When it comes to the various threats to your home, a burglary is far and away, the one most likely to strike. In the US, someone’s home is broken into every 15.4 seconds. Like most ‘bad’ things, the chances of one particular individual falling victim is pretty slim, but this doesn’t mean you should get lax with your home’s security simply because the chances are greater that this is something about which you will never have to worry. You don’t want to do anything that will up the appeal to a potential intruder. Here are just a few tips to maximize your home’s security.
Doors and Locks
Doors and locks are your first line of defense for obvious reasons, as the most common way to enter the home is through the doors. You want to make it difficult to gain entry because burglars are in this for a quick score and an even quicker exit. They are not interested in entering a home that will take a lot of ‘fuss.’ Exterior doors should have grade one or two locks; if you opt for a deadbolt, it should have a beveled casing for added protection. Doors should be solid core or metal. Get an knob in-lock set with a dead latch mechanism. The average strike plate on the door jamb can easily be destroyed with a hard kick, so it is a good idea to use a four-screw heavy-duty one with 3-inch screws able to penetrate deeply into the door frame.
Sliding-Glass Patio Doors
These doors are secured by latches that tend to be pretty weak, and can easily be manipulated to gain entry into the home. There are a few ways to combat this problem. First, you can use a good blocking device to prevent the door from moving along the track, such as a wooden dowls and ‘charley bars.’
If you have an older set of doors, you need to take some additional measures as they can be completely lifted off the track, making any blocking device useless. The door rollers should be properly maintained and adjusted when necessary. You can also purchase anti-lift devices as well. If you have an alarm system, or big dog, this is one of the prime spots to place decals.
Windows are another major vulnerability. Many thieves manage to make their way inside simply because someone forgot to lock them, so this extremely simple measure is safety tip number one. Because windows have latches and not locks, you want a secondary blocking device , much like the glass patio doors. Make sure any devices placed in bedrooms can be easily and quickly removed in the event of a fire or other emergency. If you do keep windows open at any time, make sure they are not so wide a person can easily reach in and remove the blocking devices.
Alarms can be particularly effective because their mere presence greatly increase the chances of a perpetrator being caught in the act, and he is much more likely to move onto a home that does not appear to have any sort of security system. But, this will only work if you are willing to use the signs and decals—if you think they are ‘unsightly’ you may be putting your home at additional risk. Even if it goes off, the burglar may still have enough time to make a quick grab of whatever is nearby.
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As you can see, keeping your home safe doesn’t take anything more than a few safety precautions that will serve as strong deterrents to burglars.