How to protect your home from vandals and thieves

Crime can happen anywhere, even in your own home. Vandals and thieves could wreck your property and make off with your possessions without warning. If you haven’t installed a home security system, that doesn’t mean you should just allow yourself to remain an easy target. Protect your home and your family from intruders by following these simple strategies. (h/t to

  • Be aware of potential threats. Take the initiative and learn about any recent crimes happening around your area. Talk to your neighbors and read your local newspaper. Coordinate with your local police department. The sooner you learn about any potential threats, the quicker you can prepare for them. Be proactive and ease any unnecessary paranoia and anxiety.
  • Keep your doors and windows locked all times. You don’t have to turn your house into a personal Fort Knox. You just have to make sure your doors are windows are reasonably secure and that no one can easily break in through them. If you don’t want to keep your windows shut tight all the time, consider installing bars or grills. Fresh air can come in but trespassers stay out. (Related: Simple strategies you can implement NOW to significantly improve your home security.)
  • Leave the light on. Intruders can easily take advantage of the cover of darkness. Level the playing field by keeping your yard and home well-lit during nighttime. This will allow you to easily spot any suspicious activity outside your house and deter thieves from sneaking in undetected. Try to use solar powered lights and motion sensors if you can. This will help cut down your electricity bill and ensure your lights will remain on even when the power is out. The motion detectors can also trick any would-be intruders into thinking that they’ve been caught red-handed, likely foiling their scheme in the process.
  • Avoid revealing sensitive information on social media. It might be tempting to brag about that long weekend getaway at some far-off vacation spot you’ve been planning for weeks, but once you put that information out there, it could quickly wind up in the wrong hands. Thieves often monitor social media in the hopes of finding an opportunity to strike when homes are left empty and unguarded. Posting about your latest expensive purchases might also make you more of a target.
  • Train your family members to protect themselves. Protection and security are not a one-man job. They are the responsibility of everyone involved. Get your loved ones involved in ensuring their own protection as well. Share with them your plans of what to do in case of emergencies. Having a standard protocol that everyone knows will keep people from panicking or not knowing what to do during stressful situations. Teamwork is crucial in mitigating all sorts of threats.
  • Display security system warning signs. Sometimes, the illusion of protection can be just as effective at deterring intruders as much as an actual home security system can. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still try to keep your home protected in any case. Highly visible warning signs are just an additional deterrent that can make thieves think twice about targeting your house in the first place.
  • Get a guard dog. A guard dog can double as a faithful companion and an early warning system against intruders. If for some reason, getting a dog isn’t feasible, you can still maintain the illusion of having one by placing “Beware of dog” signs around your property. You can even keep chew toys, a food bowl, and a dog chain lying in plain sight to keep up the deception.
  • Hang noisy items above doorways. Wind chimes and bells can alert you whenever someone enters or exits your home. They can also startle any trespassers trying to break in.
  • Eliminate possible hiding spots. Shrubs and trees near your windows can obscure your view. They can create blind spots for anyone to easily sneak in and catch you off-guard. Try to keep a clear line of sight throughout your entire yard.

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