When moving into a new home, securing it is typically on the “to-do” list. After you’ve lived in a home for a length of time, however, security becomes an after-thought, which puts yourself and your family in danger.
FBI data claims that “In 2018, there were an estimated 1,230,149 burglaries.” Nearly 60% of these were classified as “forceable entry” burglaries.
We don’t want you to be among the victims, so let’s get started on at least the basics of securing your home against intruders.
Start with the doors
It’s easy to overlook the unsecured window or other access points when you go about daily life. So, take a tour of the entire home, with an eye toward security.
Examine all doors that lead to the exterior of the home first. They should have deadbolt locks, yes. But, if the home is old, the door may be feeble and easy to knock in. You may need to replace the door with something sturdier.
Security experts recommend metal or solid wood doors. They also suggest that you place the hinges on the interior of the home. Finally, don’t forget the deadbolt lock with a minimum 1-inch bolt length.
You might also consider adding an additional lock. “You should have a minimum of two locks at main entryways,” cautions Manasa Reddigari at BobVila.com.
Many Americans have sliding glass doors to the backyard and these, experts claim, are the ones burglars like the best. Why?
“Sliding glass doors use latches, not locks,” according to Bobby McAfee with Crime Prevention Security Systems. “Even inexperienced burglars can quickly overcome most factory-installed latches,” he continues. Or they might simply lift the door off its track and out of the way, which usually doesn’t even require tools.”
There are a number of options a homeowner can use to secure these doors:
- Install a security pin (sold on Amazon.com and at large home improvement stores)
- Install shatterproof film – while it won’t keep a window from breaking, it will slow the process
- Install a home security system with glass-break sensors
While you’re assessing the doors to the exterior of the home, take a look at what’s outside the doors. Is the area well-lit? Are there shrubs or trees that can hide a burglar who is trying to break into your home?
Clear away any overgrowth and use a porch light with a strong bulb.
Secure the home’s windows
Go through the home again, this time paying close attention to windows, especially those that are accessible at ground level.
Check the locks on each window first to ensure they’re engaged and, second that they are actually securing the window.
For extra security for ground-floor windows, consider installing inexpensive window alarms. You’ll find them for sale online at Amazon.com, Home Depot and Lowe’s.
We hope you’ll take the time to tour your home to determine how to beef up security.