a great time and use some of these tips to keep your home safe.
P.s. Although you can do your best to add security measures to your home, it is important to plan ahead and protect your family and your home. Even if you think you live in a safe neighborhood, I can’t stress how important it is to have good home insurance.
Disclosure: This post was written as part of the Allstate Influencer Program and sponsored by Allstate. All opinions are mine. As the nation’s largest publicly held insurance company, Allstate is dedicated not only to protecting what matters most—but to guiding people to live the Good Life, every day. For more great tips like this, visit our exclusive Good to Know community.