Tips for securing your home against home invasion

Picture this: you're at home with your family watching a movie in the living room when suddenly you hear a loud bang and the front door flies open. Three masked men walk in with crude weapons and ask you where the safe is.

If this sounds like a situation you never want to be in, read on.

Home invasions are a real problem in the US with thousands of cases reported every year. Sometimes home invasions result in loss of property but in some cases, it can be far worse when the criminals decide to harm your family. To prevent a home invasion, here are some of the things you can do:

1. Have a strong home security system

First of all, you need to assume that criminals are planning to invade your home at all times. Start with a robust home security system to discourage and prevent criminals from trying to access your home, or at least slow them down. This includes things like installing a security fence, gate, strong doors, state-of-the-art locks, and more.

2. Install exterior lighting

Most home invasions happen at night and there's a good reason why. Criminals don't like light and a dark home looks inviting to criminals. The best kind of exterior lighting is motion lights that only come on when movement is detected. A home invader will almost have a heart attack when they are approaching your home and suddenly a light comes on.

3. Make it hard for people to hide when breaking in

Avoid having trees or thick shrubs too close to your home. They can provide the perfect cover for home invaders as they do their thing. Avoid privacy fences with no security features.

4. Let people know that your home is secured

Put up stickers of the kind of security you have in your home. However, don't go into specifics as the criminals may know how to bypass it. For instance, if you have security cameras, you should have a sticker for 'this property is under 24-hour surveillance' and not the specific type of cameras you have. This might discourage potential invaders.

5. Don't show off your wealth

Avoid having things in plain sight that say "we have a lot of $$$ in here". If you own an expensive Mercedes, keep it in the garage and lock it down. If you have a huge flat screen TV in your home and other expensive stuff, keep the blinds closed. Don't tempt criminals into invading your home.

6. Get a dog

Dogs are more than just a furry friend to hang out with at the park. Dogs have strong senses and they are usually able to sense danger long before you. When a dogs sense danger they start barking, and that's all you need. A bark will alert you that something is amiss and also scare away potential intruders.

7. Work with the neighbors

First of all, know who they are. This will help you to differentiate them from other potentially dangerous people. You also need to work together with them to secure the neighborhood. Neighbors working together can prevent home invasions through neighborhood watch groups and petitioning their local government to boost security in their area.