I grew up on my grandparents’ farm in the middle of nowhere. My grandfather’s idea of security was a big flood light pointed toward the long driveway, a sturdy 2×4 underneath the locked door knobs and a double-barrel shotgun in the hallway, just in case. Out there in the country, the biggest worries we had were coyotes and the occasional raccoon in the henhouse. The thought that we might have to worry about intruders rarely crossed our minds.
Unfortunately, times have changed. These days the intruders are more likely than the coyotes, and it takes more than a sturdy door to stop them. But most people don’t want to turn their home into a fortress.
Stylish security can allow you to have all the protection you need while making sure it blends in with the decor. This can give you the peace of mind you need, but lets you avoid that creepy feeling of being surrounded by protection of all forms. Here are a few of the best security measures that can make you feel safer.
Functional Yet Decorative Gates
To keep your property secure, invest in a sturdy fence and a set of gates across the driveway. These gates serve both as a real deterrent to those who would want to climb over them, but also as a psychological deterrent — most criminals will take one look at those gates and believe that you have a massive security system on the house. That tells them the break-in isn’t worth their time, and they will look elsewhere. Gates also have the bonus of adding a gorgeous layer of design to your home, especially if you go with gates that have a decorate look, such as a lovely wrought iron set with swirls, curls and all sort of intricate designs.
Many security systems have cameras in plain sight as a deterrent to thieves, but seasoned potential intruders can find ways around them. Choose cameras that are placed where they likely won’t find them, such as a camera tucked away in what looks like a birdhouse, or a tiny camera in the unassuming hose reel near the back deck. Most security cameras are small enough to fit into everyday objects — and no burglar is going to take the time to look in every rock, birdhouse, mailbox or electrical meter in the hopes of finding the stashed camera.
Many criminals fully expect silent alarms on your home. But they likely don’t expect the ear-splitting sound of a high-decibel alarm when they open a door or window, or cross a certain area in the yard. These alarms can be very inexpensive, easily mounted on the top of doors or windows, use tiny batteries that seem to last forever, and most importantly, emit an absolutely piercing sound of fury when they are tripped. This can alert anyone in the house, startle the neighbors, and send the would-be robber packing — fast.
Even when they think you’re not home, surprise — you can still see them. That’s thanks to smartphone technologies, which can work seamlessly with alarm systems in your home to aid you in catching those who shouldn’t be there. Many alarm companies offer hidden cameras that can be accessed with your phone, but there are other interesting options a robber might not notice — such as the classic land line telephone, hidden in plain sight on a table in your living room.
When you leave the house, you can set the phone to “spy” on the area. When a tiny sensor detects motion in the house, it will silently call your cell phone and leave the line open, so you can hear everything that is happening in the room. You can then call the police, who just might catch a criminal in the act. It’s completely unobtrusive, as a phone is a natural part of everyday decor, and so it is unlikely to be noticed.
Doors that Can’t Be Breached
Finally, remember to reinforce the doors, especially those in the garage. Sturdy, well-built doors don’t have to look like metal behemoths — they can look like stately traditional doors with a typical doorknob, but it is only when you try to get in that you realize it’s not just any old door. Replace the glass in all your doors with unbreakable options. When it’s time for new windows, invest in very sturdy ones with double locks and thick glass.
If you want an added layer of psychological security, go ahead and brace that sturdy 2×4 under the door knobs after you lock up at night. Sometimes the old methods of security really can give you the peace of mind you need to get a comfortable night’s sleep!