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3 (Completely Free) Ways to Protect Your Home

Published by Dan Wipert on 07/27/2018

You want to protect your home, but aren't sure if you're ready to make the investment in a home security product? I get it. When I was shopping around for home security systems a few years ago, there was too much information out there and installation seemed so complicated and I was worried I wasn't getting a good price. Here are 3 key things I did to protect my home, before I decided on my combination of home security products. (If you're wondering if I used a HAVEN Lock, heck yes!)

#1: Make friends with your neighbors

Your burglar probably won't be dressed in a ski mask and attack your home in the middle of night. He will look like the friendliest guy on the block. According to the FBI, the most common time for home burglaries is between 10am and 3pm. They will be polite and knock. They may carry a clipboard or wear a tie. And if your neighbors don't know a lot about you and you haven't cultivated a relationship, they'll probably just assume you're moving out when they see well dressed Mr. Burglar taking all your stuff!


So make friends with your neighbors. Keep them updated on your life, invite them to dinner every now and then. Even if your neighbors are "weird" or you're not the most outgoing person, making this effort could mean the difference between coming back to a robbed home, and going to bed with a piece of mind. Plus, it costs you nothing!


Action Steps:

  • Let your neighbors know that home security is a priority for you. Set up an agreement to watch out for each other and make sure they know it's okay to be nosy if they smell something wrong.
  • Inform your neighbors before any planned vacations or business trips. Let them know if you're expecting anyone beforehand.
  • Get your neighbor to pick up all newspapers or flyers from your house, and possibly even create tracks in the snow to create the illusion that you're not away. Burglars really do look for signs like built up newspapers when deciding on an easy target. A common tactic is to send a flyer to each house on a street and take note of how long it takes to get taken down. Don't fall for it!

#2: Lock your doors and windows (ALL of them)

This seems obvious enough. But an unlocked door is like a jackpot for a burglar, and not just the front door. Lock the back door, the doggie door, the garage door, the window on top of the sink. Burglars want an easy prize, don't make it easy for them! Take the few extra minutes before you leave to work to make sure that everything is locked.


Action Steps:

  • Make a list of all the possible entry points to your house and memorize it
  • Before you leave the house, perform a quick check to make sure it's all locked
  • This isn't free, but if you have trouble remembering to lock up or lose your keys often, consider buying a smart lock that connects with your phone. (Blatant self promotion, the new HAVEN Connect actually did help me a TON with this)

#3: Turn your lights on and don't leave valuables in the open


Burglars hate well-lit and noisy places. Turn the lights on in the front and back of your house (use a solar powered LED motion detecting floodlight, an FBI favorite, if you want to conserve electricity), and make sure to replace broken lights as soon as you notice them.

Pro tip: consider leaving your TV on while you're at work. Burglars HATE this, because they don't want to risk breaking in while someone's inside (remember, 9/10 times they take the easy route) and most modern flat screen TVs now consume minimal electricity. Another even more energy efficient option is to close all your blinds and leave the radio or speakers on to the news channel.

Also, planning for the contingency that your house is broken into, don't leave valuables in the open. Don't try the sock drawer either, that's a common target. A "kid's room" is often a good hiding place, because most burglars avoid those rooms (moral compass?). Here are 20 more clever hiding places for your valuables.

Action Steps:

  • Leave your TV on while you're at work.
  • Use LED motion detecting floodlights, if you can (yes, not free, but you can buy one on Amazon for $15.
  • Keep your house clean and belongings organized and stuffed away.

See Next

Check out the new HAVEN Connect Smart Lock

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