6 Free Ways To Increase Home Security

Black Hat Security Phoenix Arizona Secure Home BlueprintWith property-related crimes affecting 1 in 33 residents within Arizona, it is essential that home security optimization become the priority of its communities. Although having a powerful home security system is essential to providing the highest level of safety, there are many practices homeowners can adopt to increase home security without spending a dime.Much of what any home owner can do to optimize home security requires discontinuing many common (and faulty) security practices, developing defensive thinking, and implementing strategic home economics. Listed are 6 free ways in which home owners can decrease the chances of property-related crimes within their own residencies.


1.Keep accessible entries into your home dark and difficult to inspect.

A popular belief and common practice of many home owners is the habit of leaving homes brightly lit, particularly front porches, to prevent potential burglars from exposing themselves. Since most residential activities are spent within the home itself, brightly lit front porches are often left unattended, and contrarily offer higher visibility to burglars to break into your home. Consider, contrary to popular belief, in keeping front porch lights off or dimly lit, to minimize visibility for burglars attempting to break into the home.

In addition, particularly towards those with video surveillance security, most burglars use the light offered from brightly lit areas to either reflect light or create glare to minimize the visibility of video-enabled security. Although leaving homes brightly lit during the night time increases a feeling of security, bright outdoor lighting offers greater visibility to those seeking to break into one’s home. In fact, residential crimes, particularly burglaries, increased by 55% amongst the southern regions of the United Kingdom when homes owners provided bright exterior lighting. To minimize the visibility of potential burglars, leave accessible areas to the home — particularly those equipped with video surveillance — as dark as possible.


2.Strategically plan the landscaping of your housing.

Home in Phoenix with low shrubberyIn addition to lowering the visibility of a potential burglar, home security is increased when home owners optimize their visibility of activities happening in the exterior of their home. Contrary to this, home owners commonly decide to plant high-standing shrubbery within their landscaping, or install thick plated blinds to decrease visibility to onlookers. Although these practices decrease the visibility of onlookers, high standing shrubbery provides hiding places for burglars to remain undetected and even create greater maneuverability for those attempting to enter through the windows. Keeping shrubs to a maximum of two feet or lower will maximize visibility to outside activities or any onlookers looking into the home. Although this might seem uncomfortable, especially towards those who wish to optimize privacy, ensure that any blinds, curtains, or drapes are left open during the evenings to increase the visibility of activities happening outside the home.

In addition to optimizing visibility, consider planting thorny or prickly plants by windows of the home, such as rose bushes, cacti, or evergreens to prevent burglars from entering through the window. In terms of audibility, sounds of footsteps or any other movements can be often heard when materials like gravel or other rough sediments surround the perimeter of the home. Consider growing a rock garden, as opposed to the traditional mulch or soil-embedded garden, which provides soft and silent footing for those entering through the window.


3. Keep valuables in unlikely places.

This practice might seem impractical or even inconvenient for those who keep most of their belongings within a single location – particularly the bedroom. Burglars understand that most personal belongings will often be found in close proximity of the most time spent within the home. Personal documents, jewelry, emergency funds, electronics, and other personal items should be placed in locations that are either difficult to access, or unconventional to one looking for valuable items. Personal items are often located within a single part of the home, and are more likely to remain unfound by a burglar when items are placed in different locations throughout the home.

Consider placing certain valuables under piles of clothes, behind picture frames, within toolboxes, or even inside hanged articles of clothing. Because most residential thefts happen within a 10-minute period, it is important to strategically place valuables that will require a lengthier search. Doing so will heighten the anxiety of those seeking for your valuables, and will often minimize the quantity of valuables stolen by those who break into a home.


4. Never leave emergency keys within close proximity of your home.

A set of spare keysThis may be difficult for those who either regularly forget their keys, or unintentionally misplace them, but the necessity to have an emergency key, especially within close proximity of your home, will be greatly reduced by simply taking greater responsibility of your belongings. Having an emergency key gives greater accessibility to those breaking into one’s home. Burglars are aware that emergency keys are often left under mats, within a flower pot, or other common “unconventional” hiding places. If there is a strong necessity to keep an emergency key, leave one with a trusted family member, neighbour, or in another hiding place beyond the proximity of your home. Never leave emergency keys encrypted with personal information, including addresses, phone numbers, properties, or names of those who use the key. In all ways, leave emergency keys with little to no information regarding how to find either the location of the home or the owner themselves.

To prevent forgetting or misplacing your belongings, consider creating a list of belongings needed before exiting your home or returning back form work. The concept of list-checking may seem tedious or even unconventional to those who don’t regularly do so outside a professional setting, but doing so can ensure that needed belongings are remembered when departing from or returning back to your home.


5.Minimize knowledge to others regarding access to your home and the value of your belongings.

Burglar breaking into test home in PhoenixAccording to the security report of Arizona in 2013, the typical burglar lives within a 2-mile radius of your home, insinuating that those who try to enter your home are most likely people that you know. When inviting guests to your home, to not disclose any information regarding entry-codes, locations of valuables, daily schedules or routines, other methods of entry into your home, or the value of your personal items. Understanding your daily routine allows others to know when a home’s residents are away, creating opportunities for others to break into the home when the house is left unattended.

If information related to these matters need to be disclosed, make sure they are only shared with others who will regularly be in your home. Rarely should security or asset-related information regarding your home or its valuables be disclosed, regardless of the connection between the home owner and their guests. Develop and maintain a level of privacy within the conversations that you have, and choose carefully who you seek to disclose confidential information with.


6.Set up a Neighbourhood Watch program.

Phoenix Arizona community Neigborhood Watch Area Sign

For those unfamiliar with the program, Neighbourhood Watch is an official organization dedicated to maximizing residential security. Home owners within a residency formulate strategies, tactics, methods, and educate one another to maximize crime prevention within the community. Neighbourhood watch meetings, often held once a week, provide an opportunity for communities to regularly gather to discuss suspicious activities, safety concerns, criminal acts, and security tactics to better protect their communities. By setting up a neighbourhood watch program, residents of the community are given a “neighbourhood watch” sign to be placed strategically throughout the community, free of charge, as provided by the Neighbourhood Watch program.

In addition to a home’s individual efforts to protect their home, forming an association with others to protect their community develops greater bonds, increases greater awareness, and ultimately increases the security of a given neighbourhood.

Make Home Security A Priority

Basic security within a community can easily be created by the tactics mentioned in this article without any additional funding. Because of the increasing rate of residential crimes occurring within Arizona, it is imperative for its owners to take the time as a household and as a community to formulate protective strategies, discontinue unsafe security practices, and strategize better home economics. The tactics mentioned above, however, are not meant to replace or discredit the technologies currently protecting businesses and residences. Combined with these tactics, neighbourhoods can even further strengthen their communities by investing in an affordable and powerful security system.

Security systems, depending on the services offered, can maximize security by:

  • Providing greater exterior visibility to your home through video surveillance
  • Developing stronger security awareness through programmable text alerts
  • Strengthen ties to outside help by providing 24/7 human chat support
  • Increase a sense of security by providing cellular accessible monitoring

By implementing both in-community strategies and basic house-held security systems, communities can have the peace of mind, knowing that their homes will be secured, residential crimes will be reduced, and its residents will be protected.