Home security systems are a solid way to secure the interior of your home. When a burglar sneaks into your house only to be met with a blaring alarm, he’s likely going to turn tail and run. But imagine if the exterior of your home was fortified enough to decrease the likelihood of him ever reaching the door? Here are a handful of tips to make the break-in process even more complicated for the perpetrator.

Security Cameras

Loads of home security systems will have outdoor camera products you can install to keep an eye on your property. Thankfully, most home security companies have progressed to the point of exclusively selling high-definition cameras that can capture movement in a smooth 30 frames-per-second. Features like infrared LED lights allow you to see the subject in the dark, which is ideal when burglars try to sneak around during minimum visibility times.

Even better, these cameras allow for multiple levels of interactivity through mobile apps. For several products, two-way communication is enabled so you can talk to whoever is on camera through your smartphone. When your camera detects motion, you’ll receive a notification that you can then open up your live stream what your camera is seeing.

Home Security Signs

Believe it or not, these are more effective than you think. A sign for a home security company says, “Back off, buster. We’ve got an eye on this house.” These signs alone can be enough to push a burglar to the next victim. It’s not hard to find generic home security signs on sites such as Amazon. Even fake ones can be beneficial.

Naturally, if you sign an agreement with a respected home security company, they’ll more than likely give you a yard sign. This not only serves as a warning to potential threats but home security companies are happy to give you one because it serves as advertising for them.

To take a look at the best home security companies in the industry, click here.

Landscaping

Put yourself into the burglar’s shoes for a moment. When you’re sneaking up to a house, you want plenty of places to hide in the dark. Tall bushes and trees are going to be the best places, so if a property has tall plants aplenty and minimal lighting, you’re in great shape. Now get back into your own shoes. What can you do to remedy your landscape from burglaries? Here are a few ideas:

• Install short bushes or shrubs beneath windows. Prickly bushes or bushes with sharp leaves are going to be ideal. Make sure to keep them trimmed down short enough that no one could hide in them.
• When it comes to bushes and trees by doors, get those trimmed as well. Better yet, just remove them.
• Floodlights or motion-activated lights are excellent. You can pick these up at any home improvement store for under $100.
• Solar lights are a great addition to your driveway and walkway. They charge during the day and emit low-level light during the night. These can also be found at any hardware store in packs for under $50.

When you’ve made all of these changes, make sure you keep things maintained! Trim your bushes regularly. Switch out the bulbs for your floodlights when they burn out. Replace your solar lights if one or two burn out.

Dogs

Fido or Scooter shouldn’t be trusted as a primary source of home security unless they’ve had formal guard dog training, which can be incredibly expensive. However, this doesn’t mean that their mere presence doesn’t help in some way. Some burglars will completely pass up a home if they see a dog present because a dog raises too many questions. Will it be friendly? If not, will it try to bite me? Will it bark and make a lot of noise, drawing attention to myself? Could I outrun it?

To be fair, this isn’t always the case. One burglar on a Reddit AMA claimed that he knew how to make dogs calm down after just a minute, then would spend the same time grabbing whatever he could in the house. Regardless, another burglar claimed that houses with dogs don’t get robbed because dogs are loud, hard to spot, and occasionally bite. If you already have a dog, it’s a great addition. But keep in mind that your dog is only an addition and shouldn’t be relied on too heavily.