Six Ways to Protect Your Home

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, more than 2 million homes are burglarized each year, and that number is only expected to rise as thieves become smarter and more tech-savvy. What measures can you take to protect your property from these alarming crime rates? Here are just six ideas.

1. Secure Your Doors and Windows
Some of the simplest ways to stop break-ins are also the most overlooked. Don't leave your windows open at night, don't forget to lock patio or second-story doors, and don't depend on simple latching mechanisms to safeguard your sliding glass. Everything should come with an actual lock or bar.

2. Trim Your Hedges
Bushes and shrubs will conceal a thief as they approach your home in the dead of night. Dark shadows will provide excellent hiding places. Get out your clippers and start landscaping with security in mind. If you think something could offer cover for a criminal, cut it with impunity.

3. Invest in a Good Home Security System
While any home security system is better than nothing, it's worth the effort to go out on a limb and find something with comprehensive, floor-to-ceiling coverage. Even better is a system that can be remotely accessed with a smartphone or tablet. Look into brands like Titan Alarm for a 21st-century solution to a timeless problem.

4. Hide Your Valuables
Don't put your plasma screen in front of an open window, and don't leave your garage door open so that the entire world can see your cars, bikes and jet skis. Showboating is one of the easiest ways to get yourself targeted by burglars.

5. Join the Neighborhood Watch
Are you frequently away from home for work or travel? Let the community be your eyes and ears while you're gone. Not only can they pick up your mail and water your plants, but they can also alert the authorities in the event of a disturbance.

6. Give Up the Fake Rock
It may have been a good idea once upon a time, but everyone knows about fake rocks to hold spare keys. The same goes for hollow bricks, plastic lily pads and other items. If you really can't stand the thought of being locked out of your house, give your spare key to a trusted neighbor.

If you're serious about protecting both your property and your family, these are just six things to keep in mind when improving home security.

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