Home security isn’t exactly a fun topic, since it forces us to consider all the things that could go wrong. But it’s better and smarter to be prepared so we can rest easily at night, knowing our homes and families are protected. Here are some expert tips to keep your home safe:

  • Install a peephole—you should already have one, but either way, these are a must for every family.
  • Keep doors, including the garage door, closed and locked, even when you are home. Help younger children to make a habit of this.
  • Keep ladders locked up, and store them inside.
  • Use a real (or fake) video surveillance camera in a place where it can be easily seen from the front door.
  • Store valuables in a sock, and then place it in the bureau in a child’s bedroom, where an intruder is unlikely to check.
  • Install stoppers on the window tracks, keep them locked, and keep the curtains and shades drawn during the night.
  • If leaving for vacation, arrange for someone to park in your driveway and mow the lawn. Also put a hold on the delivery for the mail and newspaper.
  • Use a lighting system on a timer when you are away from home.
  • Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors on every floor.
  • Don’t answer your door unless you are expecting a visitor.
  • Always check windows after a service person leaves the home, as they may have unlocked the windows for easy access to the home.
  • Ensure that the address numbers of your home are large and easy to see.
  • If you smoke, rinse the butts in water before throwing them away.
  • Store any flammables away from the house.
  • Don’t leave spare keys under a flower pot, welcome mat, or plastic rock. Instead, give them to a trusted neighbor.
  • Never leave the home if you have a candle or the fireplace burning.
  • Turn off all heat-producing appliances, such as an iron, immediately after use.
  • Install door reinforcement technology, such as Door Devil.
  • Don’t leave the house without turning the ringer on your phone to silence. You don’t want a burglar to hear an unanswered phone ringing.
  • Do not allow packages to sit outside. Instead, use a service that requires you to sign for a package.
  • Keep a phone near the bed at night.

Although this list is long and detailed, many of these are instinctual things that you may already be doing. At the very least, they’re tasks that can become habit with very little effort, safeguarding your home and your family in countless ways.

This guest post is by Robert Siciliano, personal and home security specialist to BestHomeSecurityCompanys.com who discusses burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston.