Most of our Chicago neighborhoods are fairly safe and have low crime rates but there are never any guarantees that our home won’t become another statistic and fall victim to a crime like robbery. Keeping your home and family safe is a priority we all share. Beyond locking the doors and getting an alarm, there are ten simple ways to protect your home from crime.
1. Change Your Locks
Did you change your locks when you moved into your new home? Something as simple as changing the locks on your home can eliminate the chances of anyone else having direct access to your home.
2. Upgrade The Security of Your Doors
While you're changing your locks, install new locks that give you more secure options. Over half of all criminals gain access to homes by kicking in a door that isn’t secure. Installing deadbolt locks on vulnerable exterior doors is a great way to protect your home.
3. Get Rid of Your Hide-a-Key
You may think the hiding spot underneath the doormat is the last place a criminal would ever look for your spare house key but think again. Hiding a spare key around your property may give you access when you’ve locked yourself out but it can also give criminals easy access to your valuables.
4. Install Timers on Your Interior and Exterior Lights
Installing timers on some of your lights both inside and outside your home can make it look like you are home even when you aren’t. Sometime a porch light or bedroom light can be all it takes to deter a break-in.
Install motion-detecting lights in key spots around the exterior of your home. A light that pops on just as a burglar is approaching your back door may be enough to make them think twice about breaking in to your home.
5. Get a Dog
You don’t even have to have a big dog to deter criminals. According to a university study, homes with dogs are less likely to be broken into. Loud barking and the potential for being met by a Pit bull even if you own a Shih Tzu is enough to make a criminal choose another house.
6. Fake a Security System
Home security systems can be unaffordable for some homeowners, so simply pretend you have one. You can buy security decals for your windows and yard signs online or at some home improvement stores.
7. Install a Camera
Security cameras have become more affordable and easier to install in the past several years. You can even find some that are motion activated and battery powered so there is no need to run wires. Having an exterior camera around entry points of your home whether they are working or not can lower your chances of being burglarized.
8. Check Your Windows
You might think your home is more secure than it actually is. Maybe that guest room window isn't shutting or locking all the way. Eliminating easy access points by securing and locking windows will cost you nothing and is a simple fix.
9. Call the Police
In many Chicago areas, a police officer will visit your home to give you tips on how to make your home more secure, for free.
10. Eliminate Hiding Spots
Cut down over grown vegetation and remove any items that are large enough for burglars to hide behind and watch your home. The simple act of trimming trees and bushes around your home can lower the potential for a break-in.