Whether you’re a seasoned homeowner or you just signed a new lease for a cute rental, helping keep it secure is likely high on your priority list. While you settle in, fill your space with your coziest blankets and candles, and make memories with the people you love, you want to know that your space is comfortable and also safe.
It doesn't have to take months for you to feel protected at home — you can achieve a sense of security as soon as today by taking the right steps. Here are a few security dos and don’ts to help you protect your home and the memories inside:
Do: Install a DIY Security System (and Consider a Subscription)
When it comes to your home, it’s hard to match the peace of mind and protection that a security system can give you. Whether you’re cooking dinner or away on vacation, your security system can give you the freedom to know exactly what’s going on in and around your home.
If you opt for a DIY home security system, you don’t have to wait weeks to get it up and running — you can get started today. And if you don’t consider yourself a DIY pro, the good news is you don’t have to be. Many systems are easy for anyone to install, and you may be able to get professional advice online when choosing your DIY kit.
If you want to take your home security kit to the next level, you can add on extra devices — like video doorbells or indoor and outdoor security cameras — or pay a little extra for the perks of a monthly plan. These home security subscriptions can give you the ability to save and share videos from security cameras, provide backup connection when the internet goes out, and leave alarm monitoring to professionals, depending on the plan and products you choose.
Don’t: Leave Spare Keys Outside Your Home
After installing a DIY bundle, you may feel like you’re all set when it comes to security. But home security systems can’t prevent unwanted guests from stopping by — or having an easy way to get inside — if they have a key. Which is why you should never leave a handy key under the mat for your dog walker or a housekeeper — it can be just as “handy” for someone else.
Even if you hide it in a hard-to-reach planter or bury it in a box three feet under the ground, leaving a spare key outside your home is still risky — savvy intruders know where to look for it.
If you’re afraid of locking yourself out of the house, consider leaving a spare key with a trusted neighbor.
Do: Lock (It All) Up When You Leave
This tip may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to forget when you’re running late for an appointment. It doesn’t matter if you’ll be gone for 10 minutes or 10 days — you should always lock your front door. But don’t stop there; you should also confirm that all other entryways are secure. This includes back doors, garage doors, and all of your windows to ensure not only that they’re closed but also locked.
If you’re the type of person who always wonders if you actually checked all doors, smart locks can put your mind at ease — no matter where you are. With an app, you can both see and change the status of your lock from your phone. (Plus, many smart locks integrate with your security system, so you can control everything from one place.)
Don’t: Leave Valuables on Display
When you buy a painting from your favorite artist, pick up a new flat-screen TV for a bargain, or inherit grandma’s china set, it’s normal to want to show those items off to your guests. But if you put them in the wrong place, your valuables can bring uninvited attention.
If your most valuable items are easy to see from a window or door, consider moving them to a different area. A solid set of blinds or curtains can also help hide your larger valuables — just remember that it only takes forgetting to close them once to catch somebody’s eye.
When it comes to small items like jewelry or watches, you should avoid leaving them out on a nightstand. Either find a safe spot for them at home or consider getting a safety deposit box at your local bank.
Do: Get To Know Your Neighbors (In Person and Digitally)
Getting to know your neighbors isn’t just helpful when you run out of sugar or need to borrow a tool — it can also improve your home security.
When you’re not home, your neighbors can send you a quick text or even alert the authorities if they notice something wrong, like a person they don’t recognize trying to get in. You can even give your next-door neighbors a heads up before you leave for a trip and ask them to call you if they see anything out of the ordinary — but be sure to return the favor!
With the Neighbors App by Ring, you can also get real-time safety alerts from people all around your community, including local agencies — not just your next-door neighbors. Anyone can download Neighbors to share information or footage with people nearby and see posts about safety, lost pets, disaster preparedness, and more. If you’re only interested in safety alerts, you can customize your settings to limit notifications.
Whether you’re looking for more details about an event you caught or want real-time updates from the National Weather Service about a storm in your area, the App is your go-to place to communicate about safety.
Don’t: Go Overboard With Landscaping
Tall shrubs may look great and provide the privacy you’re looking for, but they also make a perfect hiding spot for unwanted visitors. To help avoid this, keep all trees and shrubs trimmed near doorways and windows, so a person can’t use them as cover while looking for weak spots in your home security.
If you’re not willing to give up your lush landscaping, consider placing security cameras and lights around your home. Many outdoor security cameras start recording when they detect movement and send an alert to your phone, so you can check in from an app to see if you need to call the authorities.
Whether you’re looking for a complete security system or a new video doorbell that lets you thank the delivery driver from your desk at work, we have you covered. Speak with a Security Expert for free at 1-800-800-RING or browse our products to see how Ring can help you reach your security goals.