Home is supposed to be the safest place in the world. It is a family’s place of refuge, where they are safe from the perils and dangers of the world outside. Sadly, home security is not always what it should be, and home break-ins are still very common. In fact, a home intrusion takes place every 13 seconds! When you are the victim of a home invasion, it shatters the notion of safety, and makes you feel violated and vulnerable. Here are 7 smart ways to increase your home’s security, and turn your home into the fortress against theft and danger that it should be.
Around 30% of burglars come right in through an unlocked door, with no forcible entry necessary. Make sure you lock your doors and windows at night and when you are away from home. You should even keep your doors locked during the day, because a frightening number of home invasions occur when someone is home. Be sure to choose the right locks for the job Use deadbolt locks on your main doors, and make sure you turn the deadbolt securely. Deadbolts are rated and certified on security, so make sure you get a Grade 1 lock. It is also important that your main front, back and side doors are steel doors. Hollow core doors and wooden doors are easy to kick through. It is also important not to have a pane of glass right by the doorknob that a thief could easily smash and stick their hand through. If you have a patio or sliding glass door, take extra precaution. You should place a steel rod or a solid piece of wood in the groove after you close the door, because thieves can pop those doors off their frames even when they are locked. Don’t forget about your bulkheads or basement doors. Make sure to bolt bulkheads shut from the inside.
Windows are a vulnerable point in your home, but there are ways to secure them. Of course, the best way is to have a home security system installed that comes with window alarms. You can also invest in security glass, or tempered glass which is not quite as expensive. You could also get acrylic plastic windows which are 10 times stronger than glass. Iron bars on your windows are the ultimate in burglar resistance, and there are some attractive options available these days. A hefty, deadbolt window lock that is visible from the outside is also a good deterrent.
Every entryway should have a light that you can turn on and off from the inside. At night, interior shades should be drawn and exterior lights on. A security light at the driveway or other areas where an intruder might approach can be also set up motion detecting lights at each corner of the house, aiming at the sides of the houses. If someone tries to sneak up, they will be illuminated.
Take a good hard look around your yard or building. Are there tall, unruly shrubs that are perfect for hiding in? These should be trimmed back. Your entryways should also be free from overhanging branches or big bushes. This way a thief is less likely to sneak up unseen. Make sure you haven’t left anything out that is going to help an intruder, like a chair under a window or a ladder somewhere accessible on the property. You can also do something called “natural access control”. That is when you use landscape features to prevent a burglar from gaining access to your property. While few homeowners will go so far as to build a moat, you could plant thorny bushes around your house.
5. Be Smart About Keys
When you first move into a home, change the locks on all the doors. This gives you the peace of mind of knowing only your family has keys to your home. Don’t have any identifying information with them, and don’t attach your house keys to your id. If you lost them, a thief knows right where you live and has instant access. You also shouldn’t leave a key hidden outside. You may think you’re being clever, but thieves can figure it out pretty easily. It is better to leave an extra key with a trusted neighbor.
6. Take Precautions When Going Out of Town
When you are taking a vacation, be sure to let neighbors know you will be gone so they can keep an eye on your property. It’s important to make it look like you are still home. Put interior lighting on a timer. Timers today have a random setting, which is great for making the house look occupied. Make sure someone is taking in your mail and newspapers, because nothing advertises your absence like an overflowing mailbox. Hire someone to keep the walk and driveway shoveled while you are away. If you have a house phone, don’t change the message to announce you are out of town.
7. Install A Home Security System
The bottom line is, the vast majority of burglars say they will simply avoid a house that has a home security system. It is by far you’re most reliable way to stop a home invasion and keep your family safe. Professionals will come analyze your home and recommend the best system for your needs. It will be installed properly by trained technicians who have years of experience in the field. You can rest easy and have true peace of mind with a home security system.
There are several types of home security systems to choose from. Monitoring systems maintain communication with the monitoring station, and will contact police in case of emergency. They can use a landline, cellular connection, or broadband. Another type of system is home automation, and you can manage much more than just security. You can turn house lights on and off, adjust temperature, and it has many other functions.
Overall, to make your family and home safe, be smart. Take the time to make sure your home is secure, and analyze it from the point of view of someone with ill intent. Install proper locks and make sure windows and doors are locked. Entryways and walkways should be well-lighted to deter thieves. The exterior of your home should be free of anything that is going to help a would-be burglar, like a ladder. Finally, consider having a home security system installed by professionals. It is the best way to keep your home safe. Taking these steps will greatly reduce the likelihood that you will be a victim of a home invasion.