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The Home Depot

5 Principles to Improve Home Security

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Handyman > 5 Principles to Improve Home Security
5 Principles to Improve Home Security

Your home is your sanctuary so it’s natural to want to keep it safe. There are few things in life scarier than knowing a dangerous criminal has been among your most valuable and treasured possessions.


According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, about 3.7 million household burglaries occurred each year from 2003 through 2007. The group says that about seven percent (266,560) involved some form of violent victimization. That is a lot of scared people in scary situations.

  1. 1.If You Have It, Use It

    Chances are, your home probably came with some good security measures when you moved in. But it’s important to use them every single day. Always lock your doors and windows when you go out. If you have a burglary alarm system, make sure to always set it when you leave your house during the day and when you go to bed at night. Look for extra safety features like double locks and safety grating and use those, too. Don’t let yourself or your family become lazy about home safety.

    It can be a scary thing to be a victim of a crime. Reduce the chances of this happening by being smart, vigilant and as safe as you can.
  3. 2.Pop Quiz

    Every so often, “test” your home security system. Look at your home as an outsider would. Are there places where you family has been slacking? Any windows or doors that aren’t used a lot could be forgotten by your family, but easy targets for a burglar. Also, look for dark, shadowy areas that might make good hiding places and make sure all landscaping is trimmed down around doorways, windows and light fixtures.

  4. 3.Occupy Your Home, Even When It’s Not Actually Occupied

    That is to say, make it look like someone is always home. Use timers to turn on lights outside and inside your home. If you go away on vacation, have a friend or neighbor collect your mail and look over your place for you.

  5. 4.Out of Sight, Out of Mind

    Take away temptation for would-be burglars by keeping valuables out of plain sight. Pull window blinds and curtains shut when you leave the house so that no one can look inside. You can avoid telltale signs that you’re not home by not leaving notes for service people or delivery people stuck to your front door. If you can, try not to have packages left in your front door if you are not home. Another good idea is to avoid having your full name on your mailbox to help keep your identity safe.

  6. 5.Power in Numbers

    All tasks are easier if a group is pitching in. Start a neighborhood watch organization in your neighborhood. Officials from the Neighborhood Watch program say the group teaches citizens to help themselves by identifying and reporting suspicious activity in their neighborhoods. You can also do something more informal. Agree as a community to watch over certain homes while their occupants are away. Or, organize events as shows of support and force against crime.


    It can be a scary thing to be a victim of a crime. Reduce the chances of this happening by being smart, vigilant and as safe as you can.

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