Home Security


Published: 02/15/2011

by Brandon Stone


As a police officer and security professional, I'm constantly reminded of the importance of home security.  Contrary to the violent world we live in, our right to feel safe and protected within our own home should never be compromised or violated.  Yet on a daily basis, thousands of homes across the country our invaded and destroyed.  Thousands of lives every year are changed as a result of home invasions, burglaries, kidnappings and vandalism.


Although crime can never be eliminated, it can be deterred.  From firearms to alarm systems, reinforced doors to safe rooms, the number of products on the market today to aid in home security are endless.  Camera systems, bar locks, sirens, mace, bats and motion sensors, regardless of your budget, security products can be found.  But what really works?


Here are some home security ideas that will fit almost any one's budget.


  • 1. If you have a window well to a basement, cover it up.  It's too easy for a criminal to jump down into your window well (and be hidden from the pubic), break a window and enter you home.  Either purchase a cover from a home improvement store, or make one yourself.  Secure the cover to the well from the underside so that it can only be opened from inside the house.


  • 2. Install lights around your entire house.  Motion sensors on the side and rear lights work well to reduce the amount of additional light cast into your neighbor's bedroom.  One of the leading causes of a home security breach is inadequate lighting.  Criminals do not like to be seen and will generally choose a target with insufficient lighting.


  • 3. Get an alarm system.  Whether it's monitored or not, place stickers on the windows to notify criminals that your house is alarmed.  Again, criminals don't like to get caught and will try to choose a home without an alarm system.


  • 4. Install deadbolt locks on all exterior doors.  Spend the extra money to purchase high quality locks thatcannot easily be picked.  Be sure to lock the deadbolt anytime you leave the house or retire for the evening.


  • 5. If you have a sliding glass door, you must have either a bar or some type of a rod which prevents your door from being opened.  The locks on sliding glass doors are not sufficient enough to keep a criminal out of your house.  One good pull and your door may open.  Also, far too often home owners forget to lock their sliding glass door.  If you install a locking bar, you will get in the habit of making sure the bar is in the down position, preventing the door from being opened.


  • 6. If you leave your home overnight, use a timer that will turn lights on and off throughout the house.  A standard timer will turn the lights on at the same time every night.  A criminal watching your home will catch on to this. Purchase a timer that specifies random patterns (typically called a vacation timer) that will vary the times that lights are activated.


  • 7. Have a neighbor or family member pick up your mail and newspaper if you are gone for more than 24 hours.  Nothing says "I'm not home" more than newspapers laying at the front door.


  • 8. Keep your bushes trimmed back away from the house.  You want to be able to see if anyone is behind or under your bushes when you arrive home.  It's not uncommon for criminals to hide under bushes, only to jump out and grab you after you unlock the door.


  • 9. Take different routes to and from work or other places you frequently travel to.  Although it's an inconvenience, you want to keep from setting a pattern.  Keep a close eye on who's behind you.  If you see a car has been following you, DO NOT go home.  Go instead to a supermarket, shopping mall, police station or anywhere else where other people are present.  Setting a pattern allows criminals to know where you are and when you come and go.  Almost all kidnappings and sexual assaults involve a period of time when the criminal followed the victim.



I'm sure I could come up with hundreds of additional home security tips and recommendations, which may be outlined in additional posts.  Please take time to implement the ideas that have been posted above.  Home security is something that you can have some control over.  You don't have to be a victim in your own home, but you do have to be proactive and take precautionary steps to improve the security of your home.