house walkway frontHome invasion stories make the news more and more lately, and it's scary. Scary mostly because home invasion intruders, unlike common burglars, target your house when you are home in hopes of gaining access, through threats at gunpoint, physical violence, and often worse, to the homeowner's hidden valuables. No one wants to be the victim of such a horrifying crime, but not all of us can afford an expensive alarm or security system either.

There are many low-cost home security precautions homeowners can take to keep home invaders and other types of criminals out. Read on for the list.

11 Tips to Keep Bad Guys Out of Your Home

  1. Post alarm or security decals at the front of your home even if you don't have an in-home security system. There are even false alarm boxes you can install with the name of a false security firm.
  2. Install motion lights around your home, especially on the sides and back of your house, so you'll have some forewarning that you may have an intruder.
  3. Keep shrubbery trimmed back around doors and windows that are in view from the street. Intruders are less likely to target homes in full view from the street or neighbor's homes.
  4. Get to know your neighbors, even if it's just a little bit. It's good to know who lives in each house so you might take a closer look if a stranger is prowling around and so they can do the same for you.
  5. Start a Neighborhood Watch program on your block.
  6. Keep doors locked when you are home in the evening. Most home invasions occur between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. It's a good idea to keep doors secure when you're home alone or with children during the day as well.
  7. Secure sliding glass doors by fitting a long stick on panel side that keeps the door from being able to slide open.
  8. Do not open the door to strangers. Be suspicious of anyone you don't recognize (some home invaders use young-looking women as decoys), who claims to be making a delivery you didn't order (if you don't see a delivery truck parked outside; do not open up), or who tries other tricks to get you to open the door.
  9. Invest in an inexpensive door alarm that goes off whenever set and the door is opened. The noise might scare away an intruder. You can find these at any home improvement store.
  10. Set up a 911 speed-dial on your phone or mobile phone in case an intruder tries to break in. If there's time after you make a connection to a dispatcher, place the call on speaker phone so the dispatcher can continue to hear what's happening, in the case that the intruder gets inside.
  11. Create an escape plan with your family. Make sure your older children know how to open and escape from doors, windows, or the basement (if you have interior access and the basement has an exterior outlet) should the need arise.

What precautions against intruders does your family take?

 

Image via Hidesert/Flickr