Protecting Your Low Impact Home
All of the upgrades to your home came with a cost. We all consider the cost and environmental impact of the modifications we make to our home, but what about protecting the hard work that it took to make our home green in the first place?
This is an area that I feel most of us overlook when it comes to home management.
Most homeowners aren’t in the market to build fences or a moat around their property, so it got me thinking… what are some easy (and cost efficient ways) to keep your home safe, while not going medieval.
Here’s what I came up with.
Get an Alarm
I feel it’s prudent to start here, as no single method is more effective at preventing crime than having an alarm installed. My search took me to discover the wide range of ADT alarms and their benefits for my household. Not only are they surprisingly inexpensive, they monitor for fire, carbon monoxide, and allow you to arm and disarm from your smartphone. You can’t go wrong with starting the home protection process with a quality alarm.
Deterrence is a big part of preventing substantial losses due to a break in. Most houses are well-lit from the front due to street lights or overhead garage or porch lighting, but they often forget about the back and the sides of the home. Installing motion lights is quite simple, and they even sell solar powered systems at most major hardware stores.
Participate in Your Local Neighborhood Watch
The neighborhood watch is a varied system depending on your specific neighborhood. Some neighborhoods participate in active patrolling (in turn with the other neighbors) and weekly or monthly meetings. Others are somewhat passive in their efforts and just promise to look out for their neighbors.
Find out if your community has a neighborhood watch, and if not, consider creating one. Having neighbors that care is a great way to reduce crime while improving relationships within the community.
Get a New Strike Plate
This is an area that is often overlooked by homeowners, but you’d be amazed at how easy it is to kick in the average door. The average strike plate (the metal plate into which the bolt slides on your door jam) is held in with three, half-inch screws. This sort of setup is especially common in older homes. You can buy an upgraded strike plate which makes use of up to six, three-inch screws in order to decrease the odds of someone kicking in your door while you’re away.
Eliminate Hiding Spots
Trimming your trees and bushes helps to eliminate areas where thieves often hide while waiting for the opportunity to break in. Increasing the visibility of these hiding spots allows your neighbors, as well as passersby, a better opportunity to spot crime before it happens.
If you know you’re going to be away, whether it be for the night or a week on vacation during the summer, attaching timers to your electronics is a great way to give the appearance of activity within a home. This doesn’t have to be a great energy expense, either. You can set the timer to just turn on a lamp or two (preferably on different floors or different areas of the home) that uses an energy efficient compact fluorescent lightbulb. Thieves are much less likely to break into homes that look as though they are currently occupied.
With just a few slight changes, you can keep your home safe and secure for yourself and your family. None of these items are expensive, and very few require any real “specialized” work in order to install. Keep your family safe this summer and help to protect your biggest investment.