There’s nothing like the excitement of moving into a new home. There is a lot of promise to this fresh start, from decorating the living room to planning the first home improvement project. However, it’s essential not to overlook the importance of improving your home’s security after moving in. Use these tips to help heighten the safety of your new residence.
Change the locks
As soon as you come into possession of the keys to your new home, changing the locks on all the exterior doors should be a top priority, as you don’t know who has a copy of the current key. You can buy and install locks on your own, or you can hire a locksmith to switch them out for you. Additionally, make sure to update any passwords or security codes for devices like security systems and garage doors.
Avoid hidden keys
Do not keep a spare key in common hiding spots, like under a doormat or inside your mailbox. If you’re concerned about locking yourself out of your home, you can leave a key with a trusted neighbor, or you can install smart locks that allow you to open your doors by using a smartphone app, scanning your fingerprint, or entering a numerical code. You can even let guests in remotely or give babysitters and pet sitters their own unique access code that you can turn on and off.
Install window protection
The latches on your windows may be flimsy, so you may want to upgrade to window locks that will help make your home less accessible to the outside world. Make sure to install window locks on any window that are easily accessible from the ground, like first-story windows and basement windows. You can also install window security film, which can make windows more shatter-proof.
Use your landscaping
If your yard has plants or bushes in front of windows, it can be helpful to keep them trimmed below the window line or replace them with low-growing shrubs to prevent a home intruder from using your landscaping as cover. Additionally, replace mulch in flower beds near windows with gravel due to the noise it makes underfoot.
Invest in a security system
A home security system secures the entry points of your home and can alert authorities to a disturbance. If you install a security system, don’t forget to add a sign to your yard and stickers to your windows to deter potential intruders. You can also install a video doorbell that will send updates to your smartphone if there is motion outside your front door. If you’re considering installing a home security system, check out this guide to selecting the best safety device for your home.
Lighten things up
By making your home brighter, you can paint the picture that you’re home, even if you’re not. Start by placing interior lights, along with televisions and radios, on timers to make your home appear occupied. You can also install motion-activated exterior lights, perfect for discouraging any activity outside your home after dark. Make sure to install outdoor lights in areas around your home that get particularly dark.
Lock your shed
If your yard has a shed or an exterior garage, it’s just as essential to keep these spaces locked. If your shed doesn’t come with a lock, make sure to install a padlock. Finally, avoid keeping ladders in an easily accessible location outside your home, as this can give people easy access to second-story windows.
Develop relationships in the neighborhood
Aside from being good manners, it’s also a good security measure. By forming relationships with your neighbors, you’ll gain an extra set of eyes who might notice when something doesn’t look right, and they may be able to alert you of any potential risks when you’re not home. If you’re looking to raise the security level of your entire block, consider joining or starting a neighborhood watch program.
By making home security a top priority, you’ll be able to enjoy your new surroundings with peace of mind.