Across America, criminals burglarize a home every 21 seconds. Implementing home security measures will provide your household with immense peace of mind. Here are twelve practical tips you can begin using today:

• Lock car doors

Lock your car to prevent thieves from grabbing items in plain sight or hotwiring your car.

• Lock home doors and windows

While you may feel safe living in the country, your home may be a vulnerable target. Lock your doors and your first-floor windows at night.

• Close your garage door

Close your garage doors when cutting the lawn to prevent a quick “grab and run” and prevent pests from making a new home. When travelling, lock your garage doors with a clamp to prevent someone from opening it.

• Install a home security system

Contact a local security company to price a security system that meets your needs and budget. Consider adding a camera system for increased security. Compare alternative systems including Ring (many of which include a video doorbell and monitored alarms) or Simply Safe online, many of which you can install yourself…and may be less expensive.

• Install replica cameras and alarm signs

While you are pricing your fake cameras, consider purchasing realistic alarm company yard signs and stickers for your windows? (Yes, you can find these on Amazon!) Purchase realistic looking cameras for the exterior of your home, which can deter burglars looking for an easy target.

• Get a lockable mailbox

If you are mailing checks to pay for your bills, criminals can steal these from your mailbox and easily change the payee on the check! So, secure your incoming and outgoing mail with an attractive lockable mailbox for the front of your house or alternatively (but more expensively) rent a post office box.

• Invent a guard dog

Burglars do not want to mess with a big dog so if you do not have one, you can pretend to own one. Simply buy a sign warning of a dangerous dog and place a large water bowl and chew bone for the front yard. This will make your home look less tempting.

• Install motion detecting lights

Install exterior lights with motion detectors to make your home less vulnerable at night. Consider adding timers for interior lights that automatically turn on and off at random times throughout the day and night.

• Do not advertise large purchases

When you upgrade to the latest computer or gigantic flatscreen television, do not place the box by the curb to advertise the purchase! Instead break boxes down and take them to the local community transfer station or recycling location. Don’t mention your purchase on social media.

• Start a neighborhood watch

If your community does not have one, consult the National Neighborhood Watch (www.nnw.org) to start one. Utilize the power of community to limit crime.

• Safely landscape

Limit overgrown landscaping close to your home. If you have older landscaping that is very bushy, consider trimming it back or removing it. Do not make it easy for someone to sneak around your home.

• Cut your lawn

If you plan to travel, pay for someone to cut your lawn, or ask a neighbor to cut it. Return the favor when they travel as overgrown lawns indicate absent owners. Also, ask them to pick up any packages that arrive at your door and hold them for your return.

There is a large amount of research you can conduct on home security. This subject can be daunting, but the key is to begin today.

Reen Waterman is a custom content creator, writer, and newspaper columnist with his weekly column, “About the House.” He writes and co-hosts a daily radio program heard in 91 countries-www.YourRefreshedLife.com. An avid outdoorsman, Reen is a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America and the American Writers and Artists Institute (AWAI).

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