The Federal Bureau of Investigation has reported that burglaries in 2012 numbered 2,103,787, and 33.9 percent of these were classified as unlawful entries—burglaries where no force was used to commit theft. These statistics point to the need for improving home security. If you are concerned about making your home and your family safe, take a look at the following tips.
1. Make Sure Your Doors Can Protect You
Your front door, your side doors, and your garage door are the target entry points in your home. Here is how you can make these areas more secure.
- Wooden doors. If you are using wooden doors, check to see if they are at least 1¾ inches thick, and that the screws used to attach the hinges are no less than three inches long. Your locksets should be made of higher-grade steel, and on the latch-side of your door jamb there should be an extra-long security strike plate and a dead bolt. Do this for both your front and your rear doors.
- Sliding doors. Your sliding glass doors should made of hurricane glass, which offers more resistance to burglars who may try to break them. If they aren’t, fortify the glass with window film. This will hold glass together even when it is broken into tiny bits. That would delay burglars and this can make them abandon their plans.
Place a wooden dowel into the door’s track so that the door cannot slide open. Because sliding doors can be lifted off their tracks, install a sliding bolt onto the frame to prevent it from moving even when it is freed from its tracks.
- Garage doors. If you are away for long periods of time, install a manual lock on your garage or lock it down by putting a c-clamp on each side of the garage door track. These clamps can function like the locks for interior windows. Finally, make sure that the door leading from your garage to the rest of the house is locked whenever you leave. Furnish this door with a dead bolt.
2. Be Sure Your Windows are Fully Secure
First floor windows are easy targets for burglars, especially when these windows are located at the rear of a house. Tempered glass or safety glass would be more difficult for a burglar to break so you should use these if you have a choice. Install window locks that allow windows to open a few inches while preventing them from being opened fully from the outside.
3. Never Make Your Absence Felt
It is important to create the impression that someone is home. If you are going to be away for days, ask a neighbor or a friend to pick up your mail; mail and newspapers stacked up on your mailbox are a dead giveaway that you are absent. If you can keep a radio or a TV set on when you are out, that can help create the illusion that people are around. Use timers so that lights go on at appropriate times inside and outside your residence to discourage any burglars casing the joint.
4. Get a Reliable Security System
Invest in a security system that allows you to receive alerts on your cell phone and enables you to arm or disarm your system wherever you are. This means there will be no more worrying that you forgot to turn the system on. There are systems today from places like NorthStar Alarm company that allow you to view video footage of your home from your mobile device, and some companies even allow you to remotely turn off/ turn on lights and appliances. This is the kind of security system you need—one that will give you peace of mind and one that is worth every penny you spend on it.
By taking preventative steps, you can dramatically increase the safety of your family. Be aware of common burglar tendencies and work to resolve the signs that reveal you are not at home.