Protecting Your Home Doesn’t Have to be High Tech

 In Latest News

With the advent of video doorbells, voice activated security systems, and wireless video technology, it’s sometimes easy to forget that there are some very low-tech steps you should take when securing your home against a possible break-in. We could spend the next several paragraphs talking about the pros and cons of different systems, or how technology can quickly bring help to your doorstep…but if you don’t take these few simple steps first, then you are likely limiting the value of technology solutions. You need to eliminate what may make you a target first, before implementing more complex solutions. The good news is that these steps will cost you very little.


When potential thieves scout out neighborhoods and homes to target, they look properties that afford some cover, masking their actions from nosy neighbors. This means they will look for homes with a lot of trees or overgrown shrubbery new the house, which provides great hiding places as someone awaits an opportunity to strike.

Take a look around your property from the street or curb. If your windows are obscured by large bushes, trim them back. A good rule of thumb is to keep landscape plants below 3 feet tall, in order to minimize hiding spaces. Heavily wooded front yards also provide plenty of cover, so consider thinning trees or at least cutting back low hanging branches.

Another potential deterrent is gravel driveways or walkways. While concrete, asphalt or brick might require less care and look prettier, the sound of crunching gravel under foot would thwart a stealthy approach to your home.

Keep Doors and Windows Locked

This should be standard operating procedure…always lock windows and doors, especially those on the ground floor. For added measure, opt for dead bolts and other accessory locks, in addition to the door knob lock, which will stand up better to someone who tries to force the door open. Tempered glass windows are more difficult to break than standard glass, and most newer windows have added sash locks that prevent the window from being raised more than a couple inches (this is a great option if you want to let in a nice spring breeze, but still keep your home secured).

Potential thieves may look for modes of entry that you may overlook, such as patio doors on a 2nd story balcony or egress windows in a basement, or back doors/side doors into the garage. If you plan to be away for a few days, disengage the garage door opener and lock the door from the inside with a sliding lock that prevents the door from rolling up.

Image Credit: Sherwood CC via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Install Proper Lighting

Another prime target for thieves are homes that do not have adequate lighting. First, you want your home to always appear occupied, so lights on a timer are a good idea. In addition, consider motion-detector lights. Spotlights on the garage and decorative lights by the door or in the yard can all be set to come on when motion is detected nearby, alerting you to potential danger and scaring away potential burglars. Use LEDs for longevity and cost savings.

You should also install motion-detector flood lights in the backyard, in case anyone tries to enter through the rear of the house. These can also increase safety for you and your family and help you avoid injury when enjoying your backyard at night.

You never want a home burglary to happen to you or anyone you know. Unfortunately, 3.7 million U.S. homes will face this unwelcome reality every year. Taking these steps to reduce the chances of your home being targeted will go a long way to making sure you don’t become part of the statistic.

Let my team at Keystone Realtors® meet all your real estate needs. We can help you find the perfect investment property to get started, and provide advice on your investing journey. Paul Phangureh has over 16 years of experience in buying and selling in the Santa Clara and San Mateo County areas, specializing in the high-end, luxury market, as well as commercial and multi-use real estate. We can help you navigate the process of getting started with real estate investment. Visit our website at for listings and information. You can contact Paul at 650-924-2544, or email at [email protected].