Creating a More Secure Home
You should be safe within your home. It should be a haven against the stress and threats of the outside world. All too often, that’s not the case. For instance, did you know that in three out of every 10 burglaries, someone is home? Often, those individuals fall victim to the burglars through a violent crime. Most burglaries and home invasions go unsolved – under 14% are resolved, actually.
What does this mean for homeowners? Simply put, it means that security is more important than ever before. Thankfully, there are several things that you can do to make your home a less appealing target, or to help prevent burglars and home invaders from getting inside in the first place. Below, we’ll explore 10 tips to help you create a more secure home.
Hire a Locksmith
One of the first things to consider is to hire a local locksmith to provide you with a whole home assessment. While locksmiths are usually thought of when you’re locked out of the house or car, the fact remains that these professionals deal with home security on a regular basis. They can assess your doors, windows and other areas of the home and make educated suggestions about important changes to make to ensure that you and your family are protected.
Rekey or Replace Your Locks
Another important tip is to replace or rekey your home’s door locks. Whether you live in a new home, or you purchased an existing home, there is an excellent chance that there are copies of your house keys floating around unaccounted for. Rekeying or replacing those locks ensures that no one can get in but you and your family. Make sure you work with a locksmith for this, though. Going it alone is generally a mistake.
Lock Your Doors
This is perhaps the most common sense tip on our list. Lock your doors. Over 30% of home burglaries involve the burglar walking through an unlocked door, usually the front door. It doesn’t matter what the crime statistics for your area of town are like – lock your doors.
Worry about Your Spare Keys
Do you have spare keys that you cannot account for? Can you remember everyone who has ever had a key to the house? Can you put hands on all the keys that have ever been made for your front or back door? Chances are good that you cannot. We make copies of keys for family members, for friends who need to pet sit, and for others. What happens if one of those people loses their copy and it falls into the wrong hands? Worry about those spare keys (and then get a locksmith to rekey or replace your locks).
Double Check Window Locks
A full 30% of home burglaries and home invasions involve the intruder getting into the home through the window. In most of those instances, the window was left unlocked and unattended. Simply locking your windows (and your doors!) can have a profound effect on your security while in your home. Double check the locks on all your windows, and do so daily.
Have a Police Home Inspection
Many local police forces offer services that go beyond patrolling the streets or investigating crimes. One of those is providing home inspections for community members. Check with your local police to determine if you might be able to receive a free home inspection and what it will cover. In most instances, it will include an assessment of your yard, the approach to your home, your door and window locks, and other security measures. And, because it’s being provided by police officers, you know that you’ll get actionable information from someone who knows what they’re talking about.
Security systems can dramatically cut down on the likelihood that your home will be targeted for a burglary or home invasion. However, if you don’t have the cash to spend on an alarm system, you can still enjoy some benefits without spending a bundle. You can purchase yard signs that indicate your home is protected by a security system or an alarm. Burglars are not in the habit of taking chances, and they will ignore a home that seems as though it is protected in favor of those that are definitely not protected.
Get Rid of Your Shrubs
Burglars love nothing more than a home that is easy to approach while remaining concealed. Yards with lots of bushes, trees and other sources of cover lend themselves well to this. If you have any areas that could conceal a thief during their approach to the home, or circling around the periphery of your home, remove them.
Invest in an Alarm System
As mentioned, security systems make your home far, far less likely to be targeted by burglars in the first place. If you have the money, it’s well worth the cost to have an alarm system installed. You can do this by buying through a security system company, but you can also work with a locksmith to gain access to unbiased information and professional installation.
Secure French Doors and Sliding Glass Doors
Two popular entry types for today’s homes are also huge security concerns. French doors and sliding glass doors are undeniably beautiful, but they can also be easy to force if a burglar wants into your home.
With sliding glass doors, a jimmy plate can be installed to prevent the door from being removed from the track, and a metal or wood bar placed behind the sliding portion can prevent burglars from opening it.
With French doors, a good deadbolt between the doors, and sliding locks at the top and bottom corner of both doors provide a very secure defense against burglars and home invaders. Just make sure you lock them.
There you have them – 10 tips to help improve the security of your home. Some of these are common sense things that you can do on your own, but others will require you to work with professionals, such as the police, or with a trusted locksmith. All of them can help you gain the peace of mind you need, though.