A home burglary occurs every 15 seconds in the United States. Many of these burglaries take place in neighborhoods, and nearly half of them take place during the day each year. Despite these statistics, most homeowners take only minor precautions to protect their homes from intruders something you never want to regret after the fact.

Fortunately, there are many quick, simple steps you can take right away to make your home more secure. This article will go over 13 simple home security tips that you can use to make your home more secure for you and your family.

Key Points

  • The most effective deterrents to home invasions are simple, obvious steps such as locking doors and windows and installing a home security system.
  • Social media is used by more than three-quarters of burglars to identify potential targets.
  • To prevent unauthorized access to private information and connected home security devices, WiFi networks must always be password protected.
  • Hide brand and product names from boxes left on the curb, secure garages and sheds, and use a safe to protect your most valuable possessions.

13 simple home security tips you should be aware of

1. Lock your doors and windows

Although it may appear obvious, one-third of all home burglars gain entry through unlocked doors and windows. We tend to feel safe in the communities we know and love, but it’s always a good idea to err on the side of caution and secure all possible entry points to your home. Many burglars will go from house to house looking for easy targets, and this common-sense precaution can keep your home off their list.

2. Install a home security system

Homes that have an alarm system are 300% less likely to be burglarized than those that do not. Even a window or lawn sign advertising your home security system will deter many would-be intruders. Some homeowners may be put off by the alarm system’s perceived high costs or technical upkeep. However, there are many affordable options available, and smartphone technology has made it easier than ever to manage your alarm system from anywhere.

3. Install motion sensor lighting

The jury is still out on whether lighting can actually deter burglars. After all, many burglaries occur during the day, when lighting isn’t even a consideration. Nonetheless, some research suggests that motion detectors deter burglars due to their sudden onset and the possibility of alerting neighbors to suspicious activity, particularly when those neighbors know you’re away and wouldn’t be triggering the lights themselves. We believe that motion detector lights are worth installing to add an extra layer of safety to your home’s exterior areas because they are simple to install and inexpensive (as low as $10 to $15).

4. Install a deadbolt protector

Most burglars will be able to pick your locks, even if they appear to be pick-proof. A deadbolt protector, which slides a lock over your deadbolt to prevent it from turning, is one way to add extra security to your main doors. They are available at most hardware stores and on Amazon.

5. Strengthen sliding doors

Patio and deck sliding doors are more vulnerable than your main front door. The locks are easier to pick, and even a hard pull can get through many of them. It’s best to beef up the security on your sliding doors. Many homeowners prefer a more sophisticated method, such as laying a bar, broomstick, or piece of plywood on the door track. In that case, you can add extra security by purchasing locks that fit on the bottom or top of the door.

6. Purchase a home security camera

Nowadays, you can usually find an all-in-one home security system that includes cameras, or you can buy them separately to supplement an existing system. Cameras can both deter burglars and help you get justice if your home is broken into. You’ve probably seen a lot of home security camera footage shared on social media. They’re becoming more popular than ever as online shopping grows, putting people at risk of being victimized by “porch pirates” who steal packages right from your front door.

7. Keep spare keys in a lock box

Consider this: where would you look for someone’s spare key? Most likely under the mat, the mailbox, or a stone or flower pot near the door. These obvious hiding places for your front door keys essentially invite home burglars. You can’t always avoid having to leave a key for someone, so keep it in a lockbox so no one else can get to it.

Many homeowners appreciate the added sense of security that home cameras can provide on a daily basis. Products such as the Ring and Google Nest Cam enable homeowners to check in on their homes while they are away and see a clear image of visitors who knock on the front door before opening it.

8. Avoid oversharing on social media

You might not even be aware of how you’re making your home more vulnerable to burglars by posting on social media. Posting photos of your home with the address plaque visible, sharing your address via online event invites or public comments, or disclosing the details of your upcoming extended vacation are all ways to increase your risk of a home invasion. In fact, 78% of burglars use Facebook and Twitter. Keep your address and contact information off of social media. Check the photos you post twice, never type your address in public places, and keep the details of your vacation private until you return home.

9. Secure garages and sheds

People frequently overlook garages and sheds because they do not actually live in them. However, most people keep valuable possessions in their garages and sheds, such as cars, lawnmowers, furniture, and other items boxed up for storage. Don’t assume that your house is the only part of your property that could be broken into. Keep your belongings safe by keeping your garage and shed doors closed and securing them with additional locks as needed.

10. Use a password protected wifi network

Even inexperienced hackers can gain access to your wifi network and steal your personal information. They can use that data to monitor your home and even control wifi-enabled security devices such as cameras and alarm systems. Keeping your wifi network secure is an important aspect of home security. Use a strong wifi password that you do not share with anyone.

11. Do not advertise large purchases

The boxes and bags you put out on trash day can reveal a lot about what valuables are inside your home to potential burglars. To avoid this, break down boxes and fold them so that the brand and product names are not visible. Cover them with extra bags if necessary. It’s worth the extra effort to avoid the heartbreak of having your hard-earned possessions stolen right after you buy them.

12. Make it look like someone is home

There are some simple ways to make it appear that someone is at home in your house when that is not the case. One obvious tactic is to leave a light on inside, though this is so common that most burglars won’t think twice about turning on the living room light. Other effective ways to make your home appear occupied, especially if you’re gone for an extended period of time, are to leave a car in the driveway, use timed lighting (indoor and outdoor) that turns on at different times, have a friend or neighbour collect your mail, and leave a radio or TV on inside.

13. Put your valuables in a safe

No matter what we do, burglars will find their way into our homes at times. We can’t protect everything we own, but it’s a good idea to keep your most valuable possessions, such as jewellery, money, important documents, and family heirlooms, in a locked, immovable safe. This way, you can rest assured that the things that are most important to you are always safe.