Home Security For Independent Seniors
Living independently as an older adult can make you a target for burglars who often see seniors as easy prey. Prove them wrong with these home security tips and reduce the chances of being victimized.
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Table of contents
Outside The House
Take a walk around the outside of your house. If you are a burglar, how would you break in? What entry points look less than secure?
Burglars Love Blind Spots
Keep areas around doors and windows clear of visual barriers such as shrubs and awnings. You might think it protects your privacy when, in fact, it provides cover for a would-be intruder.
Thorny Bushes – Low-tech Yet Effective
However, if you have an unfortunately placed window that requires coverage, strategically planting a few thorny bushes is an old-school but effective home security tactic. A gardening friend of mine suggested Blackberry, Rose or Barberry bushes.
Upgrade Your Home Security Lighting
Bright outdoor lighting around accessible windows and doors will encourage a burglar to move on. After all, being seen is the last thing they want. Also, a well-lit front entrance will make it easier to find your keys and prevent trips and falls.
Motion Detection Lighting
Motion detection lights can stop a crime in progress in several ways. Firstly, the simple fear of being detected and possibly seen is a good deterrent. Secondly, the startling effects of a sudden bright light can stop a burglar in their tracks as they are already anxious and on high alert.
Cars in the Driveway
Did you know that most break-ins occur between 12 and 3 pm on weekdays when people work? Therefore, if you have a car, avoid parking in the garage during the day.
As many seniors no longer drive, offering a neighbour a spare parking spot will help deter robbers and keep an extra set of eyes on the house.
Keep Garages Burglar Proof
Another way thieves try to scope out homes is by checking the garage. Hence it’s an excellent idea to frost or obscure garage windows. The interior garage door leading into the house should also be a security door with a deadbolt lock. Another security tip is to never leave your garage door opener in plain view in a parked car.
Doors and Windows – The Key To Home Security
“Simply locking windows and doors will prevent most burglaries.” Leonard Sipes, National Crime Prevention Council.
Lock all doors when working in the attic or basement. And lock any doors not in your line of sight when working in the yard.
Secure Windows and Frames
Which windows are easy to access? Old window frames, especially ones that look in disrepair, can tempt a burglar with a prybar. Therefore, investing in some new windows will deter intruders and probably save you money on your heating bill.
Suppose window replacement is not in the budget. In that case, there are several aftermarket home security products such as window pins and hinge locks that are easy on the wallet.
Check Vulnerability of Exterior Doors
Install or replace older deadbolts on all doors, including back and side doors, which are the most common entry points for burglars. Consider investing in strong solid core exterior doors on ALL your doors if your home already doesn’t have them.
Your door is solid! Good! How about the door frames? Old weak-looking door frames could be an invitation to a would-be robber with a solid kick.
Although they brighten up a room and allow for easy access to yards, sliding glass doors are among the home’s weakest security points.
If you don’t have the budget or space to replace old-fashioned sliding doors with new, more secure French doors, there are a few ways you can make them safer.
Dowel Rods – placing a sturdy fitted rod that fits into the track of a sliding glass door stops the glass pane from sliding open.
Security Pins – installing a security pin through a sliding door frame will stop an intruder from lifting a glass door panel off the track and removing it.
Inside The House
Never tell strangers you live alone or that you are alone. When a service or maintenance worker comes to your home, keep the tv on in another room to give the impression you are not alone. It’s also a good idea to call a friend and keep them on the line if a worker in your home makes you feel uncomfortable.
Keep Valuables Out Of Sight
Because burglars are known to scope houses, it’s a good idea to keep expensive items such as purses and electronics away from doors, windows and prying eyes. Similarly, stop temptation by keeping your garage or shed door closed and costly tools hidden.
Social Media Home Security??
Although sharing details of an upcoming vacation might be tempting, it also broadcasts that your home will be empty for a week. Never post details about upcoming vacation plans or information that tells people when you will be out of the house.
Be Home, Even When Your Not
Most would-be burglars do not want to enter a home when someone is there. They want to be in and out as quickly and undetected as possible. Therefore, make it appear that someone is home by turning on a radio or TV when running an errand.
Make Use Of Technology
There has been an explosion of smart home products hitting the shelves over the last couple of years. Although they sound techy, most are very simple to use once installed and programmed.
Smart lights are lights that connect to your phone or tablet through a Bluetooth connection. They allow you to turn lights on and off from your couch or bed – which is pretty handy if you hear a suspicious noise or don’t want to stumble around looking for a light switch in the dark.
Doorbell cameras are like a doorbell button and security camera all rolled into one that connects to your home wifi. The built-in camera allows you to see who is on your doorstep via a phone or tablet even when you’re not at home. Also, most doorbell cameras come with motion-detecting capabilities, which keeps the dreaded porch pirates away.
Installing A Security System
A basic home security system is a ‘command hub’ connected to sensors attached to entry points to your home. However, today’s home security systems can offer so much more. Many include live home monitoring for fire, break-ins and safety checks, and assistance for falls and health emergencies.
Home security systems have lots of benefits, such as
- window stickers and yard signs that will stop burglars in their tracks
- lowering homeowners insurance
- protection from fire and break-ins when no one is home
Implementing the home security tips mentioned above will protect yourself, your valuables, and your home. It will also help you stay safe, independent, and you’ll sleep so much better.