Most of us, when we think about home security systems, we think about ugly wall panels, conspicuous cameras, and really tall fences that hide our property from view. If we’re thinking about particularly dangerous neighborhoods, we might imagine bars on windows. Yuck!
The good news is that those days are over. Today there are a lot of measures you can take to improve your home’s security that blend in with your current decorating scheme. Today you can create a home that is safer than Fort Knox without anybody knowing you’ve done anything at all. Here is how you do it:
Step One: Your Security System
Security systems have come a long way over the last decade. Today you can set up a full system–with video monitoring and everything–that will blend in seamlessly with your current decor and home layout. This is particularly helpful in affluent cities like New York, where there isn’t a lot of space for rearranging an apartment to accommodate a security system and San Diego where the homes are sprawling but residents prefer their security stay as subtle as possible.
Note: It is important, especially if you want a robust but subtle system setup, to hire a professional to do the installation for you. In many of these affluent cities, such as this San Diego ADT home security site, there are a great deal of companies who sell DIY setups at a discount. These DIY systems tend to be bulkier and harder to blend in, especially if you don’t know how to set them up correctly.
What You Can Do Yourself
A security system isn’t the only way to subtly secure your home against invasions, theft and damage. Here are some of the ways that you can secure your home that won’t require a new decorating scheme.
Upgrade Your Windows
Did you know that there are windows that are considered “burglar proof?” In San Francisco, many homeowners are changing out their regular glass windows with windows that have been made to withstand impacts. One method uses a strong film between two panes of real glass that, though the glass itself shatters, the film simply stretches, preventing the glass from falling out of it’s frame. The other method involves polycarbonate plastic which looks exactly like a window but is resistant to sharp blows (like someone trying to break a window to get into the house). Both look just like regular windows but help keep your home safe.
While we’re on the subject of windows: keeping your curtains or blinds closed (or only partially open) keeps people from being able to case your home from the outside.
Locks and Doors
A lot of people think that having many locks with many different keys is a great way to deter thieves. A better method is to install a couple of “security locks” (these are locks that are only accessible from the inside.) Install them on a metal door that is fitted into a metal frame that extends a few inches into the frame of your doorway. This way even if someone decides to turn themselves into a human battering ram, they won’t be able to knock your door down or kick it out of it’s frame.
Planting bushes under your windows and next to your doors is aesthetically pleasing, but it gives thieves a place to hide. If you hate the idea of an exposed foundation, plant flower beds around the periphery of your home. It’s much harder to hide in a flower bed than in a series of shrubs.
It’s also important to keep up with your landscaping. An unkempt yard acts as an invitation to intruders and burglars because it says that you do not pay much attention to your home or your surroundings.
Flood lights no longer require huge bulbs to light up an entire yard. Install motion detecting flood lights strategically around your property so that when someone sets foot in your yard or on your path, the entire place gets lit up. Guests will appreciate being able to see well enough to get to your front door. Burglars will likely leave because they’ve lost their chance to break in undetected.
Perhaps the most subtle method of deterring burglars and home invasions and increasing the security of your home is to get to know your neighbors. Neighbors who watch out for each other are more likely to report skulkers. Neighborhoods with neighborhood watch programs report less crime than those without. Plus, getting to know your neighbors requires zero home redecoration or invasive equipment!
The point is this: you can keep your home secure without having to introduce a lot of conspicuous changes to your home’s structure or decorating scheme!