11 Ways to Make Your Home Feel More Safe

One of a home’s most basic functions is to make you feel safe and secure. If your home can’t meet that need, you may decide to sell it and move somewhere you'll feel safer — whether that's across town or across the country.


Before you take such drastic measures, there are a lot of ways to make your home feel more safe, and some of them are simple enough to install on a weekend. Keep reading for the top 11 tips to make your home more secure.

1. Add Lighting

Trespassers fear exposure. Thoroughly lighting your property is one of the easiest and most cost-efficient ways to increase your home's security. Solar-powered lighting can be a very affordable option.


Go outside at night and scout the darkest areas around your home. Install lighting there to banish any shadows. If you have neighbors in close proximity, soffit lighting can illuminate your property without casting an intrusive glare onto the next house.


Increasing the amount of exterior lighting on your property will also make any outdoor security cameras more effective.

2. Invest in Home Insurance

A good home insurance policy can give you tremendous peace of mind. Home insurance costs money, with the amount based, in part, on the value of your home, but you can rest easy knowing that, should anything happen to your house, all you have to do is file a claim, and you’ll be taken care of.

3. Weaponize Your Landscaping

Landscaping can be an inconspicuous and aesthetically pleasing way to build security zones around the perimeter of your house. Consider planting thorny bushes and shrubs, such as roses, hawthorns, barberries, or hollies. If you live in a desert climate, try large ornamental cacti. These plants can be an extremely effective deterrent to any trespasser who’s trying to get close to your windows.


If you don’t have landscaping beds below your windows, you can also buy large planters and place them in strategic locations. If you put your home on the market, you won’t have to spend time and money digging up other landscaping that may seem inhospitable. That's money you could then use on more pressing needs, such as moving expenses.


As an added bonus, these plants are great for the environment.

4. A Gravel Path

If you’ve ever walked down a gravel path, you know how loud it can be. If you have a large garden in the side or rear of your home, adding a gravel path can be a subtle deterrent to trespassers.


Even if you’re not home to hear it, that crunching noise from stepping on gravel is discouraging to potential intruders. Gravel is a fashionable landscaping element right now, too, so you don’t have to sacrifice style for security.

5. Porch Light on a Sensor

In addition to installing plenty of lights, it’s worth adding lights on motion sensors. At the very least, making the front porch light snap on when someone approaches will not only alert you to unannounced visitors, it will let them know that they’re observable.

6. Install a Smart Garage Door

Security experts generally advise against smart door locks, but most make an exception for smart garage doors. Everyone who has a garage door has absentmindedly driven off without closing the garage door, perhaps leaving it open for an entire day.


A smart garage door will alert you if you leave it open, and you can close it via a phone app from any location. This is especially valuable when you consider that an unsecured garage door is one of the worst home safety hazards and the initial point of entry for many break-ins.

7. Consider Heavy Window Coverings

Everyone loves natural light, but window coverings are more than an aesthetic choice. Allowing too much visibility into your home can encourage burglars by showing them what you have.


Even if you don’t like the look of heavy curtains or drapes, some light-blocking shades or wooden blinds can be a sophisticated alternative that will still effectively block unwanted eyes from the inside of your home.

8. Keep Your Spare Key in a Safe Place

If you have a spare key hidden under the welcome mat, in a flowerpot by the front door, in the mailbox, or on top of the door frame, retrieve it immediately. Everyone, including potential intruders, knows those hiding places.


There are a significant number of homes that are secured by cameras, a security system, and lights but are broken into because of a poorly hidden spare key. If you’re concerned about locking yourself out, consider installing smart locks or leaving your spare key with a neighbor.

9. Make Your Home Look Occupied

One of the biggest deterrents to any home intruder is your presence. Burglars and other trespassers will almost never enter a home if they think the occupants are there, so one of the most effective ways to increase your security is to make it look like someone’s home.


It can be tricky if you have to work late or are traveling. One clever way to simulate occupancy is to turn lights on and off with a timer or smart-lighting app. More low-tech tips include having a neighbor come by to collect mail and packages so it’s not obvious you’re gone.

10. Display Intimidating Signs

Whether you have a home security system or not, displaying signs that say you do can be an excellent deterrent. The same goes for “Beware of Dog'' signs. Intruders who see this sign won’t want to stick around to confirm whether you actually have a vicious dog.

11. Upgrade Doors

Installing good locks is a no-brainer, but they won’t do much good if they’re installed in a poor-quality door. A few home improvements may be necessary to increase your security. Replace hollow doors with heavy, solid-core doors. Also check door frames and hinges for soundness. If you have sliding glass doors, install a safety bar that prevents intruders from opening them from the outside.

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