How to Protect Your Home from Intruders: Avoid these Common Mistakes

tom.baldridge

Feeling safe at home is vital, but break-ins are a real threat, with over 1 million burglaries in the U.S. in 2021 [1]. This guide Learn How to Protect Your Home from Intruders will explore security systems, physical measures, and smart technologies to keep your home safe.

Introduction

Burglary and home invasion are serious concerns. The thought of an intruder can be terrifying, but there are steps to protect your home from intruders. This guide will discuss security systems and protective measures to help defend your home, providing layers of protection to deter criminals.”

How to Protect Your Home from Intruders

Understanding Home Security Systems

A monitored home security system should be the foundation of any home protection strategy. Sophisticated sensors, cameras, and real-time monitoring provide 24/7 protection. There are a few main options when it comes to home security systems:

Traditional Alarm Systems – These systems are centered around door and window sensors, motion detectors, and alarm sirens. Most require professional installation and monitoring.

Smart Home Security Systems – Technology like sensors, cameras, smoke detectors and carbon monoxide monitors are controlled via smartphone and connected to monitoring centers via wireless connectivity. Installation is DIY-friendly.

Protect Your Home from Intruders

DIY Security Solutions – Affordable do-it-yourself kits allow you to self-install sensors, cameras, alarms and monitoring apps. Limited professional monitoring may be available.

Smart home security systems offer comprehensive protection and smartphone control.

Always do thorough research before selecting a home security provider. Look for companies with strong reputations, transparent pricing, and flexible packages. Professional monitoring is highly recommended for the best protection. When an alarm is triggered, trained agents can assess the situation in real-time and dispatch emergency responders if needed, providing significantly faster response compared to audible alarms alone [2].

Top security companies like Vivint, ADT, SimpliSafe and Abode offer advanced systems with cellular backup connectivity, smart home integrations, and mobile access. But make sure to find the right balance of features, prices, and monitoring that fits your unique needs and budget.

Tips for Protecting Your Home from Intruders

While a security system provides a strong foundation, you should also implement other physical and tech-based protective measures for optimal security.

Install High-Quality Locks and Deadbolts

Having sturdy, pick-resistant locks on all exterior doors is essential. Upgrade standard doorknob locks to reinforced deadbolts with 1-inch throws (the part that extends into the door frame). For exit doors, utilize keyless egress deadbolts for emergency exiting.

For windows, install dual-action security locks to fully secure the window. Ensure sliding doors have anti-lift devices and secondary locks. And don’t forget the garage – secure garage entry doors as well as interior doors leading from the garage into the home.

Utilize Motion-Sensor Lights

Outdoor motion-activated security lights are highly effective burglary deterrents [3]. As an intruder approaches, bright LED floodlights will suddenly illuminate the area, drawing attention and causing most criminals to flee.

Strategically place motion lights covering entryways, side and back yards, garages and alcoves. For even greater coverage, use motion-activated spotlights with wide 120-150° detection angles.

Incorporate Strategic Lighting

In addition to motion lights, keeping your home’s exterior well-illuminated at night is key. Utilize LED floodlights, spotlights, post lights and solar path lights to eliminate dark corners and shadows around the property where intruders could hide.

Use smart bulbs and schedules so certain interior lights automatically turn on at dusk even when you aren’t home. This creates the illusion of occupancy to deter potential break-ins. Just be sure to use bulbs rated for extended use.

Install a Video Doorbell

Video doorbells provide 24/7 monitoring of your home’s entrance. When motion is detected, you’ll receive smartphone alerts with HD video showing who is at your door. This enables screening visitors and deterring intruders.

Choose a video doorbell with high resolution recording, night vision, smart motion detection to reduce false alerts, and two-way talk. Top options from Ring, Nest, Arlo and others make your entryway more secure.

Protect Your Home from Intruders

Video doorbell cameras let you see and speak with visitors at your door for enhanced security.

Incorporate Smart Locks

Smart locks provide the convenience of keyless entry while increasing security. With your smartphone, you can remotely lock and unlock doors for family members and guests without needing to distribute keys.

Smart locks also utilize auto-locking, tamper alerts, and activity logs. Some even integrate with video doorbells to automatically unlock when familiar faces are recognized. Upgrade exterior doors, garage entries, and interior garage access doors for robust protection.

Implement Landscaping Best Practices

Your home’s landscaping and exterior visibility also play important roles in security. Overgrown bushes or trees can provide hidden access to second-story windows or obscure visibility from the street.

Carefully trim any greenery near windows, doors, and perimeter fences. Also prune trees with low-hanging branches that could enable second-story access. And maintain clear sight lines to your home’s entrance and driveway so potential intruders feel exposed.

Common Home Security Mistakes to Avoid

When it comes to protecting your home, there are some critical mistakes to steer clear of. Avoid these common pitfalls:

  • Forgetting to lock doors or windows – Don’t ever leave easy access for intruders.
  • Hiding spare keys outside – Criminals know all the common hiding spots.
  • Having an outdated security system – Modern systems deter crime better.
  • Not using professional monitoring – Critical for the fastest police response.
  • Poor exterior lighting – Keep your home illuminated at night.
  • Overgrown landscaping – Trim greenery so all areas are visible.

Taking basic precautions goes a long way in keeping criminals at bay. Don’t let these crucial oversights put your home and family at risk.

Recommended Home Security Products

Here are some top-rated home security products to consider:

Smart Home Security Systems

  • Vivint – Professional installation, high-end features
  • SimpliSafe – DIY installation, customizable packages
  • Abode – Budget-friendly DIY systems

Outdoor Security Cameras

  • Arlo – Fully wireless and weatherproof
  • Ring – HD video with smart notifications
  • Blink – Affordable wireless cameras

Video Doorbells

  • Ring Video Doorbell – Industry leader, customizable
  • Nest Hello – Sharp video with facial recognition
  • RemoBell S – Value-packed wired model

Smart Locks

  • August Smart Lock – Retrofits existing deadbolts
  • Yale Assure Lock – Keyless touchscreen deadbolt
  • Kwikset Halo – WiFi-enabled keyless entry

Outdoor Security Lights

  • Ring Floodlight Cam – Motion-activated camera floodlight
  • Maximus Smart Security Light – Customizable motion light
  • Philips LED Dusk-to-Dawn Light – Automated nighttime illumination

Choosing top-rated models from leading brands ensures you get advanced features backed by great warranties.

Real-World Examples and Success Stories

Upgrading home security and implementing protective measures takes an investment of time and money. But many homeowners who have endured break-ins say it’s worth the peace of mind.

Here are just a few real-world examples of how security improvements helped avoid potential catastrophes:

  • Susan installed a new ADT monitored security system after a neighbor two doors down was robbed. Just days after getting the new system, she received a midnight alarm alert when her motion sensors were triggered. Police responded within 5 minutes and caught the intruder red-handed before he could steal anything.
  • Vijay mounted motion-sensor spotlights covering the back and side perimeter of his home after reading about increasing break-ins in his neighborhood on Nextdoor. One night the lights activated and illuminated a suspicious person trying to enter through a back window. The criminal was startled by the lights and immediately fled.
  • Rosa invested in replacing all her exterior door locks with heavy-duty smart deadbolts after moving into a new home. She received remote notifications when her teenage kids returned home, and video recordings of each entry provided peace of mind. Just months later, police informed her burglars were hitting homes with weaker locks on her block. Her upgrades likely prevented her home from being targeted.

Take Action to Protect Your Home

As crime rates fluctuate, adequately protecting your home becomes more important than ever. A comprehensive security plan utilizing layers of smart tech, physical protections, and professional monitoring provides optimal defense.

This guide provided tips and real-world examples to help safeguard your home. Key takeaways include:

  • Install a professionally monitored home security system as the core of your protection.
  • Upgrade all locks, deadbolts, and window security.
  • Utilize motion sensor lights and strategic illumination.
  • Add video doorbells and exterior cameras.
  • Incorporate smart locks and other advanced technologies.
  • Optimize landscaping for visibility.
  • Avoid common home security mistakes.

While no single product can guarantee impenetrable security, following these best practices can help deter the vast majority of break-in attempts and keep your family safe.

We invite you to start a conversation below: what home security measures do you have in place currently? Are there any strategies outlined that you plan to implement? How has upgrading your home’s security provided peace of mind? We welcome your insights and experiences.

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