Can you secure your home without an alarm? Yes! There are many ways to connect your home without warning, including using bright lighting, getting a dog, using locks and bolts, and keeping valuables out of sight.
Your home security should be a top priority to keep you and your family safe. We’ve put together an essential guide to help you secure your home without an alarm.
How To Safeguard A Home Without An Alarm
Use Smart Lighting
Bright lighting can be used in a couple of different ways to keep your home safe.
Create the illusion you are home when you are not. You can purchase bright LED lights that can be controlled remotely from a tablet or computer. These can be used when you are out of town, at work, or stuck in traffic. You can also program the lights to change on schedule, which can help throw burglars off as long as they don’t notice no one has entered the home for a couple of days. If you don’t want to invest in these lights, you could always opt for an outdoor light sensing light that would automatically turn on at night.
The second option, which you could use in combination with the first or on its own, is to purchase motion-activated flood lights outside your home. This will put a spotlight on anyone snooping around your property, and that alone might keep intruders away. You can also put motion-activated lights indoors and deter burglars that way.
Get A Dog For Security
While most people think of German Shepherds or Rottweilers when they think of watchdogs, many other breeds of dogs can be just as effective at deterring burglars. Even small dogs like Chihuahuas, Shih Tzus, Chihuahuas, and Dachshunds can be effective because they make a lot of noise and bark incessantly if they sense a stranger. Sometimes even a sign that says beware of dogs or a bowl with “Killer” can be enough to keep the burglars away.
If you don’t want to invest in a four-legged friend just yet, there are many other options on the market. You can purchase a motion-activated electronic watchdog that emits a barking noise if you like the idea of still protecting your home with a canine.
Jam Rods Beneath Your Doorknobs
Jam long rods between your doorknob and the floor below. This prevents intruders from being able to open the door from the outside. These can be purchased, or you can make them yourself.
If you have sliding glass doors or windows that slide open, insert broom handles or long pieces of wood along the track at the base of each door and window. This will make them impossible to open them. Don’t do this on the door that you use to enter your home. You don’t want to lock yourself out!
Post Security System Signage
Just because you don’t have an existing security system installed doesn’t mean the burglar has to know. You can use plaques, decals, and yard signs alerting bad guys to the presence of one. This budget-friendly DIY hack for protecting your home isn’t foolproof. Some career burglars who take the time to chase your home may call your bluff – and won’t win you any points in the yard décor department, but most burglars won’t bother if they think that your home is armed with a security alarm.
Lock And Secure Windows And Doors
This may seem like a no-brainer, but many homeowners neglect to take this essential step in home protection (an estimated 40 per cent of break-ins occur without the use of force). If you’re going to forgo an electronic security system, use those deadbolts, latch those windows tight and place a strong dowel or rod on the backtrack of your sliding glass doors if you have them. The takeaway here? Lock your windows and doors when they’re not in use, even when you’re home.
Keep Valuables Out Of Sight
It’s essential to not keep your valuables in sight where the burglars would have easy access to them. Keep outdoor valuables like bicycles or tools out of sight in a shed or garage or locked up. Indoors, use curtains or blinds to hide valuables. Don’t leave electronics, jewellery, cash, or important personal documents in plain sight. For your most valuable items, you can lock them away in a safe.
Another tip is to be discreet when you purchase a new valuable item. Don’t showboat or keep your new TV boxes around. Don’t keep the boxes near the window or just outside your house. It’s like announcing to the burglars that there is much new merchandise for them to pursue. Dispose of boxes immediately and in a discrete manner.
Reinforce Your Windows
Always lock your windows when you are not home, especially ground-level windows. If your windows do not already have locks, you can purchase latches online or at a home improvement store. You can also install safety glass, which makes the window harder to break. Metal bars are also an option for preventing someone from entering through your window, though these may be more expensive or difficult to install.
Leave Your Car In The Driveway
If you are leaving town for a significant amount of time, you may have thought of going your car in an airport parking lot. Another option is leaving your car in your driveway. While this may provide a target for auto theft and vandalism, it can also add a layer of home security by automatically warding off burglars who assume that a parked car in the driveway means that someone is home.
Keep Spare Keys In A Lockbox
Some people hide their spare keys under a doormat or planter, behind pottery, or somewhere else that might be easy for a burglar to find. Some homeowners insurance companies may refuse coverage if there are no signs of forced entry. The solution to this is a combination lockbox. You can place it in an inconspicuous spot in your house and keep a key there. Make sure to screw the box on tightly so the burglar cannot pry the television off and take the whole package with them.
Don’t Keep The Garage Opener In Your Car
A thief who breaks into your car will be able to grab the remote and easily be able to access your garage and home. This isn’t just a problem when your vehicle is parked in your driveway since your registration can give the burglar your address.
So get rid of the remote and instead consider getting a keychain remote. This way, you can easily take it with you wherever you go and not risk leaving it in your car.
Have Someone Pick Up Your Mail
An overflowing mailbox is a clear sign that you are not home. Have a neighbour pick up your mail for you while you are away, so you do not give off the signal that you are gone. Ensure that your mailbox does not overflow while you are away since that will make it more likely that a burglar will notice and try to break in.
Lockdown Your Wi-fi Network
Your home wireless network is a doorway to your personal and financial information. And if you use home automation, it can also make your house vulnerable to a break-in. If your Wi-Fi network is connected to smart home gadgets or your security system, criminals could direct access to your home.
Do the following to ensure your Wi-Fi stays safe:
- Secure your wireless router.
- Enable WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) or WPA2 encryption.
- Rename and hide your home network.
- Use a firewall.
- Install antivirus and anti-malware protection.
- Create strong passwords.
Eliminate Hiding Spaces
Your house may look good with lots of trees and shrubs, but they also give burglars a handy place to hide. Trim down trees and plants close to your home that could be used for cover. Go for smaller flowers and bushes instead. If you have trees near windows, either remove them or reinforce those windows with extra security.
Defending Against Intruders
Call The Police If You Suspect An Intruder.
If you see a burglar or think someone is breaking into your home, leave your house if you can do so safely. Otherwise, grab your phone and hide. Call the authorities as soon as you can, and avoid the intruder.
- Designate a safe room in your house. It is best to plan rather than coming up with something on the fly.
Install Motion-detecting Lighting.
This will alert you if someone is outside your house. Motion detectors are pretty cheap and easy to install, and you can adjust their distance range and how long the lights stay on after activation.
- Keep in mind that animals, cars driving by, and heavy winds can potentially activate motion lights. Also, depending on where you are in your house, you may not even see the lights turn on.
Purchase Items That Can Be Used As Weapons.
While you should avoid confrontation with an intruder if, at all possible, you may be in a situation where you have to defend yourself. Baseball bats and golf clubs work well, as well as anything sharp. Make sure to keep any dangerous objects away from children.
- In case of emergency, any household item can be used as a weapon. You might have easy access to a broom, lamp, or telephone.
Own A Firearm If You Feel Comfortable Doing So.
Keep in mind that guns are hazardous, and you need to know what you are doing. If you purchase a firearm, you should take a class or teach someone to shoot it properly. Learn about the self-defence and gun laws in your area, as it may be illegal for you to shoot an intruder unless they are threatening you.
- Laws regarding possession of firearms vary in different cities and states. You might be required to have a background check and take a gun safety class.
- Store the gun in a secure and safe location. Always keep the safety switch on unless you need to use it.
Keep Pepper Spray Or Mace In Your House.
Pepper spray is an effective defence weapon because it doesn't require physical strength or skill. It is cheap and available at many stores and online. It quickly disables burglars and gives you time to call the police.
- Keep it well out of reach of young children.
- If a burglar is in your home and you don't own pepper spray or have access to it, perfume or an acidic juice can be used as mace.
How Hard Is It To Break Into A Home?
The sad truth is, it’s not that difficult to break into the majority of homes. The risk of being seen committing the crime is much more effective than a sub-par lock. Yet, with most house burglaries occurring during the day, even that risk does not seem to be very effective in preventing the crime. The issue here is that most homes have one or more weak points in their defence system, and professional, or at least experienced, thieves are pretty capable of exposing those weaknesses.
Other Ways To Deter A Burglar
Get Loud. Get Clear.
Security alarm companies enjoy marketing their product as magic pills against the cancer of robbery. In reality, it doesn’t prevent anybody from breaking and walking into your home; it’s not an invisible force field. However, when utilized correctly, it does make your home much less desirable for attempting a break-in.
Alarms appear to be quite dummy-proof: install/activate/don’t forget to turn it on. People you trust are given the entry code; anyone else will trip the alarm and cause a loud commotion. However, the problem is that the alarm sounds AFTER someone has broken in, and the police probably won’t find anyone when they arrive.
The alarm alone will most likely deter a would-be thief. However, why take chances and risk ruining your peace of mind in the event of an attempted break-in?
The key is NOT to conceal the less-than-aesthetic sticker that the security company gives you to display- THIS is what deters would-be burglars from targeting your house. So please-DON’T cover-up that sticker(s) simply for the sake of landscaping aesthetics!
Keep Your Vacation Plans Off Social Media!
This one pretty simple, folks- DON’T publish the dates for your next holiday, and as tempting as it might be, DON’T updates your status showing photos of the Grand Canyon, the Great Wall of China, etc.….unless you want to run the risk of becoming the target of a burglary while you’re out of town. And make sure to let your neighbours when you are gone so they know to report any activity seen on your property.
Seriously, Folks: Under The Doormat??
Have your friends or relatives ever been able to guess where you had hidden the spare key? Under the doormat (that sound was me- slapping my forehead, a la Homer Simpson) In the plant pot? Above the door frame…..? Simple rule(s) of thumb:
- It’s best NOT to leave a spare key on your property- go one each to a couple of your neighbours and friends.
- If you’re going to leave a key on your property, ask a couple of friends to come by and try finding it (we all love Easter Egg hunts).
- Bury it: Wrap it in tin foil and bury it in the yard. But please…..not under the doormat!
Let’s Have Some Limelight
Rule #1 of being a burglar: don’t get caught. Rule #2: you obey Rule #1 by not being seen/detected. Rule #3: if nobody spots you, nobody calls the cops.
Even though many robberies occur during the day, nighttime is still great for avoiding detection. One of the best ways to minimize the chance of your home becoming a target is to maximize the lighting, both outdoor and indoor. You want to have automated lights (and radio, to boot) inside your home to give the appearance that someone IS home (when you know you won’t be home before it gets dark) and bright lights (the 120-volt kind works best at dissipating shadows) outside, to minimize the opportunity for would-be burglars to lurk/hide.
Lock It Up
If all other home security defences fail, for whatever reason, a sturdy lock and door frequently can foil a would-be burglar. Remember:
No matter if it’s made from wood or metal, the door needs to be SOLID.
- The best type of strike plate? The heavy-duty type- make sure you use four long (3-inch) screws to secure it.
- The best kind of lock? Without a doubt: a deadbolt or a knob-in-lock set, WITH a deadlatch.
- First and foremost: make sure you have an alarm system installed.
- DON’T broadcast to the whole world that you won’t be home for ‘x's number of weeks.
- Don’t become a statistic just because you chose a cliché of a hiding spot for your spare key- in the exact locations you ALWAYS see on TV and in the movies.
- Have automated lights (and radio) come on in the evening when you know you won’t be home, and minimize shadows for would-be burglars to lurk.
- Make sure that both your door and lock(s) are as sturdy as they come. DON’T get cheap with these two items.
A quality alarm system is an excellent weapon in the fight against burglaries and the best method to bring peace of mind to home security. Yet, an experienced and effective security system specialist knows that home security doesn’t just begin and end with the alarm system.