Home security systems are only as strong as their weakest link, and if you set up equipment that’s too complicated for household members to use, they are likely to ignore the equipment or work around it. Remember that the people in your home are part of any security arrangements you make, so you have to be realistic about how much hassle they are willing to accept in the name of security.
1. Be Sure Your Home Appears Occupied
Most thieves are opportunistic. They come into a neighborhood and look for houses that seem undefended and unoccupied. An important part of home security is making your home look occupied at all times.
One big clue that you are out of town is if your mail or newspapers are piling up. Never allow newspapers to accumulate in the front yard.
Interior lights are also important in making a home look occupied. Not only should some lights be on, but the array of lights should change just as it would if the home were occupied. The easiest way to do this is with timers.
Another very simple way to make a house appear occupied is to leave on a TV or radio with the volume turned up loud enough to be heard by someone approaching the doors or windows.
Leaving a car in the garage or driveway can also be a deterrent. If you are going on a trip and not leaving a car at home, you might want to make arrangements with the next door neighbor to park one of their cars in your driveway while you are away.
2. Create Perimeter Defenses
Another important home security measure involves making it difficult to get near the home. This is most commonly accomplished by a high wall or fence.
In many parts of the world, this is the primary home security tactic, but it does suffer from some shortcomings. Generally, it is easier to sneak undetected over or under a wall or fence than it is to force entry into a home.
Yet perimeter defenses often give occupants of the home a false sense of security that may lead them to get sloppy about locking doors and windows. For this reason, perimeter defenses are most effective when they are either very difficult to penetrate or are augmented by cameras and/or motion detectors.