8 Security Tips for New Homeowners

You’ve just moved into your new home and you are starting to settle in. You’ve unpacked your belongings, forwarded your mail, and figured out your child’s new school. If you are new to homeownership, there may be one more important thing to consider: how to keep your new home protected.

You can increase the security of your new home by following a few simple steps. Here is a list of seven things you can do today to protect your home and family:

1. Get Familiar with Your Neighborhood
Take some time to get an overview of your neighborhood. Make a mental note of the types of vehicles that pass through your streets. Make a general note of what kinds of cars your neighbours drive. Identify the dark areas of your street. This information will help you create a baseline of normal neighbourhood activity so you can judge when something seems abnormal.

2. Get to Know Your Neighbours
Introduce yourself to your neighbours. Make friends and build relationships. Your neighbours can become valuable assets to help alert you of dangerous situations near your home. They can also help to keep an eye on your home while you are away.

3. Join a Neighbourhood Watch Program
Neighbourhood watch programs help you stay current on what is happening in and around the neighbourhood. They can also provide training on how to prevent neighbourhood crime and protect your home from invaders. By attending neighbourhood watch meetings, you can make allies you can trust to help keep your community safe.

4. Make Your Home a Difficult Target
Examine your home as a potential burglar would: check for weaknesses in your security. Here are some common areas of the home that you can fortify in a few simple steps:
  • Doors. Make sure that all your doors that lead outside are strong. Consider replacing hollow-construction doors with solid wood or steel doors. Be sure that your doorframes are just as sturdy.
  • Locks. Replace all the locks on outside doors as soon as you move in. The old residents’ friends could still have spare keys to your locks.
  • Windows. Consider replacing keyless latches with sliding bolts or keyed latches. Secure basement windows with metal guards. You can also reinforce basement windows with high-impact acrylic sheets. These reinforcements make your windows more difficult for home invaders to break.
  • Landscaping. Take a look at the previous residents’ landscaping. You may want to consider removing tall shrubbery near your home’s windows or in dark areas. These types of bushes make it easier for invaders to hide.
By making these physical changes to your home, you can strengthen your security and keep unwanted intruders out.

5. Consider Installing a Home Security System
Home security systems alert you of intruders and can send automatic alerts to local law enforcement agencies. This helps protect your home whether you are at home or away. The alarms on these systems also help deter criminals from attempting to break in. Contact Astro Guard Alarms, a trusted home security provider, for more information.

6. Form Good Security Habits
In addition to making physical improvements to your home, you can also improve security by forming better home security habits. Here are a few day-to-day things you can do to increase the security of your home:
  • Always keep your doors locked, even when you will only be away for a few minutes. Get into the habit of locking your doors even when you are at home.
  • Keep your garage door closed while you are at home or away.
  • Avoid hiding your spare keys outside of your home. Leave them instead with a trusted neighbour.
  • Learn how to report suspicious behavior to your local law enforcement.
  • Ask solicitors to identify themselves before listening to them. Never open a door for strangers, especially when you are home alone.

7. Keep Your Home Safe While You’re Away
While you are away for extended periods of time, make your house appear like someone is home. Here are some ways to help eliminate any signs that you are away:
  • Forward or place a hold on your mail, and have your neighbours pick up any packages.
  • Have a neighbour inspect your home inside and out each day and leave their car in your driveway. Ask them to pick up any newspapers or other advertisements.
  • Silence the ringer on your house phone.
  • Consider automatic lights that will turn on at night.
  • Do not announce your plans to travel on social media or in a voicemail.

8. Protect Your Home from Within
You also want to protect your home from internal accidents. Change the batteries on your fire and carbon monoxide detectors.

Create an emergency plan with your family so you can respond quickly to any dangerous situation. A little bit of planning goes a long way.

Make a Plan Today
Follow these home security tips and you will improve the security of your home. Start small and make a few changes today. Sit down with your family and make a plan to tackle some of the bigger issues. You cannot place a price on your family’s safety.