The Ultimate Home Security Checklist During Spring Time
Home security checklist: After a long, cold winter spent indoors, springtime brings warm weather and sunshine.
It’s also the perfect time to get outdoors and clean your yard, do some gardening, and fix anything outside that needs doing.
Oh, if you need the checklist for the Winter, don’t forget to check THIS out.
So don’t forget to check your home security system to make sure it’s working as it should. This should be at the top of your chore list. Spring is typically known as one of the peak times for break-ins and robberies.
Don’t let yourself become a statistic. Protect your home, your valuables and your family by making sure your system is secure and working properly. Here are some tips for doing just that.
Tip #1: Test Your Entire System
This should be one of the first things you do this spring. Check your manual for instructions on how to test your home security system.
Typically, it can be done right from your control panel. Be sure to follow all of the instructions – if you have a monitoring system, you don’t want to set off any false alarms.
If the testing is successful, you’re good to go; if not, you may have to contact the company for further direction.
Don’t skip this step, as it’s vitally important to make sure everything is working as it should.
Tip #2: Trim Your Bushes
This is a regular springtime activity, but trimming your bushes gives burglars less ‘hiding’ space and it’s important for home security purposes.
If you want to put in security bushes, plant thorny ones around your windows; this gives burglars less incentive to enter your home through the windows.
Tip #3: Check Your Windows
During the cold winter months, your window frames and locks may have become compromised. The frames could become warped, making it easier for burglars to bypass the locks.
Check all of your windows to make sure they can still be locked securely, and that there are no gaps in between the frame and the window.
Your home security system won’t do you much good if all of your windows can be opened easily.
Tip #4: Check Your Garage
This is one of the more common ways that burglars can enter your home, and the garage should be checked regularly to make sure it’s secure.
Make sure that the door can’t be pried open from the bottom, and that it is still secure.
If you have a door that gains entry into your home, be sure it has a deadbolt lock.
Your home security setup should include your garage into the overall alarm system.
Tip: #5: Test Your Outside Lights
Make sure that your lights haven’t been damaged or shattered over the winter months.
Test your outdoor and security lights to make sure they all work. Replace any that are damaged or old.
Whether you’re moving into a new house or simply want to make sure that your home security is as effective as it can possibly be, you can take a lot of simple precautions that will only take minutes of your time to put in place, yet can go a long way towards making sure your home is criminal proof.
It may be difficult to ensure completely that your house is safe from professional thieves, but almost all break ins are done by amateur who can easily be stopped in their tracks with some everyday techniques.
Simple And Effective Home Security Tips
Door/Entry Point Security
To be sure that you’re secure from a break in attempt, you want to make absolutely sure that first and foremost any entrance points are secure.
This of course involves making sure that all doors are locked when going to sleep or leaving the house unattended, but you can do more to really make sure that they’re secure from someone whose absolutely determined to get in.
1. Lock the doors and windows – As I said, this may seem simple enough, but in all truth many criminals break and enter by simply waltzing casually through an open door or window.
Even if you may only be leaving for a short amount of time, take the time to make sure everything is locked.
That short trip up to the store is plenty of time for someone to get in, grab some valuables, and be a mile away before you even realize that you’re a victim.
2. High Quality Deadbolts – One of the first (and cheaper) things you’ll want to invest in for your own home security needs is a quality deadbolt for each door into the house. You’ll want to preferably get some which have beveled casings.
These will stop criminals who would attempt to use a special pair of pliers which have the ability to tear cylinder pins out of your locks in the hands of an experienced burglar.
3. Bullet Proof Strike Plates – If you have a front door or otherwise that has a small window like many people, the best way to make sure that a burglar doesn’t end up breaking through the glass and fishing either his arm or a tool down to unlock the door is to have a strike plate on the window.
These are bullet and shatter proof windows that are secured with large screws specialized to not succumb to force.
These on any small windows in your house will do wonders for ensuring that even the most determined burglar won’t be able to enter.
4. Sliding Glass Doors – If you’re also like me and have a sliding glass door, this can present a problem as well.
Most of these are burglar/break proof as you can imagine with the size, they would be an easy target to shatter for someone attempting to make a forced entry.
Other than shattering the door, there’s also the possibility of the lock being picked.
Even if the burglar is able to pick the lock, there’s a simple solution that will keep anyone from entering from the outside – simply place a long wooden or metal pipe/bar along the length of the track the door is mounted on.
Because of the blockage, without being able to reach in and remove the bar there’s simply no way the criminal could force entry.
This is also why it’s essential to ensure that the bar is as long as the track, because even if it’s only 5 – 10 inches short or so, that may be enough space for the intruder to reach in and remove the bar.
5. Secure doors from being kicked in – The majority of doors on your average residential home are simply held in place with a wooden frame and molding.
Although it can take some significant force, these aren’t all that difficult for someone with a strong kick to break down.
Once the hardware holding the screws and locking mechanism into the wooden frame breaks, the criminal can easily make an entrance uninhibited.
You can prevent this with a heavy duty high quality metal door which attaches to the door frame with four or more long (3 inches or more) wood screws.
This will withstand any force that any human (or couple of humans) could possibly muster without the assistance of machinery or special tools.
6. Secure your door hinges – Take a look at the doors at all of the entrances to your home and check where the hinges are located.
To be truly secure, you need to ensure that those hinges are on the inside of your home.
This is because all a thief has to to in order to gain entry to your home is knock out the pin holding the hinge together.
After these are all knocked out, the door will literally come right down.
The front door might not be too much of a concern, especially if you live on a main road as the work involved might not take too long, but enough to dissuade anyone from trying it right on a main road.
If you (and no one else) happens to be at home at the time, a dedicated criminal will probably have plenty of time to take your door right off the hinges and rib you blind.
This is something so easily overlooked, but I criminal who knows what he’s doing will have an easy time spotting this blunder.
Window Security Measures
Windows are often an even bigger issue. They don’t always come to mind as an entry point in our minds immediately, and criminals use this fact all the time to break into unsuspecting homeowners property.
An open window that’s visible from another yard, the street, etc. is an invitation for a burglar to come in and snoop around your home after you’ve left.
You can place bars or other anti break in devices on windows, but make sure that they can be easily removed from the inside as to comply fully with the fire code.
It should be common practice to close and lock any windows at night or if you’ll be away during the day, but there’s more that you can do to totally ensure that your windows are secure.
7. Install secondary blocking devices – Since most windows you see typically use latches instead of locks to keep them shut, you should utilize some sort of “back up” secondary measure to ensure that it can’t be opened from the outside.
For horizontal windows which slide, you could use a solution as simple and inexpensive as a wooden dowel, stick, or metal bar on the track to prevent being forced open just as we described above in the case of the sliding glass door.
For windows which slide open vertically, metal pins through the window frame will prevent anyone from forcing the window open.
8. Alarm/warning decals on doors and windows – This goes for any point of entry including all doors and windows.
Many professional home security camera systems or alarm system services offer decals or stickers that you can place on these locations that warn criminals that your home is protected by a professional security system.
These are an excellent deterrent if you use a service such as this, but you can also purchase generic decals that indicate that your home is protected.
Either way, warning an intruder that he’s about to make a very big mistake in attempting a break in on your property can go a long way towards stopping a break in attempt before it even happens.
9. Frost garage windows – In line with the above concerning garage safety, be sure to frost your garage windows once cold weather begins to take hold of your location.
This way, anyone trying to peer through the windows won’t be able to see a thing inside, and therefore won’t even be able to tell if your vehicle is parked inside at the time or not, which could potentially deter a criminal from attempting a break in to your home considering they wouldn’t know if there was anyone they’d be coming toe to toe with inside the home.
10. Ensure windows left open 6 inches or so can’t be tampered with – For ventilation purposes, you may wish to leave a window open a few inches during the day while at home, or even at night while sleeping in a bedroom. In this case (especially if it’s a ground floor window) you should go outside and do all that you can to attempt to break in by removing the blocking device, unlocking the door or window, etc. This will reveal any flaws in your security systems, at least as it pertains to your windows.
Outdoor Home Security Precautions
Keeping the home itself safe from a break in through the doors and windows is essential to the security of your home and family, but you can avoid a break in attempt altogether by making it well known that you’re utilizing home security cameras and/or home alarm systems.
Openly active or thorough placement of security camera systems and the like will probably deter 99% of criminals before any of your home security equipment or preventative measures have to truly be put to the test, thankfully.
Having your domain on the perimeter of the house itself is just as important as keeping the entry points secure.
11. Motion Sensor Lights or LED Flood Lights – Not only will these make it difficult for a criminal to approach and enter your home unnoticed, they’ll probably completely deter the culprit from even making an attempt in the first place.
These sort of lights are standard with many modern security camera systems available for purchase at the moment, but you can also buy motion sensor lights on their own for a very reasonable cost.
These LED flood lights are capable of detecting motion, and can be programmed to trigger at any sense of movement. Once the motion sensors detect something, the bright LED flood lights will spring in to action like a spotlight over your entire front yard.
This surprise attack will send even the most hardened criminals running with their tails between their legs, and even if it didn’t, the illuminated home security cameras in their faces would probably be the last straw.
These can make an excellent add on to your existing outdoor security cameras.
12. Don’t let your landscaping act as cover – Many homeowners choose to place elaborate shrubbery or bushes around windows and other entrances to the home.
While this can cosmetically improve your home, be sure that you’re not simply creating cover for a criminal to snoop through to get up to your home.
Windows heavily shrouded by bushes and trees which in a sense “shroud” the home from the main road or visible path of your home security camera systems and can provide just the safety net for the crook to fall back into when the LED flood lights start up.
13. Hide any wiring to your security systems – Most of the home security equipment available to purchase today is available in a wireless model, but should you be making use of a security camera system that has wires that have to be ran outside, do all that you can to ensure that these are hidden from sight and would be difficult for someone trying to find them to locate.
Crafty criminals might be tipped off by outdoor wiring that you’re running a security system, but can just as easily cut the wires which are powering your equipment.
One approach you can take concerning keeping your wires out of site is to build a system of PVC piping that your wires can be fed through, which will keep them safe from criminals trying to cut them as well as the outdoor elements that could potentially have a degrading effect on the wires over time.
Tip: If possible, consider to use wireless security camera system instead. No more hiding!
14. Keep garage doors locked – If you’re like myself an have an unattached garage, something many people fail to do is make sure that the door(s) is locked at all times, even if your vehicle isn’t in it at the time.
Garages, and especially unattached garages, are often seen as open doors by thieves who know that they can poke around in their at night when everyone is asleep without anyone even noticing.
Even without a vehicle present, garages present a valuable target for criminals, as they are often full of normal as well as power tools, chemicals, etc.
15. Home alarm systems – Having a reliable home alarm system is an important element to securing your property on top of your security cameras and other crime deterrents.
You have many options in this area, from a professional service which you pay a monthly fee, to a simple motion detector which can sound an alarm for you.
A monthly service which will be alerted the moment of a break in can contact you to ensure you’re alright as well as contacting the proper authorities for immediate response.
If you’re doing your home security correctly, you may not feel the need for a full fledged professional servicer, although they do provide many benefits as I previously mentioned.
One of the most important aspects that your home alarm system can feature is an audible signal, for more reasons than one.
First of all, an extremely loud buzzing or ringing that people can hear a few houses away is probably going to send any criminal heading for the hills, especially if its in the middle of the night while the occupants of the home are upstairs sleeping.
The neighbors will also probably hear the buzz or ringing as well if its loud enough and in the middle of the night, so the threat of neighbors alerting the police may also enter the intruders mind.
Finally, it can serve to wake you the homeowner up to defend yourself or catch the criminal before he’s able to get away!
16. Spare Keys – It’s commonplace for many people to leave a spare key to their home under the doormat, a flower pot, or on an obscure window sill.
Unfortunately, it is not good for your home security as many criminals know this as well and will likely check these spots out before attempting to break into the home with force.
Your best bet is to hide the spare key in a small container and bury it nearby.
This way, in the case that its truly needed, you can dig it up very quickly, but no one would ever suspect to find it.
A couple of inches of dirt dug up with a little garden shovel will do just fine for this purpose.
17. Always appear to be home – Research has proven that the summer months of July and August are the times when you are most likely to be burglarized.
Because your everyday criminal, as I explained above, is going to be an amateur with no real experience getting past people or quietly getting into your home while you’re sleeping.
The average criminal would rather wait until people aren’t at home so that he can get in and out with no regard for disturbing the occupants of the home, and therefore if you can make it appear as if you (or at least someone) is home at all times, you are far less likely to be the victim of a criminal break in.
This can be done with the use of timers and remote controls that can switch lights, televisions, and other light emitting electronics on and off when you’re away so as to give the appearance that there’s activity in the house taking place.
Most people simply won’t risk coming face to face with an angry homeowner who could possibly be wielding a weapon.
18. Identify valuables for later retrieval – If you’ve done everything you possibly can to the greatest of your ability, you’ll hopefully be fortunate enough to never have to deal with the sad situation of a burglar getting away with some (or many) of your valuables.
In case you should ever become a victim of a burglary however, there’s some things you can do to perpetuate the possibility of having your things returned.
Many people suggest placing a social security number in a hidden spot on the item so that it can be identified as yours at a later time should it be recovered.
Some locations police departments also offer a similar service utilizing a drivers license number instead.
Regardless of what you do, make sure that there is a clear indication on the item that it’s yours and that you can later identify it using this marking.
19. Coordinate with neighbors – One of the most valuable resources you can have for keeping you, your loved ones, and your possessions safe is trustworthy neighbors who will keep an eye out for you.
Whether you’re new to the neighborhood or have been there for years, you should really make an attempt to get to know your neighbors at least on a basic level and earn their trust, while they earn yours in return.
Make an open agreement to keep an eye on each others homes, especially while away on vacation or during the day while the occupants may be at work or school.
Offer to pick up mail or park in the driveway to simulate that someone is home while they’re away.
Simple actions like these with your immediate neighbors can form a mini security perimeter around your network of houses which can be invaluable without costing you more than a little of your time.
20. Take a look around yourself for flaws – After all is said and done and you’re fairly certain your home is a modern day fortress that would take a bomb squad to break into, take a real look around your property for any potential flaws or holes in your home security systems.
Put yourself in the mind of a criminal and look at your house as a target that you’d do anything to get into – Where are the most accessible entries?
Is there potential to pick any locks or jimmy any doors?
Are there dark, hidden places around your property which are unmonitored and that someone waiting for you to put your guard down might be able to shroud themselves in and wait for the perfect moment?
These are all good things to look for and think about, because there could be obvious chinks in your armor that are unnoticeable from your perspective as the homeowner.
21. Weapons – Fortunately for me, I’ve never been the victim of a home invasion, burglary, etc., and if you do all of the above and have some decent luck, you’ll never have to worry about it either.
However, even with all of the most thorough evaluations of your own home security, you could wind up with a criminal breaking into your home in the middle of the night.
If you and your families life are at risk, what can you do while awaiting the proper authorities to arrive?
I’ve never been a violent person and would never suggest violence as a first or even second reaction to any problem, but I can’t control the actions of others and if another man is threatening the security of me and my family, I wouldn’t hesitate to use deadly force to incapacitate the criminal.
I can certainly respect the opinion of anyone who would be opposed to keeping a firearm or other deadly weaponry in the home, but I couldn’t live with myself knowing that I could have possibly prevented something horrible from happening to my loved ones had I had a gun instead of a knife to bring to the fight.
Do you have any idea to improve home security that you want to add here? Let me know what you think by commenting below.
Most typical questions and misconceptions that arise on the topic of security camera?
How do I choose my security camera system?
Before choosing a home security camera you should look at its features and options and how it works.
If you have an office in your home with expensive office equipment you can keep an eye on it with a security camera.
And your home security camera can help you to keep an eye on other expensive things in your home.
Security systems are all different and serve different purposes in our homes and businesses.
You should try and pick a security camera out that would best suit your needs.
Home security systems are purchased for reasons such as safe guarding your home and keeping your family safe.
Some home security systems can alert the police of break ins to your home. And can also give them evidence of the break in.
When you decide what you require in a home security camera then you will need to think about the best locations inside or outside of your home to place them.
When you are a homeowner you want to keep your property as safe as possible. And this is one way of doing this.
You can set your security camera up to monitor an area all of the time or just at certain times of the day. It is up to you and the situation that you have.
If you have kids you can monitor them with a security camera to make sure they are safe. You can make sure that your kids are always safe in the area of the home they live and play in.
You can place security cameras on the outside of your home so that you can monitor your children while they are playing outdoors.
Security cameras are also good to use if you have a new baby and for keeping tabs on them. You can also monitor a babysitter that comes into your home to watch your children.
This will give you a good feeling knowing that your children are being properly cared for.
Security cameras come in all price ranges for your home. They can give you a piece of mind and make your home a safer place to live in.
Can my security cameras be hacked into by others?
While the possibility certainly exists, it is highly unlikely. If you’re running off of an existing IP address of your own this is easier to have happen, however there is software and systems that can be installed in order to prevent this from happening.
More often than not however this is something you shouldn’t worry about; the average criminal won’t go through the trouble (or have a clue how) to do this.
Are security cameras difficult to install and maintain?
This is probably one of the biggest misconceptions surrounding your own home security camera setups, and the reason why most people who don’t already have one do not.
Of course this is going to depend on many more factors than could be gone over here to determine exactly how difficult, but unless you’re hooking up some large rig which is going to act as a full security force, you shouldn’t have too much trouble installing your cameras.
The resolution, size, and mounting options of your camera will play an important role in how much trouble it is. For instance, a wireless camera setup is about as easy as it can get. You simply mount it wherever you want it to be placed and set up its software to relay the video feed to where you’d like to keep it stored and that’s all there is to it.
On the other hand, some highly technical technologies may require that you have a professional come and install the cameras and set up the network for you.
What about cost?
You can go all out and have a security camera system installed that will do everything from security camera app, spotlights, phoning the police, sounding an alarm and catching it all on cameras if you really want or feel the need to for a decent price.
This may not be necessary for you though and you might simply want a couple static cameras to keep an eye on things and keep intruders at bay.
This sort of a project can range from under $100 to more than $1000, it all depends on your personal preferences.
Will power loss take down my whole system?
It depends; if you have a couple of low cost home security cameras that are plugged into the same power grid that the rest of your home is, then you might just lose power to the cameras as well.
However, you could have a wireless set up that doesn’t require that it be plugged in, thus saving your cameras from not working even when power to the rest of your property is down.
Most high technology systems will come with a backup power solution for just such occasions as these.
Which type are going to suit your particular needs best?
Due to emerging technology, now more than ever just about any family can comfortably afford at least basic home security camera systems for peace of mind by giving you constant surveillance of your property throughout the day and night, capturing any activity taking place in high quality video.
You can now choose from such a large variety of affordable home security cameras that you even have different categories from which to choose from.
By reviewing your own personal needs and budget you can begin to sort out exactly what you’re going to need.
1. Hidden Security Cameras/Spy Cameras for Home or Business
In the past couple of decades camera technology has advanced so much that that one could hardly imagine even twenty years ago what would be possible today.
You can now take just about any household item and place a tiny security camera inside of it to monitor rooms in your home.
Spy camera like these are used to catch someone in the act (once or repeatedly) doing something that they aren’t supposed to be doing.
These sort of cameras are often used to peak in on those caring for children or the elderly, which unfortunately uncover foul play more often than we would like to hope.
2. Night Vision Home Security Cameras
These are typically your best bet for an outdoor security camera as it can see not only during the day but obviously at night as well, although night vision images do often appear as black and white.
This is better than nothing however and intruders probably won’t have any idea they’re being taped until it’s too late for them.
3. Infrared Cameras
Another option for using security cameras in places (or times) in which there is little to no light are those which use infrared.
These kinds of cameras can detect body heat and display an outline of where heat is showing up on what the camera is seeing, allowing the viewer to make out what is moving around in complete darkness.
The movement of body heat allows the viewer to see quite clearly the motions that the person is making.
Places like your garage or outside your front door if you don’t live close up to a busy street are excellent locations for these security cameras to be placed.
4. Dome or Tinted Cameras
These types of home security cameras are used mainly in places where you don’t want people to necessarily know which direction its actually pointing at or monitoring.
These can do wonders to deter crime in places that the cameras aren’t even pointing in, because most potential criminals would rather avoid doing anything in front of them to be on the safe side.
Malls and large stores in general often employ these for this reason, placing them on ceilings or corners of the building in order to display that they can monitor any particular place.
No one can even tell if theres an actual camera inside the dome, so empty domes are placed in some locations simply as an inexpensive deterrent.
In addition, they tend to blend in better with surroundings creating less of a sense that customers are being watched.
5. Wireless Security Cameras
Wireless cameras are great for their convenience and ease of movement. Having a wireless connection means that they can be mounted and unmounted anywhere and at anytime without much of a hassle compared to having to completely rewire one.
If you want to monitor different places at different times, wireless security cameras can allow you to do this without having to have another whole security camera system for that particular spot.
Due to the fact that they’re wireless though, they cannot receive power from an electrical outlet so they rely on batteries to power them typically.
This can become expensive over time if the cameras are going to be run most of the day.
Although there are other options, especially if you begin to look into security camera systems designed for large office or industrial places, these are the basic kinds of security cameras that you would expect the typical American household to make use of.
Figure out where your priorities lie and you should be able to determine what sort you’ll need rather easily.
My recommendation is that you check out these awesome camera reviews and the best offers.