Your house is your home, your solitude, your place of refuge from the outside world. You might spend thousands of dollars outfitting that property to suit your needs and tastes, but how much of your decorating budget ever goes toward theft deterrence? By taking a few small steps, you can deter thieves and keep your home as stylish as ever.

Lighting Is Important

The right lighting can help showcase your house, but it is also a good theft-deterrent. When your property is well-lit, it becomes difficult for burglars to break in undetected. Lighting also helps inside your house, as dark homes are usually a sign that no one is there — an inviting sign to a would-be thief.

Close the Blinds

While keeping your blinds closed all the time could make it look like you are never there, you want to make sure that you have something covering your windows so that would-be thieves cannot look inside and see all your goodies. Many burglars watch a house before breaking in, trying to look at your patterns for coming and going while gauging whether it is worth the risk to break in. Don’t encourage them by giving them a reason to try.

Landscaping Makes a Difference

Landscaping can help you add curb appeal to your home, and it can keep thieves away, too. Not only will a well-placed bush or hedge make it more difficult for a burglar to gain access to your windows, but keeping everything trimmed and well maintained is a signal for opportunistic burglars to stay away. Overgrown bushes create blind spots for burglars to break in, and they could indicate someone who isn’t home much.

Make It Look Like Someone Is Home

You might also want to take some steps to make it look like someone is home. If you have ever thought about buying a second car, it might be time to pull the trigger. A survey of ex-inmates found that seeing a car in the driveway was a significant deterrent to breaking in. They also said that hearing a radio or television would make them think twice about trying to gain entry. The risks are just too high.

Upgrade Your House

The same inmate survey also found that home upgrades can serve as a deterrent too. When burglars see houses with old windows, cheap doors or rusted hinges, they see a flashing opportunity. These outdated features aren’t just unattractive, they are easy to kick in or otherwise use to gain access. Some thieves will even take the hinges off a door to gain entry. If you upgrade and update your home, you won’t have to worry as much. Newer windows are more secure, and doors can be outfitted with reinforced lock panels.

Visible Security Cameras

Of all these theft-deterrent strategies, the best one is to have a visible security camera. Forget clunky devices that look like something from the 1980s. Modern security cameras, like Canadian-based Lorex Technology’s products, are sleek and indiscreet. Put them up indoors and outdoors to keep your home as safe as possible. Most burglars will stay away from a house that has cameras installed. They come equipped with motion detection, night vision and audio-recording, so you never miss a thing. You can also choose to use a battery-operated model so that you can place a camera anywhere. Plus, all of the audio and video they record are stored, so if something would happen to one of your cameras, you have footage the police can use to find your thief.

Burglars are always looking for an opportunity to take things that aren’t theirs, including all those beautiful things you lovingly hand-picked for your home. Don’t let them target you. Light and landscape your home, upgrade it regularly and always take steps to make it look like someone is home. It will look nice AND keep the bad guys away. Add visible security cameras for a final touch. With those in sight, no burglar will come near your property.