Tips To Keep Your Home Safe From Burglars

Are you traveling over the holidays? Is your home safe to be empty while you're gone? Read these tips to keep your home safe from burglars!

Now that the end-of-year holiday season is in full swing, many of us are traveling to see family and friends. This can often mean leaving our home unattended while we’re away. We like to think nothing can ever go wrong while we’re away, but this is a perfect time for thieves to take advantage of our absence. So it’s worth reviewing these tips to keep your home safe from burglars, and make sure your home is ready – or schedule a new year to-do for item #3.

Ready for your pre-travel safety checkup? Then here we go!

Are you traveling over the holidays? Is your home safe to be empty while you're gone? Read these tips to keep your home safe from burglars!

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Tips To Keep Your Home Safe From Burglars

1) Keep Everything Fixed

This may sound like a no-brainer, but I’ll say it anyway: start by making sure that everything in your home is fixed. If you’ve got a broken window or an exterior door lock that’s broken, you might as well have up a sign saying “Hey, come rob us!”

Likewise, if your garage door is overdue for fixing, get it fixed already! This is both to keep you safe from burglars, and to make sure you’re ready for winter storms. Disconnecting the motor from an electric garage door is tricky enough when a winter storm knocks out the power. The last thing you’ll want to worry about in a storm is having your car trapped (or your home accessible to thieves) because your garage door needs a tune-up.

2) Don’t Leave Your Windows Open

Another no-brainer, and less of a concern in the winter, but still. You’d be surprised how often we hear on our neighborhood listserv during the summer months about a rash of burglaries, due in part to people leaving their windows wide open.

So don’t be tempted to have extension cords running out your windows to power outside lights. And even though you’re less likely to have your windows open in the winter, you still need to make sure that they’re locked whenever they’re closed. Leaving your windows closed but unlocked is another open invitation for someone to enter without your permission.

A great hack to help with both these situations is getting the automatic latches that prevent your windows from opening more than two inches. These will stop both a would-be burglar, and a curious child who likes to climb. Newer windows come with these preinstalled on the top sash. This is what they look like on our newest replacement window:

Are you traveling over the holidays? Is your home safe to be empty while you're gone? Read these tips to keep your home safe from burglars!

As you can see, they’re easy to disable if you want to open the window all the way. But otherwise, they will keep both your little ones AND your home safe. Bottom line, keep your windows shut most of the time, even if it means you can’t run that extension cord outside to power your light displays. (See if your house has an outdoor electrical outlet you can use. If not, consider installing one.)

3) Consider Getting An Alarm System

Finally, if you live in an area with frequent break-ins, or just want some extra peace of mind, it’s worth investigating a home security system. When I was growing up, we had a rash of burglaries in our neighborhood every few years. So shortly before my father died, he got an alarm system installed to help protect my widowed mama once she was alone.

Home security systems come in a wide range of price points. Many have monthly subscriptions that go toward 24/7 monitoring of your home and a call center set up to alert you of any issues. When making your choice, keep in mind that this is definitely one area where you get what you pay for.

When you’re weighing your options, do your homework. Check reviews on the different companies operating in your area. If your neighbors have security-system signs in their yard, ask them who services their alarm system, and what they think of their provider. It’s important to make sure you’ve done your research before you settle on an alarm company for your home.

And while the alarm system in and of itself will do plenty to protect your home (such as automatically notifying police and/or the fire department if its sensors detect a problem), there’s another plus. Would-be burglars are more likely to pass by homes with security-system signs in their yard, figuring it’s not worth the risk and hassle.

Your turn:

What steps have you taken to ensure your home’s security year-round? What special precautions do you take right before going on an extended trip? Please share them with us in the comments!

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 Are you traveling over the holidays? Is your home safe to be empty while you're gone? Read these tips to keep your home safe from burglars! Tips To Keep Your Home Safe From Burglars - SuperMomHacks | how to protect against burglary | how to prevent burglary | secure your home | secure my house | how to make home safe from burglars | how to make home secure | how to keep burglars out | how to protect house from thieves | protect your home from burglars | how to keep home safe from burglars

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17 thoughts on “Tips To Keep Your Home Safe From Burglars”

  1. These are certainly the basics of keeping your home safe. And home security alarm systems are getting more reasonable all the time. Thanks for the tips!

  2. Remembering to keep your windows closed is such a big thing. It’s easier to burglar someone if they have the windows opened. And it’s so easy to forget to close them once you open them.

  3. My family doesn’t go on too many long trips. And we try that in case somebody is on a road to be more around their house. But, those tips are small but it is true need to be careful.

  4. These are very important tips to keep in mind. One that some people forget is… DO NOT ANNOUNCE that you are leaving town. Why broadcast it to the world? Happy Holidays!

  5. We have a couple of cameras that we use predominately for our dogs, but they’re nice to keep an eye on the house as well. Plus our 4 dogs are a great alarm system – they’re barking is absolutely ridiculous.

  6. We do all of this, and we also have latches (like most hotel rooms have) on our doors. They weren’t originally there to keep people out but to keep the little people in, but they work double duty. The day we moved into this house my oldest son, who was 2 at the time, said, “mommy look” as he unlocked and opened the front door. I got the latch up high that day!

    1. Aiyiyi! That is scary! I had not thought about latches for keeping little people IN, but that is a genius solution!

    1. That is very fortunate! Crime has been increasing in our area in recent years – it always helps to be vigilant!

  7. We also use light timers. I imagine you can invest in software that will allow you to control your lights with your phone, but we still have the old fashioned type that you plug lamps into. You can find digital ones that will alter your timing a few minutes one way or the other so your lights don’t turn on and off with a suspicious consistency. So, for example, you can set your lights to turn on in the living room at 5:30 pm and the timer will turn them on at 5:27 one day and 5:34 the next. I scatter a few timers around the house and set them for times of day we normally turn lights on and off.

    1. I had no idea about the ones that change the time by a few minutes! That is an AWESOME hack, Anne – thanks for sharing!

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