Home burglaries are on the rise in major cities throughout the world. We have also experienced a boom in the home monitoring industry in recent years. In fact, installing sensors and paying for a security service subscription has become the most common way to prepare for the risk of a home invasion, with 17% of American households buying in.
Despite its growing popularity, there are some inherent drawbacks to having such a system in your home. These include the cost of the devices, the monthly monitoring service fee, and the fact that remotely stopping a home burglary in time is near impossible.
There is no reason to pay to know when your home is being robbed if there is nothing you can do to stop it. There is also the concern of the charges and hassle incurred from security companies and the local police due to false alarms. It is estimated that more than 80% of all home alarm response calls by the police are for false alarms, causing some police units in various cities to stop responding to these alarms altogether.
Fortunately, there are ways to secure your home without shelling out your hard-earned money for an overpriced service that is likely going to be ineffective in most burglary situations. In our last blog post we discussed how to improve the effectiveness of your alarm system. This will article will cover ways to secure without an alarm system.
The following are just a few of the most cost-effective ways to secure your home without using monitored alarms. They include everything from securing entry points to maintaining a lived-in appearance for your home at all times, as well as options for unmonitored alarms, adopting a dog, and maintaining a regular check-in with your neighbors.
Lock and secure doors
One of the most common ways thieves enter empty homes is simply by walking through an unlocked door.
This is because most people habitually leave their front, back, or garage door open when they go out for short periods. Some are even comfortable leaving their doors unlocked when leaving for their 9 to 5 jobs, which makes the life and living of a burglar much easier, as they have nearly no risk of being detected in these situations.
One of the most effective ways to secure your home is also the most obvious and straightforward: Consistently locking your doors. It is the easiest way to reduce your risk of a break-in.
Another common mistake many people make is hiding their backup key under the doormat, a flower pot near the door, or some other convenient location that takes no more than a few minutes of searching the area to locate. These universal spots are the first places a potential thief checks and are not much safer than just leaving the door unlocked.
If locking the door is something you tend to forget or you fear being locked out, consider investing in a smart lock, or learn to pick a lock yourself.
The best way to stop a burglary is to prevent it from happening in the first place.
To do this, you can use deterrents that make your house an unattractive target for burglars. One of the most effective of these preventative measures is maintaining the exterior of your home to show that it is lived-in.
A lived-in house is an effective deterrent because the last thing a burglar wants is to run into you while stealing your TV. This is why, before picking a target, a burglar will look for signs that a home is empty. These signs include no lights, accumulating flyers and newspapers on the front porch, no cars, and an unattended garden.
There are simple ways to eliminate each of these indicators. Having lights that turn on periodically throughout the day on a timer gives the impression that a person is at home. Paying a local teenager to collect and dispose of flyers and newspapers while you are out of town can prevent them from accumulating, and that same person can also be employed to regularly mow your lawn while you are away if you do not already use a landscaping service.
When you do purchase something expensive that might get stolen, try not to put the packaging it came in out on the sidewalk for long, if at all. Nothing attracts a burglar faster than seeing the box for an expensive brand-new TV outside your home.
One of the best ways to alert yourself, your neighbors, and the authorities about a break-in without paying for a monitored security service is to invest in an unmonitored smart alarm.
These devices can use door and window sensors, glass break sensors, and other common signs to detect a breach and alert or trigger a loud alarm.
The device replicates most of the features of a monitored security system, but at a fraction of the cost and without the need to be monitored: Simply turn it on and leave it as is. The unmonitored alarm can trigger a siren and strobe and send pictures, video feeds, and smartphone notifications to you and anyone hooked up the system.
Modern home security devices also incorporate AI and machine learning algorithms to do the monitoring for you, lowering the cost because there is no human work involved.
Use your neighbor network
On the flip side of using modern technology, many people prefer traditional security measures. Ultimately, home monitoring systems are the modern equivalent to ancient tribal rituals where one person keeps watch while others sleep. Advanced sensors and devices attempt to replace this watch person with technology, to varying degrees of success.
If you have a good, trusting relationship with your neighbors, consider proposing an arrangement with one or several of the individuals in your neighborhood. When one neighbor has left on vacation, the others can keep an eye on the residence, clear accumulating newspapers, and perhaps even park one of their cars in the driveway of the empty home.
This reciprocated effort can ensure security as good as any monitored system, with the added peace of mind that technology glitches and power outages cannot disable your protection.
Get a guard dog
If you cannot rely on your neighbors or you live in a more rural area that does not allow for the convenience of a neighborhood watch, a trained guard dog may be your best bet.
Man’s best friend has long served as a lookout and defense against thieves and robbers. With the right tools it is possible to get into your home without a key, but most people cannot silence a well-trained dog.
Certain breeds, such as Dobermans and Australian Shepherds, make the best guard dogs because of their stature, strength, ability to intimidate, and incredible senses of hearing and smell.
Though people typically spend the majority of their day outside of their homes, monitored alarms are not feasible for those who are most susceptible to burglary, including students, young families, and the elderly.
Fortunately, by simply taking these steps to deter potential burglars without a monitored alarm system, you can ensure that your home and everyone in it remains safe and secure.