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Easy Tips to Theft Proof Your House During Winter

On average, there are 1.03 million break-ins each year, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. And according to the FBI, one burglary occurs every 20 seconds. To help theft-proof your home this winter, consider these 11 easy tips.

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Keep Walkways Shoveled

Thieves know when to take advantage and leaving your sidewalk, walkway or driveway snow-covered makes them think you’re not home. A tip for burglar proofing your home would be to keep all walkways and driveways shoveled during the winter months and have a friend or neighbor shovel if you plan on being out of town. These are the 21 things a burglar won’t tell you.

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Consider a Home Security System

Consider investing in a home security system. There are many on the market to choose from, including systems with cameras, alarms and many of them can be controlled via your smartphone. Check out these 10 home security devices without monthly fees.

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Secure Patio Doors

Burglars love patio doors as they tend to have easy-to-break-into locks and can be flimsy. Secure any patio doors this winter by installing a lock behind the sliding door that prevents it from being forced open from the outside. You can also put a piece of wood the door track. Installing a glass-break detector will also scare off any would-be thieves who try to smash the glass. Protect your home (and yourself) with these inexpensive and easy-to-install devices.

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Add a Lock

This winter, take the time to add a second lock to the front and back door and don’t forget to use it. Regular door locks can be easy to break open so make the second lock a deadbolt. You can also increase security by adding a keyless number-pad lock which lets you set the code and you can easily change it when needed.

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Try Window Film

It doesn’t matter if it’s winter or summer, burglars often break windows to get inside. Anti-shatter window film keeps the window intact even if someone tries to smash it. Window film kits are sold at home improvement stores and can also be found on Amazon.

Follow these tips to secure your garage this winter.

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Use Motion Detector Lights

Motion detector lights can help stop burglaries as burglars won’t want to try to break-in when they are in the spotlight. Set up motion detector lights on your garage, and near any other main points of entry to your home. Learn how to choose and install motion sensor lighting.

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Close Blinds and Curtains

Don’t let burglars know you’re not home. Pull the shades or close the blinds when you’re not home so you’re not an easy target. Also, keep any pricey items such as televisions, expensive stereo systems and computers out-of-sight from windows. Try one of these DIY home security systems.

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Know Your Neighbors

When you get to know your neighbors, you can look out for each other. There may come a time when a neighbor notices something suspicious happening and lets another neighbor know. Or a neighbor will pick up your mail and shovel your walkways when you’re on vacation to make it look like you’re home. They may also see you left the garage door open and close it for you. This neighbor buddy system can be invaluable. These 11 home security mistakes put you at risk.

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Watch the Landscaping

Be aware of letting the hedges or shrubs overgrow and provide burglars a place to hide right outside your home. Keep landscaping tidy throughout the year so burglars won’t have a place to take cover. These are the 12 best-reviewed home security cameras.

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Keep the Lights On

Lights are an indicator that someone may be home. When leaving for a few hours, leave a light on or use a timer so lights go on automatically. You can also keep music playing to trick would-be burglars. Install a smart light switch to cut your energy bills.

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Think Like a Burglar

To prevent home theft this winter, think like a burglar. Take a walk around the outside of your home and see if there are any spots burglars could take advantage of. Never leave a spare key under the door mat or flower pot as thieves know all about these spots. Make sure all locks on windows and doors are working properly and never leave a ladder out for burglars to use. Here are 20 secrets a home security installer won’t tell you.

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Rachel Brougham
Rachel Brougham lived through a major home renovation in 2019, knows the ups and downs of home improvement, and loves sharing tips with readers. A veteran journalist of both print and television, she’s won several awards for her writing and has covered everything from the environment and education to health care, politics and food. She’s written for several publications beyond newspapers including Bob Vila, Taste of Home and Minnesota Parent, and she currently writes a weekly syndicated newspaper column. Her memoir, Widowland, about the sudden loss of her husband, was published in 2022. She specializes in everything from home decor and design to lawn and garden, product reviews and pet care. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her tending to her garden (both vegetables and native plants), playing with her dog, watching sports with her family or getting some exercise. A native of Michigan, she currently lives in Minneapolis. An avid user of Instagram, you can follow her @RachBrougham.