Now that we are hopefully moving into a more “normal” summer after over a year of dealing with a global pandemic, we think it is important to talk about home security and simple steps you can take to ensure that your home, family, and belongings are safe when the summer months start.
Setup a Security Camera and Access It From Anywhere. Purchase an IP camera that includes No-IP as an integrated Dynamic DNS provider, and set it up so that you can access it from anywhere you are on any easy-to-remember hostname.
Did you know that 34% of burglars enter their target house through the front door or front, first-floor windows? Going to sleep? Lock your doors! Leaving to run a quick errand? LOCK YOUR DOORS! Going on vacation for a few days? Take a few moments to walk around your home to ensure all of your windows and doors are locked. If you have a sliding glass door, consider getting a wooden dowel or metal security bar in the track to prevent it from being opened if the lock is bypassed. You can also install a pin-style lock on the slider to give you even more protection.
Setup a home automation system. Home automation is the best way to control your entire home, even when you are there! You can buy easy-to-configure devices that let you control them from your phone. You can even use No-IP to set up an easy-to-remember hostname that points to your dynamic IP address. This means you will never lose your connection to your devices, which will ensure your home automation is always working. Home automation can be used to control your lighting (indoor and out), TVs, thermostats, and much more.
Landscape Upkeep. Grass grows fast in the summer and nothing gives away an empty home or someone on vacation for an extended period of time more than an uncut yard. Consider paying a lawn maintenance company to cut your yard for you if you will be out of town for an extended period of time, or even consider paying your neighbor’s teenager to do it.
On that note, friend your neighbors! Neighbors can be a great asset to have. They can watch your home for suspicious activity while you are out of town, or grab packages for you. This one works out really well for me because we have many neighbors with whom we have become close friends. They know when we are out of town and always keep an eye on our house for us. They even bring our packages in to keep them safe. We have had many packages stolen in the past, so this has been so helpful!
Lockdown Your WiFi network. We have an entire post that explains how to do regular maintenance on your WiFi network. Consider doing this a few times a year to ensure your home network is secure.
Get a safe that bolts down and hide it somewhere that a thief wouldn’t look. Master bedrooms are often the first place where an intruder will look for valuables, so don’t hide them there. Think of a closet or another place that is hidden to keep your safe and valuables. Be sure to put all of your important documents like your passports, birth certificates, and jewelry in it and KEEP IT LOCKED.
Install Smart Locks. Lots of people have grown to love coded door locks and for good reason! They are so easy to use and let you and your kids have easy access to your home without having to keep track of a key. But on that same notes, be sure to change door lock combinations and garage door codes periodically. Also, it is important to keep a list of people you have given access to (house cleaners, contractors, pet sitters, etc) because it’s a good first place for the Police to start if your home is ever broken into.
Install Motion Detection Floodlights. Thieves love dark, poorly lit homes and yards because they are an easy target. Consider installing motion detection floodlights, some even have cameras that record if the lights are triggered. These lights will help deter people from coming onto your property.
Install a Home Alarm. Many reputable companies offer home alarm systems. They even have mobile apps that let you alarm and disarm your alarm while you are away. If you have a home alarm, be sure to post the alarm company signs and decals on the exterior of your home and doors. Even if you don’t have a home alarm, consider purchasing alarm signs and decals.
Install a Doorbell Camera. We have a doorbell camera at our home and it’s very nice to be able to see who is at the door when I am not home. It is also great because I can see when a package is delivered, and if it has been retrieved from the doorstep. It also spots cars pulling into our driveway and even traffic on our street.
Hopefully, this will help shed some light on the things you should be doing at your home to help keep your family safe.
Each season, you should spend an hour running through the items on this list to ensure that your home security is ready for the new season.
While you’re going through the assessment, ask yourself the question, “what have I done to prevent theft?” This can be a scary topic, but if you spend time keeping your home safe, it will be 100% worth it. Also, be sure to have this conversation with anyone living in your home, especially children. Let them know that you should always keep your doors locked, and never open the door to a stranger, even if they look official.