You’ve moved into your newly constructed home and a lot of people around you have done the same. The challenge with new homes particularly in new homebuilder communities is that they tend to be exposed. Fences may not be up between homes or around the development. Traffic from outside your new neighborhood is coming and going: construction companies, subcontractors, movers, potential home buyers, and a steady stream of new people moving into their homes – and this may go on for months or even years to come.
Your home should be the one place you feel the safest, but unfortunately, bad people break into homes anytime of the day or night and sometimes even when your home. There are a number of ways to protect your home and family, some basic and others technological. But as the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.” After you’ve activated your home’s pre-installed security systems — and if you haven’t, go here to find out how HomeRun can help you — here are some tips and best practices to secure your home and guard your family and property from the bad guys.
1. Make your entry points and windows stronger and more secure
You can have all the security and surveillance systems money can buy, but your first line of defense are your doors and windows. Make sure they are rock solid:
- Ensure that your locks are sturdy and not easily tampered with. Your builder has likely installed the most basic locks. Upgrade your locks. Make sure they are strong and can’t be overcome from the outside.
- Apply some common sense – make sure you lock your doors and windows when you are away or asleep. This is often the most overlooked security strategy!
- Keep your blinds closed. Don’t turn your home into a storefront window for burglars! If you have floor to ceiling windows, especially if your ceiling is vaulted, consider motorized window treatments to make it easier – or even possible – to effectively cover your windows.
2. Smart fences make good neighbors – and more secure homes
If your HOA allows it or requires it, your new home may already have a fence or it’s waiting for one come in. A physical barrier between the outside world and your property may seem like enough, but once your fence is installed consider these two additional capabilities to secure your perimeter:
- Consider motion detectors connected to your security system within your fence system to provide you advanced alerts.
- Install connected cameras around the full exterior of your home, not just on your front door). Include your backyard or around the fence itself to visually monitor the perimeter. An additional benefit is that your exterior camera system can provide evidence if a break-in happens.
3. Know thy neighbor
People are significantly more transient than just a decade ago and certainly more than the neighbor you may have grown up in. Moreover, people tend to nest inside their homes for extended periods of time enjoying their home theaters and gaming consoles.
Good ahead, though, and make friends with the people around you. They can be your look out when you’re away. They are your best chance for something suspicious to be reported to you and possibly the police. If you have a neighborhood watch program, join it and help others make your home and community a safer and more secure place to live.
4. Man’s best friend is a family’s best security guard
You promised the kids a dog once you moved into your new home. Go ahead and make good on your promise. You might just be enabling a tried-and-true security device – the family dog. Dogs are famous for their sense of smell and hearing – and even danger. Burglars are likely to avoid your home if they know there’s a dog they might have to deal with.
- Dogs, big or small, can intimidate people who want to come into your home uninvited.
- If a break-in happens, your dog’s bark will not only alert you, but may possibly scare away your intruder.
- You may be a cat person, but even you have to admit that your cat is all about himself. Go with a dog! (We like cats, but they’re just not known for their security benefits!)
5. Know your numbers – and see them
Who are you going to call when you need help? Maybe the first thing to know is their phone number. Our smartphones and smart assistants have made remembering phone numbers obsolete. But having key numbers written down and visible to everybody inside the home – especially for a home or pet sitter could make all the difference.
- Start with the no-brainer one: the closest police station’s direct phone number. Don’t rely on just 911.
- Your friends and family numbers should definitely be there. You can count on them to help you in an emergency.
- Those new neighbors across the street and next door. You should have their numbers too. Both home and office. Don’t know them? See tip #3.
- And don’t forget to write down the phone numbers of the places or people you may be with if you’re away from your home for extended amount of time.
There’s a good chance your home has been pre-wired or already has a basic home security system installed. Activate your security service if you haven’t already. And go ahead and connect it to your local authorities. Not only will your activated security system alert them, but it will alert you before an intruder takes your property or threatens your safety.
If you have already activated or installed a security system, don’t completely rely on it. While modern security systems are highly reliable, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Implement the tips and best practices from above and enjoy greater peace of mind that you’ve protected your home and family the best way you can.
Now go meet the people who just moved-in across the street!