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Feeling secure in your own home is so important. By investing in measures to protect and secure your property, you fend off any potential intruders and maintain peace of mind.

There are a few effective ways to keep your home secure. Below are 7 measures that could be worth taking.

Keep valuable items hidden and locked away

Leaving your valuable items out on display will only serve to tempt burglars. Resist the urge to show off your new bicycle or new lawnmower to the neighbors. It’s best to hide these items out of sight when not in use so that you’re not advertising them to thieves.

Lock these items away if possible. A shed with a decent lock is the best place to keep those outdoor valuables like bicycles and lawnmowers. Avoid attaching a padlock to a flimsy worn shed door as this will do nothing to prevent a break-in – make sure the whole door is solid and secure to put off burglars.

You should also be careful of leaving valuables by windows where they can easily be seen by passers-by. Either relocate them out of sight or find a way of dressing your windows to provide privacy (such as drawing curtains, using blinds or using tinted glass).

Light up the front of your home

Most criminals aren’t going to invade your home in broad daylight. Burglars prefer to target homes at night, allowing them to sneak around in the shadows and go undetected. When choosing targets, most burglars will focus on properties with no exterior lighting so that there’s less risk of a passer-by or neighbor spotting them.

This is why it’s worth installing security lighting outside your home. Burglars are less likely to try to break into a property that’s illuminated at light. Of course, permanently lighting up the front of your home could use up a lot of electricity, so consider using motion-sensing lighting to save money on energy bills. If you can’t afford large spotlights, at the very least consider a porch light.

Install a camera

Installing a security camera outside your home can allow you to monitor the outside of your home to see who is outside. It can also allow you to capture footage of any criminals, so that if a crime is committed you’ll be able to offer video evidence to the police.

Cameras can also be a good deterrent. Most crooks will see a home with a camera outside and think twice before attempting anything dodgy. Some people even install dummy cameras just to put off burglars, however, the real thing is still better to have.

What type of video camera should you install? While you can opt for traditional big and bulky cameras, options like video doorbell cameras can be less intimidating to guests while still being noticeable enough to deter burglars. Check out this guide to some of the best video doorbell cameras.

Install new doors and windows

Modern windows and doors are a lot more secure than older options. If you’ve got very old windows or doors with basic locks or gaps that allow them to be easily wedged open, consider whether it’s time to upgrade to newer windows and doors.

Upgrading your old windows and doors could be particularly important if they’re damaged. Loose hinges and damaged frames could make breaking in easier. Consider whether you’re better off paying for replacement windows and doors rather than repairing your old windows or doors.

When choosing secure doors look for features like five-lever mortice deadlocks and long hinge screws. Steel is the most secure material, however, materials like solid wood and uPVC can still be very resilient. The same applies to windows when it comes to materials. Interior window locks and reinforced glass could be other features worth considering.

Secure your fences

Another way to secure your home could be to make your fences more secure. Some intruders may try to get onto your property by going through your backyard. With the right type of fencing, you can keep any would-be intruders out.

There are many ways to make fencing more secure. Making your fencing higher can make it difficult to scale. This could include buying taller fencing or adding lattices. With wooden fences, you can also place the rough side facing inwards to make climbing more difficult. Anti-climb paint is also a feature that you can consider – it can make the fence slippery to climb. Flat metal and vinyl fencing can also prevent climbing by offering no grip.

You can also add motion-sensing lighting near the rear of your property. This could have the same effect as lighting at the front of your property.

Buy a firearm

Keeping a firearm in your home can allow you to defend yourself if someone tries to break in. In many cases, having a gun could simply provide a deterrent – an intruder will think twice if you have a gun.

Laws on firearms vary from state to state. This includes which firearms you can own and the magazines you are allowed to use. Do your local research before buying a gun and ammunition. For example, if you live in California, you’ll want to choose a California gun magazine.

Keep your gun somewhere safe and secure where it can’t fall into the wrong hands. At the same time, make sure it’s somewhere relatively accessible so that you can get to it in an emergency.

Secure your home when away

If you’re going away for a long period, you may want to take extra measures to keep your property secure while it’s vacant. Burglars typically target homes when they know no-one has been home for a while.

It could be worth asking a neighbor to park their car there or even asking someone to house sit. At the very least, have someone occasionally go round to maintain your home and collect mail (signs of neglect and piles of unopened mail are a sign that no one has been home for a while).