The first few weeks after the New Year's celebrations have faded into your memory are some of the most active for home burglars. They know that the majority of people have gotten new "stuff" including televisions, computers, smartphones, all things that are easy to fence or pawn. But follow these 10 Home Security Hacks and you can prevent your "stuff" from being stolen:
1. Install motion sensor lighting outside. You can find a wide variety of price points and styles with most very easy to install. A light coming on unexpectedly can be enough to spook most burglars and send them scampering back to the rat hole they crawled out of. And while on the subject of lighting, if you're going to be away at night, even for a few hours, leave lamps illuminated on each floor to give the appearance that someone is home. Going away for several days? Put those same lamps on timers to come on when you would normally be home, and go off when you would normally being going to bed.
2. Put an Alarm System sign in your yard and stickers on the windows, even if you don't have an alarm. You can buy several different ones online or even make your own. Just download a popular alarm company's image from the internet, print out on "sticker" paper, cut out and paste. A criminal isn't going to look close enough to see if it's real or not.
3. Install Electric or Magnet locks. These aren't as expensive as you might think and are much easier to install than most people think.
4. Secure your garage and everything in it. Never leave the door up unless you're actually in the garage. A quick drive by conducted by a criminal can easily discern what kinds of valuables you keep in your garage that could be easy pickings.
5. Going out of town, even for a day/evening? Have a friend stay over or leave a spare car, yours or a friends, in the driveway. You always want your home to appear as though someone is home.
6. Keep a "hidden" key outside for friends or family? Never stash it close to the door, no closer than 50 feet, as burglars know all of the typical hiding places and will go right to them. Even if you're hiding a key well away from the door, make sure to use some type of locking device to secure it in.
7. Always have your mail held by the U.S. Post Office if going out of town, even for a couples of days. Not only is it a dead giveaway that you're out of town, but criminals actually will steal mail looking to find a credit card offer or a mailed check they can take advantage of. You can go online to have your mail held and takes less than five minutes.
8. When away from your home, make sure all blinds, curtains and other window coverings are closed. Leave a lamp on or two and if leaving for a night or more, put those same lamps on timers as stated before.
9. Purchase Beware of Dog signs and place them in several prominent areas outside of the residence. You can even purchase devices that will mimic a dog barking should anyone jostle a door where the device is placed.
10. Purchase a security system. A little more money and time and effort, but there are a lot of good systems to choose from including ones you can easily install yourself.
About the Author: R.L. Walters is the founder of FortifyMyHouse.com and acts as its chief contributor. He has over 30 years experience in security and investigations. He's an avid biker and also enjoys hiking and photography. Besides managing Fortify My House, Lee also consults with a variety of corporations and private individuals in the area of security and investigations.