Read these 11 General Home Security Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Home Security tips and hundreds of other topics.
Advances in technology and greater awareness of crime are increasing the demand by Americans for affordable home security. Check out the reasons why home security is a growing option for the middle class and working families:
Most people need some level of home security to keep themselves, their family and their belongings safe. But is a home security system right for you?
Studies indicate homes are safer with security systems. Not only do they provide swift warning of intruders, they deter criminals from trying to enter your home in the first place.
Think about reports you read in the newspaper or heard on TV about burglaries, home invasions, even abductions. There likely was no mention of a security alarm. Residents were caught off guard. They did not know someone was breaking into their home.
Here are the top reasons people add home security systems:
Protect your home from burglars when you are on vacation by disguising the fact that you are away. Follow these simple steps to securing your personal belongings and keeping your home safe:
There has to be a better way to hide your extra keys than under the welcome mat!
Consider a couple of innovative alternatives. If you have a garden near the door, a company makes a hollow rock that can blend in with the rest of the landscape. Only you will know that when you turn that rock over, the back slides open to get your extra door key out.
There is also a flower pot safe. It is made of plastic and you can actually plant flowers in it. But the water reservoir tray unscrews to reveal a surprisingly large jar upside down in the dirt. You can put your valuables, keys, notes for the kids getting home or other nifty things inside and put it back where you got it. No thief would have a clue.
One more idea. There are cans of common products that have bottoms that unscrew to reveal that the interior is actually a safe. Consider a can of "engine cleaner" or ScotchGuard to hide in the garage with your extra door or car keys hidden inside. They will be safe from anybody tries to find them.
Take this quick quiz to find out if you home is a potential target for burglars.
1.) Do you live in a ground-floor apartment?
2.) Is your home surrounded by thick foliage and trees?
3.) Are the windows and doors of your home old and in disrepair?
4.) Is your street dark and without lights?
5.) Is your home unoccupied often because of business or part-time residency?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, your home may be a natural target for burglars.
If your home fits any of these descriptions, you may want to consider ways to improve home security and develop a burglar-prevention plan to keep your family safe.
Even if you live in a low-crime neighborhood, crime-reporting statistics and studies by insurers show that certain types of homes and neighborhoods are more vulnerable to crime.
A comprehensive monitored home security plan should include a smoke alarm.
The monitored smoke alarm is not the standard kind you buy in a hardware store. These smoke alarms not only emit a loud noise when activated but also send a signal to the control panel of your home security system.
Most monitored smoke alarms allow for one or two short time delays, in case of a false alarm -- such as burning food on a stove. This gives users time to key in a code to disarm the system, or notify the alarm company by phone.
In the case of fire, the control panel of your home security system will activate a central alarm that is loud enough to alert occupants and nearby neighbors. The monitoring service automatically is contacted.
Many home monitoring services do not try to phone homeowners first for verification of a fire. Time is too critical for saving lives and your home. Instead your local fire department is summoned immediately.
Check with the home security company to find out if customers must pay fees for false fire alarms. Some cities and towns also impose fees on homeowners for false home security alarms, because of the cost to dispatch emergency services to your home.
Most burglar alarm systems come with a panic button on the keypad. The panic button is there for summoning immediate help.
When you press the panic button, the monitoring service dispatches authorities without first trying to identify the problem at your home. Expect to hear sirens of local police after you push the panic button for help.
This response differs from the checklist a home security monitoring service follows when the burglar alarm is triggered. Typically, the monitoring service will first try to contact you at home to determine whether there is an emergency or false alarm. If no one can be reached, the service summons local authorities.
Customers of monitored home security systems often are required to provide an emergency contact list of friends and associates. These must be names and phone numbers of trusted people who will take a call from the monitoring service when there is a possible emergency. Most monitoring services will not accept pager numbers for contacts.
Whether you live in a castle or cabin, there is no guarantee you always will be safe.
If you worry a lot about personal safety, it may be time time to enhance home security and provide the sense of comfort you need. Here are some tips to help your secure your home:
Who knows better about the risks of home ownership than insurance companies?
Insurance companies are so confident in the effectiveness of home security systems that they typically discount the cost of coverage after owners or renters install a quality system.
Protect your home by identifying vulnerable areas and choosing products that provide the protection your home needs.
Some police agencies will do walk-throughs of your home to point out ways to improve security. Or walk your property and judge for yourself whether it is burglar-proof. Imagine how you would try to gain entry into your own home if your were an intruder. Your best bet for protection may be a basic home security system. Here are some standard products to consider:
Here's some obvious advice: Don't invite burglars and intruders into your home. But criminologists warn that residents may unintentionally do that, if their house or apartment building is in disrepair.
How you maintain your home and the appearance of your neighborhood send a clear message about neighborhood standards and lawlessness.
Known as the broken window theory, police and community leaders have helped reduce crime in neighborhoods by cleaning up streets, organizing crime watch groups, and -- yes -- fixing broken windows. These efforts show that neighbors won't tolerate crime.
The same approach holds true for homeowners and renters. Show that you care about your home and neighborhood through careful maintenance.