Guarding a house against burglary attempts is usually at the forefront of every homeowner's mind. While not everyone can afford high-tech and expensive security systems, some easy, tried-and-true security measures can be implemented to make homes less desirable to robbers. Many of these measures are simple habit changes, while others can involve a nominal investment in supplies. All of them are effective in protecting belongings and the sanctity of personal spaces. The following are some relatively low-cost and easy ways to secure your home.

  1. Assess your home from a burglar's point of view. Simply circling around and walking through your home and recognizing security weaknesses can help you take steps to make your home more theft-proof.

  2. Install new locks if you lose your keys. Assume that a potential burglar has stolen your keys from you and is planning to break into your home as soon as they know that you will be away.

  3. Trick burglars into thinking that you're always at home. Consider using timed lights that will turn on every so often to give the impression that your house is occupied, even when you're gone. For extra craftiness, purchase a life-size cardboard cut-out of a person and place it by your window.

  4. Find an inconspicuous place to keep a spare house key. Consider burying your key in a small container instead of keeping it in well-known hiding places such as under doormats or in mailboxes.

  5. Make a habit of locking your doors and windows. Often, residents leave windows or doors unlocked while they run quick errands. This can provide the perfect opportunity for burglars to walk into your home and walk out with your valuables.

  6. Vet all professionals who come into your home. Ask for references from contractors, TV and phone repair people, and even housekeepers before hiring them to do jobs.

  7. Install motion-sensor lights on the exterior of your home. These lights can act as a spotlight for burglars who want to creep up to your home in the middle of the night.

  8. Keep identifying information off of the exterior of your home. Customizing wall plaques and mailboxes with names on them can look great but can also help burglars identify your home and target you.

  9. Get a dog. Canines' intense senses of hearing and smell can alert you to intruders before they even make it to your window or door.

  10. Make repairs. Replace broken windows and rotted-out door frames to make it harder for burglars to gain access to your home.

  11. Invest in windows that feature shatter-resistant glass. Glass of this type can make breaking or cutting through the windows almost impossible for would-be burglars.

  12. Install weatherstripping on doors to ensure a snug and proper fit against their frames. This can provide more resistance against burglars looking for structural weaknesses of which they can take advantage.

  13. Secure sliding glass doors by placing a broomstick in the track. The broomstick will halt attempts from burglars to slide the door open, even with a high degree of force.

  14. Coat windows' screw heads with solder after you've set them into place. The coating will pose a large obstacle for robbers, regardless of how many different types of screwdrivers they may have.

  15. Place locks wherever you can. Doors and windows can benefit from standard locks, but also consider investing in deadbolts for a great protection solution. Forgo chains and hooks, as these can be easily lifted by a skilled burglar.

  16. Rearrange your home. Burglars can often get a sense of if a home is worth breaking into by just looking through windows. Move your furniture, electronics, and other high-priced belongings out of the line of sight.

  17. Install peepholes on all doors that lead outside. Peepholes can give you an advantage if you suspect that burglars are using one of these entryways to come inside.

  18. Customize your personal items. Engraving, painting, or marking your items with your personal information can lower their resale value and make them more easy to identify if they're ever recovered.

  19. If you have a garage, cover its windows with heavy curtains so burglars can't see inside. You can also block windows with large and heavy objects to deter burglars from climbing inside.

  20. Keep up with your yard work. Lawns and yards that are overgrown give the impression that homeowners are away on an extended trip.

  21. Remove large trees and shrubs by windows and doors. While they can be beautiful accents, they can also act as perfect hiding places for burglars.

  22. Take care what you publicize on social networks. Announcing that you're planning to take a vacation to strangers can act as a homing beacon for burglars who are looking for a window of opportunity to rob your home.

  23. Ask your police department for help. Some towns and cities offer free home security surveys to help deter home invasion-related crime. Officers can come to your house, assess its security weaknesses, and give you pointers on how to make your home a veritable fortress.

  24. Contact the post office and put a hold on your mail if you intend to be gone for more than a few days. An excessive pile-up of mail can indicate that your home is free of inhabitants.

  25. Start a neighborhood watch. Collective awareness can be key to keeping burglars at bay. Neighbors who are aware of their surroundings can help deter numerous types of crimes for the good of their communities.

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