Introduction: HOW TO: Protect Your Home From Burglars in One Weekend

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You’ve invested a lot of time and money in your home, so it’s important that you keep it protected. There are several simple security measures you can do to makeover your home and make it more secure. SafeWise has put together a list of some of the things you can do after a quick trip to the hardware store this weekend.

Step 1: Install Quality Deadbolts If You Don't Already Have Them

According to FBI statistics, over 60 percent of break-ins happen by forced entry. If a burglar is going to enter the house through a door, they usually try to kick it in first. By adding a deadbolt to every exterior door in your home, you’ll make it harder for a burglar to do so. Ideally, you should have a throw lock where the metal extension goes at least an inch into the doorframe.

The most secure deadbolt locks will consist of heavy-duty materials like solid steel, brass or bronze. This goes without saying, but if you just moved into a new home, change the locks and deadbolts! It's not a bad idea to change them if you've lived in a home for a while and have given out copies of keys over the years.

Learn more about how much it costs to install deadbolt locks here.

Step 2: Consider Upgrading to Keyless Locks

One in eight burglars gain access through picking a lock or using a key, so adding a keyless lock that requires a security code or fingerprint can help reduce your chances of having an intruder enter your home. Surprisingly, you can find several quality keyless lock options for under $300.

Step 3: Brighten Up the Outside of Your Home

If someone is trying to break into your home, they want to go in undetected. A motion sensor light will put any potential intruder in the spotlight, which can help send them running. Place these lights near any entry point to your home and make sure you check that they’re working every couple of months. When motion is detected, the ilgh turns on and stays on from 1 to 20 seconds, depending on the preset timer. The light automatically shuts off unless it continues to detect motion.

Motion sensor lights aren't expensive to install. Don't forget to add these lights to decks, patio areas, or stairways. Place motion sensor lights approximately 6 to 10 feet above the ground.

Step 4: Clean Up and Do Some Landscaping

If your home has hedges and bushes that are cloaking windows or other entry points, trim them down. High hedges and bushes provide the perfect concealment for burglars and can increase the odds of a break in. Ground plants should be no higher than three feet tall and it's best to have them trimmed so doors and windows are visible to neighbors. It's not a bad idea to plant thorny plants, like holly or rose, around ground-level windows.

Tall trees that could provide access to second story windows should be trimmed to help prevent intruders from scaling a tree and entering your home through a second story window. SafeWise also recommends placing some high gauge gravel, which create a lot of noise, around areas surrounding windows.

Step 5: Make Home Security Signs Visible

If you have a home security system, make it well known! You'll receive signs and stickers when you have your system installed, so make sure to place them near any external entry point including the back yard. According to statistics, 90 percent of convicted burglars said they avoid homes with alarm systems, so these signs make a huge difference!

Step 6: Are Security Systems Worth the Money?

Completing one or more of these upgrades is fairly simple, but can have a profound impact on your home security. This should give you more peace of mind and keep your family and valuables protected. It should be noted that one of the easiest ways to deter burglars is to invest in a home security system, as using one makes you 300 percent less likely to be a victim of a break-in.

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