With concerns about home security habits on the rise, it is very easy to start some simple home security habits to keep you and your possessions safe. Knowing about the three main enemies of a burglar, which are time, noise, and light, can help substantially in forming home security habits that can keep your home safe. These three things, along with knowing where you’re most vulnerable and picking up some new home security habits will help you stay safe.

Lights, Time, Noise

The three things that scare a burglar off most frequently are noise, light and time. A burglar is looking to commit the quietest crime in the shortest amount of time without being seen, and by adding to these three things, you can scare off many burglars. Home security habits, like adding a few out of reach motion sensing lights, can be enough to protect your home. If a burglar is suddenly washed in light, he or she will, nine times out of ten, turn around and try to find somewhere else to break in.

A burglar wants to commit his or her crime in the smallest amount of time, because it leaves less time for neighbors to get suspicious, for the homeowner to come home, or for the police to arrive if they’ve already been called. A good home security habit that will add time to a burglar’s job and keep him or her from even attempting to rob your house is to never leave valuables in sight of a window. Keep all small valuables like jewelry in drawers or closets, and keep televisions and larger valuables either in rooms with few windows, or keep the curtains shut in those rooms. Another good home security habit is making sure every door and window is locked with a secure locking mechanism, or going through with a bit more home security, such as bars over the windows.

If a burglar breaks a window and an alarm goes off, he or she is going to run for it. Noise is huge deterrent for burglars, because that tips off people that there is something wrong. A basic alarm system will go off when a window breaks or a door is forced open, but there are other things you can try as well. Get into the home security habit of making doors that are not made of glass harder to open with deadbolts or with an extra security measure like a piece of wood blocking the sliding mechanism of a sliding door. This is an excellent way to make sure extra force would be needed.

Being Vulnerable

Homes are usually “cased” before they are broken into. This means the burglar picks a home and watches the habits of the person or people who live there, trying to find out if there are any security vulnerabilities, and if the people there leave out anything valuable. A lax home security routine is certainly a vulnerability that a burglar will pick up on. If you leave windows or doors unlocked, even if it’s just a “quick trip to the store,” the burglar will be watching for times like that. A good home security habit is to make sure that you keep everything locked up, even if you’re just walking over to the neighbor’s house to return a garden tool. If a door or window is open, a burglar only needs one or two minutes to get in, steal something, and get out.

Another vulnerable home security habit that should be broken is leaving a key out somewhere near the front door. If you leave a key under a welcome mat, a flower pot, or a rock, or leave it above the door frame, you can be certain any burglar who has been casing your home will know about it. Fake rocks with a key inside are also a dead give away, because most don’t look like real rocks at all, and that is one of the first places a burglar will check. If you want to have a spare house key outside the home for emergencies, then give one to a trusted neighbor, where you can retrieve it if necessary.

Hanging keys near a window is an easy way for a burglar to break in. A burglar can break the glass, reach in, and have access to your entire home within a matter of moments. To start a new home security habit, you should never hang keys near a door or window. Hang them somewhere that you would look for them but a burglar would easily miss, like next to a phone in the kitchen.

New Home Security Habits

The best way to stay safe is to pick up new home security habits. There are a few simple things that you can do every day that will keep your home more secure, and will only take a few minutes of your time.

Establish a home security habit routine. This can include several steps such as:

  • Checking to make sure all outside doors are locked
  • Checking to make sure all windows are locked or are unable to be opened wide enough for people to get inside
  • All valuables are stored away safely and cannot be seen from windows
  • All keys to your home are safely away from doors and windows
  • Checking to see if you can see anyone watching your house
  • Talk to your neighbors. Talking to your neighbors will build trust, and having them keeping an eye on your home is better than you trying to do it all yourself.
  • Avoid giving out any information about yourself in public, over the phone, or to people you don’t know.
  • Do not put an address on house keys, just a phone number if found, and then if they are found by someone, meet them somewhere other than your home to retrieve them.

Learning these new home security habits, along with knowing your vulnerabilities and using the knowledge that the three enemies of a burglar are sound, light, and time, you can easily keep your home safe. The time you spend keeping your home safe will be far worth it in the long run if you can keep burglars from choosing your house as their next target.