You have the best intentions when it comes to home security. Every time you move into a new place, you make a mental list of all the ways you’ll protect it—and yourself. But life gets the best of you. You always leave 15 minutes later than you said you would, meaning several things go out the window, from the snacks you meant to pack yourself to the back door you meant to deadbolt. So why not take this opportunity, in the New Year, to go back over that list and promise yourself you’ll carry it through?
Though it may seem like a lot to handle at first, start small. Start with just one of the tips below and do it every single day. After about a month, it will become second nature. Then you can add another tip to accomplish daily. Follow through, and before you know it, you’ll be doing everything listed below – you’ll be a home security expert!
Close even high windows.
It’s easy to think burglars won’t make an effort to crawl into the second-story windows, so you don’t lock them. But a burglar won’t let a little height stop him if he sees an open window. He’ll climb a tree, or grab a neighbor’s ladder from the yard.
Schedule lights for small outings and changing seasons.
A burglar can do a lot of damage in a half hour, especially if your property is covered in darkness. Schedule your outdoor lights to go on, even if you’re just leaving for dinner or a short evening errand.
Keep an eye on seasonal changes, too. During winter, the sun sets earlier, so be sure to adjust the automatic settings for the time of year.
Use the deadbolt, even for small outings.
Most burglars know how to break into a simple doorknob lock and, again, they can do plenty of damage in a short time. So make sure to deadbolt the doors, even if you’re just heading out for a short time.
Review your surveillance tapes.
You tell yourself that every so often, you’ll sit down and review your archived surveillance to check for suspicious characters or any other troublesome footage. But then you let a whole year go by before you even think about it again. Set yourself calendar reminders and watch your surveillance quarterly.
Don’t let mail build up, even for a weekend.
Even if you’re just going away for the weekend, ask a neighbor to collect your mail or stop packages. Burglars who are casing your neighborhood will notice if you don’t collect a package for a whole 24 hours.
Conceal big purchases.
You bring home a new television or set of speakers. You tell yourself you’ll bring it inside and store it in a safe place right away. But something takes up your attention. You get a phone call, your kid asks for a snack, and before you know it, you’ve left that giant, expensive item in your car—exposed to the public—for an hour. Stick to your plan to pack away expensive purchases immediately.
Don’t travel boast on social media.
Even though you’ve told yourself many times you won’t post about your trip on social media until after you get home, you always get excited and post a real-time selfie on vacation. The photo can wait, and should, because burglars will pounce if they know your home is vacant.
Stay on top of smoke detector/carbon monoxide batteries.
Don’t let smoke detectors or carbon monoxide detectors run on low batteries for too long. Change the batteries the moment they begin beeping. Making that inconvenient run to the store to buy batteries is much better than having your smoke detector go out on the night of a fire.
Always close the garage.
Even if you’re only popping inside for ten minutes and even if you’ll be home—close the garage door when you get out of your car. Think of all of the valuables you store out there. If you leave the garage open and unattended for five minutes, a burglar can just walk in and grab something without a fuss.
Breaking New Years resolutions is pretty common, but if you make it a priority to keep at least some resolutions this year, make them your home security resolutions.