The Greater Houston Area is a fantastic place to raise a family. There are good schools, friendly people, quality jobs, and access to an array of amenities and entertainment options. But it’s not immune from crime. As a homeowner, anything you can do to lower your family’s risk of being victimized by burglary and theft is a smart investment.
The Surprising Truth About Home Burglaries and Break-Ins
On average, a home burglary happens once every 23 seconds in the United States. That adds up to approximately 3,757 burglaries per day. And it’s not just big cities that are susceptible to crime. It happens everywhere.
“You’d expect New York and California would have more burglaries per capita, but they’re actually near the bottom of the list,” Safewise explains. “In fact, New Mexico is the most burglarized state in the US, along with other rural states including Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.”
As a Texas homeowner, you need to do everything you can to ensure your home isn’t targeted. This means being proactive about things like landscaping, home maintenance, security systems, and habits.
8 Home Security Tips to Protect Your Family
Whether you’re in the nicest neighborhood in town, or you live on a street where there’s known criminal activity, being proactive about your home’s security will lessen your chances of being burglarized. Here are a few helpful tips:
Secure Exterior Doors
The first step to protecting your property is securing all possible points of entry into the home. Naturally, you should begin with exterior doors.
Every door has a few different points of weakness. The handle and locket can obviously be compromised, as can hinges, mounting screws, and even the door jamb or frame. Here are a few pointers:
- Never rely on locking a door handle. Sturdy deadbolts should always be used.
- If you have sliding doors, add auxiliary locks (such as vertical bolt locks or security bars).
- Be mindful of hinge placement – particularly on French doors. The hinge pins should always be interior facing to prevent burglars from being able to remove the door.
- You can add security film to glass doors. This prevents glass from being easily broken with a single blow.
Secure All Windows
Windows are a huge point of vulnerability for homeowners. Most never consider the possibility of a burglar entering through a window and, therefore, neglect certain security mechanisms. Here are some things to think about:
- When replacing windows, look for ones that come with acrylic or reinforced glass. These are much harder to break and deter criminals from continuing an intrusion.
- Aftermarket window locks can be added if you’re worried about windows being opened from the outside.
- Much like with glass doors, thick security film can be applied to first-floor windows to make them more difficult to shatter.
Secure the Garage Door
Did you know that the garage door is one of the most common entry points for burglars? It’s also one of the simpler areas of the home to secure.
For starters, don’t leave garage door openers inside your vehicle. If you have a garage door opener built into your vehicle, be extra mindful of locking your car at night.
In terms of the garage door itself, it’s a good idea to regularly check the strength of your garage door’s components by attempting to open it from the outside.
Since most home security systems don’t extend to the garage, you may want to install a garage door sensor to remotely alert you any time the door has opened.
Install a Home Security System
While you never want a burglar to actually penetrate your four walls and make it into your home, a home security system can alert law enforcement of worst-case scenarios when criminals make it inside.
There’s never been a better time to install a home security system. Not only can you use one of the major national or local companies, but there are also plenty of DIY systems that allow you to customize your system according to your own personal needs.
Consider Video Monitoring
As cheap as video monitoring is, every homeowner should consider adding cameras to their home security system. Whether it’s a single doorbell camera or a collection of Wi-Fi-enabled cameras around the entire property, video provides invaluable peace of mind.
Be Mindful of Landscaping
You can do your best to dissuade criminals from targeting your property by being smart about landscaping. Avoid giving burglars places to hide by trimming shrubs down, eliminating dark corners, and installing more landscape lighting.
Make Your House Look Occupied
Most burglars aren’t going to target a house when it looks occupied. Whether you’re at the office, out of town for the weekend, or gone on a weeklong vacation, there are ways you can make your house look lived in.
Timed lighting and vehicles in the driveway are always a good idea, but sometimes you need something more.
“If an intruder manages to get near the house, there are more tricks to deter them from entering the property further,” Vivint explains. “For example, leave a radio playing low or put a light on a timer that simulates the bluish flicker of a TV screen. If someone was to look through a window, it’s a good idea to leave a few things scattered around that to make the home look occupied.”
Experiment with different options and see what works best for your house. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
Partner With Neighbors
One of the benefits of being close with your neighbors is that you can use each other as extra sets of eyes. Give your neighbors permission to call or text you any time they notice suspicious activity on or around your property. You can do the same in return.
It’s especially helpful if you have a neighbor who works from home. A large percentage of burglaries and break-ins happen during daylight hours and having homeowners around in the middle of the day helps keep the neighborhood safer.
Green Residential: Houston’s Trusted Real Estate Leader
As a homeowner, it’s important to have people you can trust in your corner. At Green Residential, we’ve built our business on honesty, transparency, and a genuine commitment to following through on our promises.
Whether you’re buying a house, selling a home, or looking for help managing one of your Houston rental properties, we can help. Give us a call today to find out more!