Getting ready to go to bed at night can be a little taxing. Sometimes, all you want to do is go to sleep. No matter how tired you are, however, one thing you should never overlook doing before you hit the hay is making sure that your home is secure. If you forget to go over your checklist for even one night, you are unnecessarily leaving yourself vulnerable against a burglar or other home intruder. Here are five simple security steps that you should make sure to take every night before you go to bed.
1. Lock your doors – It may sound like common sense, but the most important step you can take to secure your house at night is to lock your doors. Most people lock their front door, but many stop there. What is really important, however, is that you securely lock any doors that can be used to get into your home. This includes patio doors, sliding glass doors, and the exterior garage door. Other doors you should lock include the one coming up from your basement and the interior door out to your garage. Should an intruder somehow gain access to these remote areas of your house, you want to make it as difficult as possible for them to actually get into your living space.
2. Lock windows and draw your blinds – Feel free to enjoy all the natural light and fresh air that your windows afford throughout the day, but when night falls, you should make sure to close them. If you like to leave certain windows cracked at night for cooling purposes, you should get a thick metal or wooden rod to put into the window track, making sure that it can’t be opened far enough for someone to use it as a point of entry. Next, you should draw your blinds and/or shut your curtains, especially in any rooms containing valuable items that could attract a burglar.
3. Lock your car and bring in your garage door opener – If you are going to park your car out on the street overnight, make sure it is locked. You should also bring your remote garage door opener into the house rather than leaving it in your car. Otherwise, a burglar could simply break into your car first, then use your garage door opener to access your garage and your home.
4. Turn on patio lights or motion-sensor lights – It is generally a good idea to leave the outside of your house at least somewhat lit up when you go to bed at night. Intruders thrive in total darkness, so you don’t want to provide them easier access. You can either choose to leave on a few exterior lights when you go to bed (both at your front and back doors), or you can install motion-sensor lights. These lights, which are tripped when anyone approaches your house, are often surprising enough to scare away a potential intruder if they are on their way to break in.
5. Enable your alarm system – You should always make sure that it is turned on before you go to bed. Enable the alarm, and do not forget to test your system weekly to make sure it is working properly. If you aren’t going to be the last one awake in your household, make sure that everyone in your family knows how to enable the alarm so that the last person who goes to sleep can set it before they head to bed.