You don’t have to go to extremes to reinforce your home and create a deterrent for potential intruders. In fact, it’s very easy to overlook some very simple things that all of us can do right now to significantly enhance our home security. Let’s look at some suggestions that are practical, inexpensive and very easy to implement, and they can go a long way with helping you to sleep better at night.
Place prickly, thorny and otherwise unappealing plants and shrubs beneath windows and other access points. Their mere presence is enough to deter anyone who doesn’t want to get stuck, poked or jabbed. Think about how easy it would be, even for someone who is in jeans and long-sleeve shirts or jackets to get hurt while trying to climb through these natural obstructions. The possibilities are endless in terms of what you can plant, and this alone can be worth its weight in gold in terms of prevention.
Keys and Key Rings
Never place keys under mats, flower pots or rocks near doors. This is the first place people will look for them. It’s bad enough having your home broken into, but worse when the criminals are able to simply unlock your door and walk right inside. If you need to keep keys somewhere in case you get locked out, try to think of a spot that is more secure and less likely to be searched by an intruder. You should also avoid the temptation to put your name, number or address on labels attached to key rings. This common practice is just inviting trouble, and many keys are swiped simply because someone sees this information in plain view.
Consider reinforcing doors, windows and latches on gates with different locking systems. This will make it very time consuming for an intruder to work their way through each layer of defense. Even if they reach your door, they still need to pick or somehow override different locks on the screen or storm door as well as your main one. The more locks the better, and using different ones with varying levels of strength will only increase the chances that they will look for a softer and more vulnerable target.
You should also consider installing internal locks in key areas in order to make gaining entry to secure rooms, storage spaces and cabinets difficult once someone gets inside. Remember that each lock that needs to get picked or destroyed takes time and increases risk for the intruder. The more you have, the less likely they are to clean you out.
Keep your property well-lit, especially in areas near doors and windows. Diversify by adding steady lights as well as motion detectors and timers. The more layers of protection you have will help to keep your property visible and alert you and neighbors if someone approaches. Timers that are set to turn on and off lights and even television sets at random intervals will help to give the impression that people are home and awake even if they aren’t. Get creative, and never underestimate the power of light to deter criminals.
You can also take things a step further by forwarding your mail to a PO box as a way to protect your information and identity, reinforcing doors and windows and even getting a dog for added security. These are just a few of an endless list of possibilities to consider for securing your home without investing in a lot of money or technology. Remember that you are just as vulnerable now as you will be during a crisis or SHTF situation. Take some time to think how these and other common-sense approaches can be implemented, and put them to good use sooner rather than later.