How to protect your home  
against intruders

How can you protect your home against intruders?

A few simple measures will usually keep all but the most determined burglars from giving your home a second glance.

Steps to a safer home include locking away all ladders, garden tools, trash cans, patio furniture and other outdoor accessories that could help an intruder break and enter.

Burglarproof entry points with window locks, dead bolts, and security devices for sliding glass doors. 

Be sure to stash your spare house key in a creative place - not under the doormat or beneath a flowerpot.  (These are not creative stash spots.)

You might also want to consider installing a professionally monitored alarm system. It's costly but secure. The simple security measures below can help you protect your home.

Remove Anything Outside Your Home That Could Help an Intruder Gain Entry

Take a home safety assessment walk around the perimeter of your home. Is the vegetation near doors and windows well trimmed?

Thick shrubbery provides the perfect cover for intruders, allowing them to work undetected by your neighbors.

To protect your home, make a note to prune any overgrown greenery the next time you're working in the garden.

Then look around your yard. Do you have ladders, sturdy trash cans, stackable boxes, garden tools, or patio furniture that could help a thief break in?

If so, stow them in your garage or toolshed. 

Burglarproof  Your Home's Entry Points

Next, check all your windows and doors. Those at street level are favorite entry points because they're easily reachable and often hidden from view. 

To protect your home, secure first- and second-story windows by adding a pickproof locking device - such as a keyed lock, a sash lock, or a locking bolt - depending on the type of window you have.

Sliding glass doors are the type most vulnerable to break-ins, as their rudimentary locks are easy to pick. The simplest solution is a metal patio security bar or a length of wood dowelling (a section of broom handle also works) placed in the lower door track.

Stash Your Spare House Key in a Creative Place

No, stashing your spare house key under the doormat or beneath a flowerpot is not creative. These are the first places thieves look for keys in hopes of easy access to your home. Move the spare to a different, more creative location.

Consider a Professionally Monitored Alarm System

Today's improved technology and competitive marketplace have made getting an alarm system for your house more affordable than ever. 

Most systems include magnetic door and window contacts that trip the alarm when separated.

The central component of a security system service is a round-the-clock monitoring station that responds  to any security breach by telephoning you.

If you don't answer the call and provide your password, the police will be sent to your home.

Should an intruder break in while you're there and force you to turnoff the alarm, you can key in a special code that will send a silent call for help.

Most home security systems are simple enough that a guest or school-age child could learn to operate them.

Ultimately, the decision to go with one of the home security system companies in your area will  hinge on how much home security you need and whether the peace mind that you stand to gain is worth the cost of the security system service to protect your home.

› How to Protect Your Home