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10 Things You Can Do Every Day to Make Your Home Safer

Doing these simple things every day can make a huge difference.

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Take in your mail, newspapers, and door-to-door advertising

Don't let your mail sit in your mailbox overnight; pick it up every day. Shred mail with sensitive information, like credit card offers. Also, don't leave your mail in your car. If you do, it's like you're advertising where you live. Watch out for these 9 other things you should never leave in your car, too.

Arm your security system

This may seem like a big "duh," but we've all done it. You're in a hurry, so you run out the door without setting the alarm and you justify it by saying you'll only be gone a short time. But, according to SafeWise, most thieves can get in and get what they want in ten minutes or less. Just set the alarm. Here's how to make it look like you're home when you're not—and fool burglars.

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Close blinds and curtains after dark

When night falls, if your windows aren't covered, it's easy for anyone to see into your home. This makes it possible for someone casing your house to see where the interior doors are and where your TV and other electronics are located. Block their view and they'll move on to another house.

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Secure your sliding patio door

Whenever your sliding patio door isn't open, place a wood or metal rod in the track to help stop thieves. If you don't think you'll like the look of this, here's an option that's easy and more aesthetically pleasing. For additional ways to stop thieves, here are 50 more helpful tips.

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Keep the garage door closed

The garage is an easy access point for thieves, so keep it closed whenever possible. You don't want anyone to see what you have in the garage, and leaving the door open is just asking for trouble. Check out these tips to make your garage burglar-proof.

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Fake goodbyes

Even if you're the last one to leave the house in the morning, pretend to say goodbye to someone as you leave. This gives the impression (to anyone watching) that there is someone home and will likely make them think twice about breaking in.

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Display warning signs


You don't have to have a dog to have a "Beware of Dog" sign on your house. Deter would-be thieves with signs that say you have a dog, even if you don't. Here are other safety tips that could save your home from a break-in.

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Lock windows and doors

Even when you're home, keep your windows and doors locked. According to the Bureau of Justice, an estimated 3.7 million household burglaries occurred each year on average from 2003 to 2007, and in about 28% of these burglaries, a household member was present during the burglary. According to the same survey, in about 40 percent of the burglaries, the thief gained entry through an unlocked door or window. To add more security to your windows, check out this DIY project for simple window locks.

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Sleep with car keys

You don't have to keep them in bed with you, but put your car keys on your nightstand while you sleep so they're within easy reach. Then, if you hear someone trying to break in, you can hit the car alarm button and maybe scare them off.

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Keep your yard free of tools and ladders

Sometimes all thieves need to break into a home is a little help. Gardening and power tools can be used to break windows and doors, and a ladder is an invitation to enter an open second-story window. Next, learn the secrets burglars don't want you to know.

Originally Published on The Family Handyman