No matter if you’re away on vacation or out doing your grocery shopping, burglars can use any opportunity that may arise and in just a few minutes they can get in and out of your home with your valuable possessions in hand. That’s why it’s always important to keep your home safe and secure, so you can go about your day without having to worry about your home, your family or your valuables.

While you can’t protect your home against every possible threat, you can use these 5 easy and smart strategies to make a substantial difference to your home’s security and fortify your house against possible threats and hazards, such as burglaries and vandalism.

Let’s begin!

1. Lock Your Doors and Windows

While this first step is a pretty obvious one, you’d be surprised by the amount of people that tend to forget to lock their doors, especially their side or back doors, or leave their windows open for air circulation while they’re away from their home. Sadly, this makes them a very easy target, which is why it’s important to have all your external doors fitted with adequate locks, and make sure they’re always locked when you’re away from home. Make sure you close all windows before you leave your home as well.

Additionally, you can install sliding, clamp locks or bar style locks on your windows for added safety. These can be found in any home centre and are quite easy to install. Now when it comes to the doors, there are several different things you can do to step up your security in that area.

Those include: - Install a coded dead bolt, so that your kids can enter using the code. This way you won’t have to make keys for everyone or have to hide one of them somewhere outside the home, which can expose your home’s security.

- If you do decide to hide a key, choose locations which are not typically used. Avoid hiding the key in obvious places such as under the mat, and instead be a bit more creative when choosing a hiding spot. A few places no one thinks to look in include the dog house, the bird house, under rocks in the front yard and so on. Other great hiding places you can go with, include burying it under a fake sprinkler, inside a fake drain or fake faucet head, which you can all order online. - Use a lock pin for your sliding patio or back doors. - Install a metal strike plate to protect the weakest and most vulnerable area of your door, which is where the deadbolt goes into the doorjamb. Use longer screws for added protection.

2. Install an Alarm System

Installing an alarm system coupled with a few stickers on your windows, gate or front door will be a big deterrent for burglars. However, if you don’t have the resources to invest in an alarm system right away and decide to go with a fake alarm, here’s what you can do to make sure it looks as legitimate as possible: - Make sure the box is printed with the name of a false security firm and a false phone number. - For additional security you can add fake security cameras which resemble real cameras but are inexpensive. - Add a fake security system sign in the front yard.

3. Install Sensor-Activated Exterior Lights

The easiest and cheapest outdoor precautions you can take to increase the security of your home include installing sensor-activated lights which are relatively inexpensive and easy to install. They are great at theft prevention and offer you the extra security of being able to see into your front or back yard at night.

4. Trim Back Bushes

If you have large bushes and plants that are obscuring the front of your home and covering windows and other entry points - trim them back. They can be used as a great cover for thieves and burglars to break in unnoticed.

5. Get to Know Your Neighbours

When it comes to keeping your home safe, your neighbours are your biggest ally. If you aren’t acquainted with your neighbours, pay them a visit and introduce yourself. Being friendly with your closest neighbours has a lot of merit. This way when you’re away on holiday or a work trip, your neighbours will be here to keep an eye on your home and let you know if they notice any suspicious activity. If you trust your neighbours to give them a spare set of keys, you can have them look over your home while you’re away and you can do the same for them in return.

Additional safety measures you can take include:

  • Installing solar-powered exterior lights so you can light up the perimeter for added security

  • Fortifying your fence

  • Investing in a solid CCTV system

  • Securing your garage door with extra locks

  • Locking down your Wi-Fi network

  • Keeping your valuables hidden out of sight