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  • Writer's pictureAndy Murphy

10 Ways to Upgrade Your Home Security

Updated: Nov 1, 2023


Ways to upgrade your home security

Simple Tips for Improving Your Home’s Security

This article contains affiliate links to some great home security solutions. You’re welcome.


While you may feel safe in your house, you never want to take your home's security for granted. Here are some simple, effective ways to upgrade your home security.


Lock Your Doors Regularly


While this may seem basic and not an upgrade, let me ask you this: Does everyone in your home know to keep the doors locked when you’re inside? Does your garage door get left up sometimes? Do your kids go in and out without locking the door? If your answer to any of these questions wasn’t absolute, then we need to work on this.


According to FBI statistics, the most common way a thief enters your home is through the front door. That makes sense as that’s what doors are for, right? This is why you need to create a door-locking culture in your home. Make sure everyone knows that the standard is that your doors should always be locked except for when people are outside and will need to come in shortly.


Home Security Landscaping


In brutal honesty, if your yard is a mess or not kept up, it’s not unreasonable for a criminal to think your home will be an easy target. If you don’t take care of how your home looks, then there is a strong assumption that you probably don’t protect it well, either. So an unkempt yard will bring you the wrong type of attention.


To fix this, keep the yard nice. By no means do you have to win, "yard of the month" every month. Make your home look like it is cared for and like you care what happens to it. Take responsibility for the look of your home and it won’t be on the top of the bad guy’s list.

Ways to upgade your home security

Strengthening Your Doors


Most home break-ins occur at the front door, as we have established. The most popular way criminals get in is not by picking the lock. That takes as a level of skill the common criminal does not have. Instead, brute force is used when bad guys kick in the door. Most doors in America can be kicked open in 3 or 4 kicks which is less than 10 seconds.


The majority of people think that when a door is kicked in the deadbolt lock or the door itself fails. That’s not the case. Most of the time the locks and doors hold. The point of failure is the door frame and the strike plate.


Bolstering the Strike Plate


The strike plate is the part of the deadbolt lock that is attached to the door frame, where the deadbolt passes into the wood. That metal rectangle with the half-inch screws is all that is stopping someone from entering your home.


We can fix this by adding two-and-a-half-inch or three-inch screws to the existing strike plate. Simply unscrew the old top screw and replace it with the new, longer screw. Then repeat the process for the lower screw. If your door can accommodate it, you can add a second strike plate on top of the original one to double the strength. These upgrades can be done in under five minutes with a minimal cost.


Adding A Secondary Door Lock


Another way we can prevent a kick-in-style attack on our exterior doors is by adding a secondary lock. In the past, this has been those chain locks that your grandmother had that slide into the track and allow the door to be cracked open. These were not safe then, and they’re not safe now. Those locks are installed with tiny screws, and we all know those don’t hold up to any real force.


Instead, you need to upgrade your door with a Flip Lok. A Flip Lok is a new generation of secondary locks that can withstand 1,300 pounds of pressure and will give plenty of strength to your doors. This will buy you time to respond to protect your family. Read my full review of the Flip Lok to know why I recommend them to everyone.

A Flip Lok for upgrading home security

Lighting Your Property


Home security begins at the street. You need to communicate to a potential thief that your home is going to be a hard target and one way to do that is to add strategic lighting to your property. The darker a property is, the more enticing it is to a bad guy.


For a long time, I’ve suggested keeping the porch light on or installing a dawn-to-dusk light bulb to illuminate a home’s front door. To upgrade your security lighting, add motion-activated flood lights to the mix. These can brighten up the areas on the front and sides of the home where people ought not to be. I do suggest that you have an electrician install these.


To level up your lighting game even more, you might want a home security camera or flood light combo. These will act as a flood light and a surveillance camera all in one. Generally, these are powered by batteries so you may skip the electrician if you’d like. This floodlight camera by Blink has a battery life of 2 years and works with any other Blink cameras you have.


Watch How To Upgrade Your Home Security


Monitoring Service for Your Home Security System


I cannot tell you how many times people have told me that they have a home security system that is not monitored. People think it’s a waste of money to pay the monthly monitoring fee. Even worse, some folks just put a name-brand home security system sign in their yard and have nothing to fall back on. This is a bad idea.


You need to invest in your burglar alarm system. If you don’t arm it or pay the monitoring fee, then it’s not really going to do you much good. You need to have someone watching out for you, having your back when you are not home. This is done when the system is monitored by professionals who can call you or the police if you need them. Add this to your budget today, the cost is not as bad as you think.


Knowing Your Neighborhood


If you are like me, you avoided being in the neighborhood chat or Facebook group. I never really wanted to be involved in anything until I realized that people were sharing some useful information. Many times, my neighbors were expressing their concerns over real issues about strange people being in the neighborhood or their property being vandalized.


To get first-hand information about what’s happening close to your property is very valuable. Sometimes you even get pictures and videos of any odd occurrence on your street. This will help you determine what extra precautions you have to take to protect your home and family. You don’t have to participate in any online posts, but it’s good to have that information where you can get to it.


Adding Security Cameras


In a study of US households, there are an estimated 20 million video doorbell cameras. Personally, I think that’s a great thing. The more chances people have to see trouble coming, the better off we will all be. But don’t solely rely on a doorbell camera to cover your home.


If you have a doorbell camera then you are invested in that camera system, and chances are there are more cameras you can add easily. Consider placing cameras that cover every external door of your home. Then branch out to areas like the garage and the front yard. Since many of these wireless surveillance cameras are battery powered you can even hide them in unconventional spots.

The Seure Dad Family Home Security Assessment

Secure Signage


If you have a home security system, chances are you were given a sign by the salesman. While signs are a good thing to have, they are not the most effective way to deter crime. However, some signs help you define your property and communicate the purpose of how it is to be used.


I do want you to consider getting a sophisticated sign that says, “Private Property. No Trespassing”. There is a nice one on Amazon that will help you communicate this in a tasteful way.


The reason for this is that it helps you as the property owner declare how your property is to be respected. Plus, it gives reasonable notice that people should not be on your property and in some states includes your vehicles parked out front.


This can help you deal with law enforcement and any legal issues that may arise after an incident. In states like Iowa trespassing is a misdemeanor, but the intent of the trespasser has to be taken into consideration, which may incur other charges. So, it’s a start for the police. And in some states, a no trespassing sign can legally keep private investigators off your property.


Talk About Home Security


It’s a good idea to make home security a family responsibility. The entire family uses the home and should share some level of responsibility as to how it is protected. This can mean that even a 5-year-old can learn how to lock the door or remind her parents to arm the alarm on their way out. Everyone has a role to play.


Make protecting your family and home the norm for your family. When talked about in a positive, easy-to-execute way, it’s not abnormal for a child. Just remember to speak to them at a level they are mature enough to understand. This will help them build life-long habits that will protect them well into the future.


More Ways to Upgrade Your Home Security


If you want to know even more ways to protect your home, I suggest my Layered Home Defense Strategy. This approach consists of four parts: discipline, deter, fortify, and defend. This process will help you re-think what you know about home defense while making it easy to understand. Learn more about this in my best-selling book, Home Security: The Secure Dad’s Guide.



Ways to upgade your home security

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Andy Murphy

Andy Murphy founded The Secure Dad in 2016 with the aspiration to help families live safer, happier lives. What started as a personal blog about family safety has turned into an award-winning podcast, an Amazon best-selling book, and online courses. He focuses his efforts in the areas of home security, situational awareness, and online safety.

 

Andy is a husband and father. His interests include coaching youth basketball, hiking, and trying to figure out his 3D printer.

 

TheSecureDad.com

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