Every responsible homeowner should periodically review a home security checklist. In doing so, it should be noted that while a DIY home security system can certainly protect your home from burglary, other precautions should be taken to ensure that your possessions and loved ones are safe from criminals. Each and every day a home is broken into because its occupants were unaware of security gaps or foolishly ignored them. By seriously thinking about your home’s security today, you can help thwart burglars and do your part to keep your family safe.
The following home security checklist should be used as a guide to assess whether or not security is optimal at your home and, if it is not, this list will serve to help you determine specific areas of weakness where your immediate action is needed:
1. Is your home equipped with exterior lighting? In particular, are windows, doors and walkways adequately lit to deter criminals?
2. Do you make a deliberate effort to maintain perimeter trees and regularly trim shrubs in order to eliminate places for thieves to hide?
3. Are all doors leading to the outside or to an attached garage made of heavy materials such as a thick, sturdy, solid wood?
4. Are all of your sliding doors and windows equipped with a secure locking mechanism, such as a lock that requires a key or a pin lock that prevents panels from sliding when locked?
5. If your exterior doors feature glass decorative panels, are all of them positioned at least three feet from the door’s locks and handle?
6. If you have glass exterior doors, were they made to be shatterproof?
7. Are all of your exterior doors fitted with locks or with a device, such as the Keypout Lock Bumping/Dead Bold Protector, made to prevent criminals from entering your home through lock bumping?
8. Are your garage doors fitted with a keyless entry system and with rolling codes, which make it more difficult for burglars to crack your code and enter when you are away?
9. Is your home security system monitored by a professional monitoring agency?
10. Is your home’s exterior monitored by one or more surveillance cameras?
11. Is your spare key safely stored at the home of a nearby friend or relative that you trust instead of being tucked away at an outdoor location where a burglar may find it?
12. Are you in the habit of locking your doors and windows each and every time you leave the house, even if you’re not far away or are only planning to be gone for a brief period?
13. Are your windows fitted with locks that allow them to be secured even when slightly opened such as to allow for a breeze or extra ventilation?
14. Do you have someone trustworthy who collects your mail and newspapers when you are away from home for more than a day?
15. When you are away from home, are your interior and exterior lights on a timer so that they come on at a certain time in the evening and are automatically shut off in the daytime?
16. Is your home equipped with a driveway alarm that alerts you whenever someone approaches your house from this vulnerable angle?
17. Does your neighborhood host a Neighborhood Watch program and do you participate in it?
18. Do you and your family discuss safety procedures beyond locking doors and windows, such as practicing safe social networking interactions (i.e. not publicizing when you will be away from home), and protecting alarm codes in order to keep them private?
19. Is your home equipped with motion sensors? If so, do you activate these sensors each time you leave the home and at night while your family is sleeping?
20. Does your home feature stickers and sign posts alerting outsiders to the fact that it is protected by a monitored home security system?
21. Are all of your home security systems in working order (batteries, wiring, etc.)?
22. Do you have a guard dog or at least a home security system that gives intruders the impression that you do?
If you have answered ‘no’ to any of the questions on this home security checklist, your home may be at risk for burglary. There are things that you can do to immediately increase your safety, however. From installing burglary deterrents, such as home security yard signs and decals, to learning how to install your own wireless security camera system, you can decrease the chances of an intruder entering your home. Even if this home security checklist has revealed that you are in need of multiple security systems, know that you can install them on your own to increase the levels of protection necessary to keep criminals away. DIY home security systems may also help reduce your current homeowner’s insurance rates by as much as 15% or more.