Assess your homes vulnerabilities: Start by inspecting your home and thinking like a burglar or criminal- if you were trying to rob the house, how would you get in? Is there a broken window that doesn’t lock? An overflowing mailbox that makes it look like you are on vacation? Inspect your home for any obvious flaws that might attract a burglar and work to fix those first.
Keep your property well maintained: Criminals don’t want to run into someone when they are robbing a house- they would prefer a home that looks vacant, either temporarily or permanently. Lots of deferred maintenance, such as peeling paint around the front door or an unkempt lawn, show that the home is not well taken care of and is likely vacant. On a similar note, make sure to not let newspapers pile up on your front porch or mail overflow out of the mailbox- these are signs that you are on vacation and may attract criminals.
Stay in touch with your neighbors: Even if you aren’t close with your neighbors, they probably know your general coming and going habits, if you tend to have people over a lot and who they are, and more. Stay in touch with them so that they will be on the lookout for suspicious activity, and look out for them as well! Let them know if you are going on vacation, and when you put your house on the market.
Take advantage of good lighting: Something as simple as keeping your porch light on at night, having motion activated lights, or keeping lights on during a vacation can be powerful enough to stop a burglar before they even try!
Keep your house locked up while you are gone: It sounds basic, but keeping your doors & windows locked is the easiest way to prevent a crime before it happens! Make sure to keep everything locked up while you are and aren’t home. Don’t hide a key in “obvious” places where a burglar can find it either!
Know what valuables you have, and keep them locked up: Take photos of all your valuables and write down their serial or identification numbers, if possible. Make sure your items are insured through your homeowners insurance, so if something bad happens you can be reimbursed. When you aren’t using them keep your valuable items well locked up or hidden. This is especially important when your home is on the market!
Use technology to your advantage: Technology has obviously come a long way in terms of home security, and it is now realitivly inexpensive to keep your home search. Consider automating lights in your house to turn on when you are out of town or not home, investing in basic security cameras, door alarms, or motion sensor lights.