A home is supposed to be your place to go that is safe and comfortable for you and your family to unwind, relax, and live happily. But statistics from the FBI indicate that about three out of four homes will be broken into across the U.S. within the next 20 years. The U.S. Department of Justice reports estimates that typical homeowners in America suffer losses in stolen or damaged property that is worth over $2,000 every few minutes. While you may not be able to completely prevent any break-ins, there are some steps that you can take to make sure that your home is well protected.

Secure Windows

Windows are a common entry point for criminals, and, when they are left ungraded, can be one of the most vulnerable parts of your home. Making sure that all of your windows have locks that are regularly used is the first step to securing them. If you open windows on the ground floor, make sure that they are in occupied rooms or areas of the home that you regularly walk through. You should also close the blinds when you aren’t in the room so that someone can’t keep watch on your home. If you have large trees in your yard, make sure the branches aren’t near any of the second-floor windows.

If you take a ride through some of the high-end New York City neighborhoods, you'll be surprised to see decorative but sturdy metal bars over brownstone apartments. If you live in an urban catchment area or a location where these window bars are common, you should consider looking for a local hardware store to find out more about the best available options and even get referrals of the best contractors in town. Besides being cheap and easy to install, they can act as good deterrent strategies because burglars already know that they cannot access your house with ease.

Security System

Having a security system may seem like an obvious choice, but you might be surprised by how many people don’t currently have one. Even a simple alarms system with a warning sign in the front yard will deter many criminals from breaking in. The more sophisticated your system gets, the safer you will be. Monitoring systems that are equipped with motion-sensor cameras and door alarms will provide the best protection possible.

In addition, most security systems these days allow you to sync the system to your smartphone. You can arm or deactivate the alarm when you are away from home, view footage from security cameras, or adjust the settings on any system you have hooked to your phone. These remote access features provide extra peace of mind when you are on vacation or if you can’t remember if you armed your alarm before you left.

Guard Dog

If you are a pet lover and you can afford it, consider getting a dog. While not a fool-proof method, dogs can be very discouraging to potential burglars. They may not know what kind of dog you have, and most will not want to chance it. You can socialize your dog to be comfortable with certain people and wary of others, depending on your preferences. Couple a dog with a security system, and your home will be practically untouchable.

Good Locks

If you haven’t replaced your locks recently, it might be time to look into that. Over time, locks can get worn down and easier to pick, make sure you keep them in good repair. If most of your doors have just a handle lock, consider investing in a couple deadbolts or chain locks. While a dead bold can be picked, they are much harder to do so. Chain locks from the inside are almost impossible to undo from the outside. Pick one that has a chain that will let you see out but won’t let someone reach inside.

You want to be safe, but you don’t have to spend all of your money on security. Little adjustments and taking care of the basics will provide you with the security you need to live your life comfortably.

Author's Bio: 

Eileen O'Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy.