Using Lighting to Improve Home Security and Safety

A well-developed home security plan may include an assessment of all entries into a home or property, including fences and gates, driveways and sidewalks, doors, windows, patios or basement doors. A home may be equipped with an electronic home security system which can detect motion, sounds such as breaking glass or one that will monitor each door or window of the home.While each of these steps to home security is a wise or well-thought part of a plan, another approach to protecting a home and property is exterior lighting. There are an enormous array of exterior lights including motion sensing, solar and lights or light sets that can be connected to timing mechanisms and security systems.It is a good idea for homeowners to “case” their own homes – pretending that to be the intruder or burglar – and assessing all of the points of entry to determine every weakness in the home’s security. When homeowners begin to prowl their yard or home they will quickly find that the parts of their yard or property that are in plain sight or of immediate view to neighbors or the streets around the home, will deter them from lingering or considering it as a means of entry. No burglar will want to work on a window that is in sight of neighbors. An intruder will not want to be seen easily from the street. Once the areas where intruders may forcibly enter the home unseen by anyone are located, the homeowner should mark the area for lighting and review the condition of locks on doors and windows. At the same time all bushes, trees or shrubs that might hide a burglar or intruder from view, or allow them to gain access to windows, should be pruned or removed. While this may eliminate a homeowner’s feeling of privacy, it is a good trade for a stronger home security plan.A second review or “casing” of the property should be done after dark, when a complete plan for exterior lighting should be developed. A home security plan for exterior lighting will take into consideration sidewalk and patio lighting, motion sensor lights on all exterior doors (with back-up batteries or hard wiring to the home’s electrical supply), motion sensor lights on the windows that have been reviewed and found to be a security risk (but such lights should be installed at a height or location that is out of reach to the intruder), and flood lights that are connected to timing mechanisms for areas such as large backyards, pool and patios, garages and outdoor structures such as gazebos or sheds. All of this lighting will greatly affect any burglar or intruder’s plans or efforts.Many insurance companies will also reward their clients who install home security systems or who take measures to make their homes and properties less of an insurance and security risk.There are many ways to easily install a strong home security system or plan, and it takes only a bit of effort and creativity to protect a home, property and family.