Want to go the extra mile to give your house fortress-level security? There are practical and clever ways you can add to your home to keep those burglars at bay and then there is next-level security.
You’ll need both to turn your house into an impenetrable fortress, so keep reading for our best home security tricks!
List of Home Security Tricks to Protect Your Home
Reinforcement of Doors
Home Security – Reinforce the door, door jamb, deadbolts, and sliding doors
Some homeowners rush into buying the fanciest deadbolts without thinking about reinforcing their doors and frames. A lot of intruders will simply use brute force to split the door jamb or the door itself (not everyone is skilled in picking a lock).
That’s why beefing up your door is so important. Find your door’s weak spots and reinforce with hardware such as long screws (at least 3 inches), heavy-duty strike plates, security hinge with tamper-proof pins, and doorjamb reinforcement kit. Make sure that the deadbolt plates and latch are supported with long stainless steel screws.
Check the video below on how to reinforce a door for under $10:
Fortress Security – Classic 6-Panel Security Door
If you want to take your door security to the next level, then this classic 6-panel door is something you might want to try. It’s originally intended to protect guns and weighs about 500 lbs., making the installation difficult for a one-man job. It comes with concealed hinges, UL listed type I electronic lock, insulation that is fire-resistant, and 20 chrome locking bolts.
Reinforcement of Windows
Home Security – Reinforce the Windows
Aside from the main door, your windows could also be another easy way for a burglar to get in. Latches on common hung windows can be easily pried open by an intruder. To reinforce the windows, pin locks can be used which are available at home depots or online stores.
Or, bars and grilles can also be added to deter criminals.
If you want next-level protection, use high-quality window locks as well as alarm sensors to add an extra layer of security.
Another way to burglar proof your windows is to install window film. These layers of polyester film help your glass windows harder to breach, making it difficult for intruders to break in. Clear window film is completely transparent and offers protection from shattering or sharp projectiles.
The video below shows how to install a window film:
Fortress Security – Blast Resistant Steel Windows
If you want to go extreme and have the extra money to spare, then you may want pressure and blast-resistant windows. These steel windows are originally designed to protect buildings from terrorist attacks, accidental explosions, flammable or pressurized materials stored inside the building, and many other high-demanding applications. The windows can withstand pressure up to 100 PSI which is not typical in common households, unless you want to go beyond in protecting your house and valuables!
Home Security – Reinforce Garage Doors
Another weak spot in your house that is a favorite target of burglars is your garage door. A high-quality deadbolt is no match for a thief without proper door reinforcement. To beef up the garage door, a reinforcement panel, and a door barricade or security bar with bar-holder brackets can be installed.
And finally, if you’re planning to go on a vacation, make sure that you lock not just the overhead garage door but also the inner door itself. When successfully opened from the inside, garage doors can be used by thieves as an easy exit where they can load your valuables into a vehicle.
Fortress Security – Roll Up Security Doors
High security roll up doors provide superior protection for commercial and industrial applications due to its sturdy materials. These doors are generally made up of aluminum, stainless, or galvanized steel which makes them durable and well insulated with fire rating. Roll up doors are also weather-proof, last for up to 50,000 roll up cycles, and can withstand a load of up to 20 PSF. If you think protecting your home is worthy of any cost, then these roll up doors will give you the commercial-grade protection you can’t find in common household garage doors!
Deadbolt Door Locks
Home Security – Use High-Quality Deadbolts
Some thieves are skilled bypassing or picking locks. But even if they are, make sure you give them a hard time by investing in high-quality door locks with ANSI Grade 1 or 2. Door locks come in different grades depending on the application as well as on certain features such as strength, impact resistance, and torque cycles. ANSI Grade 1 offers the highest quality of door lock which is intended for heavy-duty applications such as securing commercial buildings. Grade 2 is ideal for residential use while Grade 3 offers the lowest quality standard of door locks. If you’ve moved into a house previously owned by someone else, make sure to change the door locks and keys to ensure that nobody else has access to your home.
Here’s a video on how to install a deadbolt:
Fortress Security – ABLOY ME155 N PROTEC
The ABLOY ME155 may seem too expensive for a deadbolt but it’s definitely one of the top-performing commercial-grade deadbolts in the market. If you don’t mind the high price tag, this deadbolt lock will give the optimum protection for your house or building. Its sturdy rotating disc cylinder offers numerous combinations. The bolt comes with a 2” length 1” hardened steel which makes it highly resistant from picking and forced entry.
Home Security – Invest in a high-quality safe
You don’t want an intruder to easily get access to your valuables and firearms. The best way to keep them secure is to hide them in a high-quality safe. You can install them on a concrete floor, on the wall, or behind a door. Some safes are even disguised so you can put them in the living room where no one would ever notice.
Fortress Security – AMVAULT Composite Safe
The AMVAULT composite safe is the best safe to withstand attacks from sophisticated thieves, making it ideal for storing highly expensive valuables or weapons. Experts have tested the safe to demonstrate its durability using power saws, drills, sledgehammers, carbide disc cutters, and other powerful tools that any highly-experienced thieves might use.
Aside from protecting your valuables from concentrated attacks, the vault offers fire protection up to 350°F for 2 hours so that you are assured that its contents are safe from intense fire. Although the 1,954-lb safe comes with a high price, it’s definitely worth the cost if you have to store very expensive valuables and weapons that experienced burglars find attractive!
Outdoor Security Lighting
Home Security – Install motion detection lights
While most occur in daylight when no-one is home, many burglaries happen at night when everyone is asleep. Motion detection lights can be an effective solution to deter intruders when it’s dark. When a burglar is suddenly caught on a spotlight while approaching your main door or window, it makes them question whether it’s worth the risk to proceed and get caught!
Check the video below on how to install a motion sensor light:
Fortress Security – 40,000-Lumen LED Shoebox Lights
If you want to put unauthorized trespassers on notice with a really bright spotlight, then the commercial-grade, 40,000-Lumen LED lights is the way to go! These industrial, 300-watt lights include photocells, dimmable lights, and certified UL listed so that you’re assured of the best quality, performance and product safety. The bright LEDs are ideal to lighten up your parking areas, roadways, sports courts, and many others.
They may be able to see your house from the International Space Station with these, Christmas Vacation style! Don’t expect your neighbors to love them!
However, it’s too expensive and overkill for a common household application (most cheaper alternatives offer optimum protection for residential use) unless you have a mansion and lots of money to spare for these bright lights.
Home Security – Install a smart alarm system
Price: <$50 per month
An alarm system with a loud siren is another effective way to scare off a thief! There are many smart alarm systems in the market today with different features. Some of these brands can be pricey, but you can go for an alarm system with all the basic features you need at an affordable price tag.
Here’s a video on how to install the Ring Smart Alarm System:
Fortress Security – Scare Potential Intruders With the Help of Furry Friends
Dogs are man’s best friend. And even while you’re away, they can guard your fortress by making barking noises (and even bite) unfamiliar guests. You can even record a barking dog (even if you actually don’t have dogs) just to let potential intruders know that you’re not alone.
Monitor With Security Cameras
Home Security – Invest in wireless security cameras
Installing home security cameras is a great way to monitor your house remotely (not just to know the whereabouts of your pets) but also to get live footage when someone breaks in. Cloud-based cameras can help you store the clips that can be later used as evidence of the crime. So don’t wait for these things to happen before you try to install one. Investing in home security cameras allows you to monitor your loved ones and property wherever you are, giving you peace of mind.
A video below shows a burglar startled when the homeowner confronted him through the indoor security camera:
Fortress Security – Fake Cameras and Towers
If you can afford the real thing, then displaying fake cameras and signs to let others know you have an alarm system is another clever option to make a burglar think twice. However, installing the real thing (especially cameras) is still the best way to protect your home.
Or if you like the ways in medieval times, towers are the best ways to get an overview of your castle and spot potential intruders lurking around.
Make the house look occupied
Home Security – Turn on the lights and radio
An empty house gives burglars the perfect opportunity to break in and take everything they can with plenty of time, knowing that you’re not around! If you and your family are planning for a long vacation, never be too complacent.
First, don’t advertise your vacation on Facebook!
Next, try to make your home look occupied even if you’re away. One way to do this is to leave a radio on inside your house.
Timed lights can also be a great way to simulate the flicker of a TV screen or simply light up your house at night.
Here’s a video on how to prepare your house before going on a long vacation:
Fortress Security – Simulate House Occupancy
Instead of randomly turning the lights on and off, security-minded homeowners can create a DIY system that simulates a person in the house. Example, the TV and lights in the living room turn on only when it’s evening. The bathroom and bedroom lights turn on when the living room lights are off. It sounds like a great excuse to buy a home automation hub to me!
Cover the Windows
Home Security – Install blinds on your garage and basement windows
Your garage and basement windows can give criminals an opportunity to peek inside, know your whereabouts, and possibly help them get inside. You can avoid prying eyes by installing curtains, blinds or shutters on the windows. This will also give you some privacy and protection (besides, you shouldn’t miss the sunlight in your basement or garage).
Fortress Security – House With No Windows
Price: depends on the house construction
Want complete privacy? Then living in houses without windows could be something interesting. It may sound like it’s dark and depressing inside but it’s actually a brilliant way to give you a pleasant and secluded home. And there’ s no way for burglars to get a peek inside to know your whereabouts!
Never Let Unauthorized People In
Home Security – Educate Family Members
Even if you have the perfect security system for your home, the most brazen criminals are aware that having someone open the door for them is the easiest way to get inside your home. Family members, especially children, should be taught when to open and close the doors.
It’s also important to inform family members about the security system so that false alarms can be prevented, plus avoid annoying your neighbors!
Fortress Security – Hang A US Flag In Front Of Your House
An anonymous burglar interviewed over the radio once said that houses with the US flag hung in front would make him think that the homeowner could have at least one firearm. This idea could be crazy, but it might just work to keep those thieves at bay.
Hide Emergency or Spare Keys
Home Security – Invest in an outdoor lock box to keep emergency or spare keys
Price: < $50
Hiding your spare keys where you can get them in a pinch can be challenging and risky! Some burglars are clever enough to find them, especially if they are hidden in obvious places. The solution is to invest in an outdoor lock box and install it in an inconspicuous spot. When installing a lock box, use long stainless steel screws at least 2 inches so that it cannot be easily pried open by thieves.
A fake rock by the front door is not good enough!
Fortress Security – Hide inside a fake dog poop
Price: < $20
One creative yet clever way is to make a fake dog poop to hide your secret keys outside - no one would ever dare touch it, making it less likely to be stolen! You can create a fake dog poop by making a lump of melted glue sticks using a glue gun. Once it’s dry, you can paint it brown and stick it on top of a container where the key will be placed. Bury the container in your backyard or any less obvious area outside your home.
Protect Your WiFi Network From Unauthorized Access
Home Security – Secure WiFi Router
The internet has offered us a lot of conveniences, especially when it comes to automating the house with robot vacuums and home automation systems. However, it also comes with a bad side, hackers who want to break into your system. If you have installed a home security system that depends on your WiFi network, any unauthorized individuals can mess with your system if you do not secure your network.
On top of that, thieves can get your personal data such as bank accounts and passwords and sell them or try to siphon your money away. So, better keep your system updated and make sure your WiFi is secured by enabling network encryption, filtering MAC addresses, changing your network’s SSID, and upgrading your router’s firmware.
Fortress Security – Subscribe to a VPN Service
Price: < $10 per month
If you think protecting your router and updating your firmware settings are not enough, then you can go the extra mile of protecting your network by subscribing to a VPN service. A VPN or virtual private network provides you privacy online as well as security and encrypted connections. This way, your online activities are protected, and you prevent thieves from stealing your information.
Wrapping It Up
Keeping our home safe from break-ins should be one of our top priorities. Thankfully, there are many clever ways we can do to deter burglars and ensure that our valuables are safe even if we’re away from home.
Do you have other crazy ideas for home security? Leave them in the comments section below!
Hi, I’m Christy, and I’m an electronics engineer by profession. I have taught in a university for 2 years while pursuing my master’s degree in cognitive radio and worked for a company to develop wireless medical devices. Currently, I’m doing research for a doctorate degree in engineering using a wireless sensor network for smart agriculture. I’ve been active in our local IoT community, IoT Cebu, where I participate in conducting talks about Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and DIY home automation using Wi-Fi and ZigBee devices.