It would be great to install the latest high-tech security systems and alarms in our homes to deter burglars. We are aware crime is on the increase and want to take measures to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our belongings. But what if you are on a tight budget? Security systems can be expensive and there are so many other things to worry about. Well, there are a number of simple and effective things you can do to make your home safer without breaking the bank.

Here are 6 ways to improve your home security.

1. Beware of The Dog

Criminals look for soft targets and a dog will potentially bite them and at the least, bark and alert people to his presence. Most thieves will move along to another house if they think there is a dog. If dogs are not your thing, putting up a “beware of the dog” sign and perhaps a large water bowl in plain view often works wonders. Another trick people make use of is putting up alarm company signs even when they do not have an alarm. Anything you can do to deter criminals helps.

2. Have Decent Locks

Do not make life easy for burglars by having cheap or week locks. Criminals can tell just by looking if a lock will give in easy and this will make you an easy target. Avoid this by getting decent locks and deadbolts on all doors, especially the front door. Also, make sure you put bars on windows and for sash windows use pins. It might sound obvious but make sure doors are locked. There are any crimes committed where the burglar simply came through an unlocked door.

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3. Motion Sensor Lighting

Darkness and shadows are the perfect invitation for criminals. It gives them cover and conceals them while they scope out your property and as they approach. The more outside lights, the better. Motion activated lights are also great as they normally scare the wood be thief off and will alert you that someone is or was moving outside. They are not at all expensive and are highly effective. Lighting also makes criminals think people are home, a dark house looks deserted. You will want to make sure there is sufficient lighting at your front door when you come home at night and are fishing for keys.

4. Keep Bushes Trimmed Back

Large bushes and hedges make perfect hiding places for criminals. Make sure they are cut back and don’t give them any cover. This also gives neighbours a better view of your property so they will be able to see any suspicious activity.

5. Speak to Your Neighbours

An active and vigilant community can do a lot to combat crime. If the criminals are aware that neighbours are alert and watching an area, they simply move on to a less vigilant place. If you speak to your neighbours you can keep an eye on each other’s properties when the other is not home and alert the authorities if there is any suspicion or an incident. This especially important if you are going to be away for a while.

6. Practice Good Key Control

Many people still leave keys under a door mat or in a pot near the door. This is only looking for trouble as many burglars check these obvious places. It will just make it that much easier to get in. Keep the somewhere safe where they cannot be accessed by criminals.

Much of what is needed comes down to common sense. Do not leave doors, windows or gates open when you are not there, hide or conceal valuables and take measures to make it more difficult for criminals to access your property and get into your house. You might not have the best security system installed yet but everything you do to make it harder or slow thieves down will help. These tips will definitely help to make your home more secure.