Many new homeowners are extremely excited to get started on their life in a new home. There’s painting, new carpet, refinishing and renovating. There’s updating fixtures and figuring out furniture layouts. Then there’s decorating each room to give it the personality and flair that it needs. However, the one step that a lot of homeowners forget about in the excitement of owning a new home is figuring out home security.

While this topic isn’t as sexy or appealing as room decoration or home renovation, it’s arguably more important. Home security makes sure that everything you own is safe and secure from theft, but it also provides peace of mind for you and your family knowing that you don’t have to worry about intruders.

Here are a few simple ways to increase your home security:

Install new, modern locking mechanisms on all doors

The one thing you don’t want to do is enable a burglar to just walk right in the front door. The first step in securing your home is changing all of the door locks. A previous homeowner might have stolen or missing keys, and if you keep the old locks, there may be those with easy access to your home.

In addition, you can add more sophisticated locking systems to your main doors (entry door and back door). These include smart locks, good old-fashioned dead bolts, and strike plates on all doors.

Close and lock windows at night or when you aren’t home

This seems like a no-brainer, but many times people will forget to close or lock windows when they leave the house. Intruders often will pop the screens out on basement & ground-level windows and hop right into your home.

Make sure all of your windows have functioning and effective latches and locking mechanisms. If you move into a pre-owned home and the windows are older, it’s strongly recommended you purchase new home windows with modern latches, and optional security film.

Install motion-activated lights and solar night lights

While this only seems like a mild deterrent, research proves that burglars are less likely to intrude on homes that have ample outdoor lighting. A simple motion-activated light on the front and back of the house is usually enough, but try to leave your porch lights on every night (even if you aren’t home). Solar powered lights are a great way to provide outdoor lighting that is inexpensive and energy-efficient.

Set up a home security system

This is probably the most obvious security measure that you can take, but it is also one of the more potentially expensive options. Make sure to do your research on home security systems, as there are a lot out there that fit every budget and different levels of effectiveness.

Knowing the history of crime in your area or asking neighbors what measures they take are great ways to start the evaluation process for the level of security system that your home needs.

Secure your family and home from intruders!

Hopefully these simple tips help you figure out ways to make sure that your family and possessions are always safe from burglary and intruders. Usually you only have to go through the process of securing your home once, and you’ll be happy that you did!