Home Security Tips

House with Locks

Protect Your Home From Burglary

We know that we are always talking lock picking here on Picker Of Locks, however we also want to let you know the other ways that people can break into your house since most criminals are not smart enough to pick locks anyways. Getting burglarized is something you never expect to happen. PROTECTING your home with these home security tips against break-ins may be easier than you fear. Here are the ways that burglars break into your house and how to thwart them.

The first thing you need to know, is that burglars are opportunistic by nature, often taking the path of least resistance. Over 30% of all home burglaries happen because the front door is unlocked. So first thing is first, lock your freaking doors. Every 15 seconds in the United States, a home burglary takes place according to the FBI’s statistics. Now, the following are the home security tips you can do to protect your home.

The Front Door

As we just said, start by locking this door. Another way that burglars can enter your home is finding that “hidden key” under the door mat or a lawn gnome. These people know the common spots to look, so if you want to hide a key outside, don’t hide it near the door and put it somewhere that they won’t think to look for it. If you aren’t home, the thieves may just kick down your door and walk on in. The front door is the number one favorite target for burglars because it is often the easiest.

Here are the ways that you can make your front door more secure:
  • Replace your standard deadbolt with a digital lock
  • Replace your front door with an all-metal door
  • Buy expensive door handle locks usually priced at above $100
  • Look for a lock that is heavy duty, Schlage is a great one
  • Use a strike plate with a minimum of 3″ screws so that they go deep into the frame
  • Do not use a peep hole

If all else fails, then the burglar is going to try to kick in the door. If you have a wooden door jam, it is very easy to kick open and really requires little strength in order to do so. The problem here is the strike plate. This plate holds the lock bolt in place and often is only bolted into a soft wooden door jam. One nice front kick and bam, you are through the door. This is why you need to get a 4 or 5 screw high-end security plate. Make sure that you get screws that are nice and long in order to secure it properly.

Windows

Doors and windows are the most common entry points for burglars. Unfortunately, manufacturer latches on windows aren’t always effective—and sometimes they’re downright flimsy. If you don’t like the looks of your window latches, beef up security with locks or key-operated levers. But you don’t have to stop there.

We have some other good ideas to help make your windows burglar-proof.
  • Reinforce glass with window security film.
  • Install window or glass break sensors.
  • Add window bars.
  • Plant prickly bushes under first-floor windows (but be sure to keep them trimmed).

Climbable Trees 

Trees and shrubs may give your house curb appeal, but they also give burglars a handy place to hide. Trim down trees and plants close to your home that could be used for cover. Opt for smaller flowers and bushes instead. If you have trees near windows, either remove them or reinforce those windows with extra security.

And don’t neglect the rest of your home’s exterior—use these best practices to keep things locked up tight.

  • Always put away stools and ladders.
  • Lock gates, sheds, and other outdoor buildings.
  • Don’t tempt thieves by leaving pricey goods on display in the yard.
  • Add security signs and stickers.

Other Entry Points – Garage

This entry point to your home is becoming more popular with criminals. And even if they can’t access your house, chances are you have plenty of good stuff stored in the garage. Make it a habit to lock all doors to the garage—both interior and exterior.

You may also consider keeping your garage door opener in the house. That way a burglar can’t grab it out of your car. And if you use a security code to open the garage, make sure you keep it secret and never enter it in front of delivery people, neighbors, or anyone else.

Here are some more easy ways to secure the garage.

Protect Yourself

You’ve probably seen headlines about burglars being foiled by security camera footage. This is one home security solution that works as both a deterrent and a means to get justice. You can get security cameras that are part of a complete home security system, or you can use cameras that work on their own.

Whichever way you go, we recommend using a security camera with a mobile app, so you can see footage in real time and store it if you ever need to go to the police.

Check out our other must-have features:
  • Motion detection
  • Night vision
  • Wi-Fi capability
  • Two-way talk
  • Local or cloud storage
  • Weatherproof casing for outdoor cameras

Sliding-Glass Patio Doors

If only there were such thing as a burglar-proof sliding glass door. But alas, that beautiful sliding glass door that you love because it lets in natural light can also be a big welcome sign for burglars. Why is that? Why Sliding Glass Doors are a Security Pitfall:

  • It’s often unlocked
  • They advertise what’s in your home
  • It’s made of tempered glass
  • Locks are easily pick-able
  • They are often in your backyard, out of common view

Are you discouraged from buying that sliding glass door you’ve been dreaming of, now? We hope not. Let’s be real for a moment. Life is full of risk. Does that mean you should stay holed up inside and install large, steel doors throughout your house? We don’t think so!

The best way to mitigate risk is to acknowledge it, accept the potential for it, and prepare yourself for it with the help of a trusted partner, such as Great Valley Lockshop. If you really want that sliding door, then get it! We’ll help you address the security concerns that come along with the purchase.

So, again, what can you do, as a homeowner, to reinforce that beautiful sliding glass door? We’ll let you in on our top 8 ways to secure a glass door.
  1. Security Bars – You can buy strong metal bars that fold into place and brace against the door to lock it into place. You can also cut a dowel or piece of wood to place in the door track when it’s closed.
  2. Double Bolt Locks – In addition to traditional sliding door locks, there are also double bolt locks. One piece attaches to the door frame; the other piece attaches to the sliding door. When shut, the piece on the frame nests inside the piece on the door. Metal bolts then slide into the door frame piece, securing your door.
  3. Door Sensors – This is not a substitute for a secure door, but sensors attached to an alarm may help scare off a burglar.
  4. Impact-Resistant Sliding Door – “Hurricane-proof” sliding doors are going to significantly increase your investment, but they can’t easily be broken.
  5. Window Film – Security window film is a thin sheet used as a protective layer that makes glass more difficult to break through. It won’t make your door unbreakable, but it can make it a bit more difficult.
  6. Glass-Break Detectors – Very similar to a door sensor, glass-break detectors will sound when glass is broken. Again, just the alarm sounding afterward may be enough to ward of a burglar.

Windows

When thinking of securing your home, you might not initially give much thought to securing the windows. However, you would be surprised to find out that nearly 23% of burglars enter your home through the first floor windows. Windows are potentially the weakest points in your home and are frequently taken advantage of by burglars. Often, burglars would test every point of entry into your home – if the door does not give them access, they are likely to try and get through the windows.

Here are a few tips you can use to secure your windows against potential break-ins:
  • Install reinforced glass – tempered glass, laminated glass or bullet-proof glass can be potential options, depending on your security needs
  • Consider polycarbonate and Plexiglas windows – they are of the same thickness as normal glass, but are nearly 10 times stronger and 250 times more impact resistant
  • Install window bars – having iron bars on your windows is potentially one of the strongest defenses against burglars. Glass can be broken, but burglars can’t squeeze through iron bars
  • Invest in a window alarm – a window sensor, window alarm or glass breakage alarm can be installed to provide added security
  • Install a deadbolt locking system on the window
  • Make sure you keep the windows closed when you are not home

At first, second floor windows might not even seem like potential entry points for burglars. But do not be mistaken. When all else fails, burglars would take measures like climbing up a ladder or a tree to gain access to your house through one of the upper story windows.

Even though this is less likely, there is still a 2% chance of an intruder coming in from second floor entrances. Do not take chances in this regard and make sure you secure your second-floor windows as well. For this purpose, treat them like they are on the first floor and use all the measures necessary to defend them against burglars.

Here are a few additional tips that can help you protect the second floor windows better:
  • Do not keep a ladder in an easily accessible place for intruders
  • Make sure no trees around the house can be used to gain access to the second floor windows
  • Keep the windows locked when you are not in the room

Be A Good Neighbor

Law enforcement officers can’t be everywhere at once, but you and your neighbors can. You’re the ones who really know what’s going on in the neighborhood.

Neighbors can help keep an eye out when you’re away and report suspicious activity at your home. By returning the favor, it’s win-win for both parties. You can also check your local Neighborhood Watch for updates about crime in your area.

Put that neighborhood know-how to work. It’s simple: Just use your eyes and ears—then your phone. If you spot something suspicious, call the police or sheriff immediately. Don’t try to stop a criminal yourself—it can be dangerous.

Neighbors working together in cooperation with law enforcement make one of the best crime fighting teams around.

Lightning

Vandals, burglars, and other criminals don’t like to be in the spotlight. Keep bad folks at bay with ample outdoor lighting. Place lights around your front and back yards, along pathways, and near the garage and other outdoor structures. Not only will you make intruders skittish, you’ll also cut down your risk of a stumble on your way up the front steps.

Make your outdoor security lights even more effective with these tips.

Motion-sensing lights can be a great way to increase security without having to leave your outside lights on all night.

Alarm Systems

Add another layer of defense to your home with an alarm system. Options range from a localized system that unleashes an ear-piercing siren to drive intruders away to an alarm with back-to-base reporting that advises a security company to attend when triggered. As an added bonus, installing an alarm can often lead to a reduction in the cost of your home insurance policy.

Home Safes

You have to make sure that valuables are protected in the event that someone gets by your other home security strategies. An in-home safe is a secure depository for everything from jewelry to vital documents like passports. You want a safe that is fire-resistant, waterproof, and heavy enough that a thief can’t walk away with it.

Follow these suggestions to get the most protection from your safe.
  • Look for safes with redundant locks (that’s two locks on one safe).
  • Select the right size safe for the valuables you want to protect.
  • Decide if you want a portable safe or one that’s anchored.

Operation Identification

Operation Identification (Operation ID) is a citizen’s burglary prevention program for use in homes and businesses. The Operation ID program involves marking property with an identifying number and recording serial numbers as a means of discouraging burglary and theft. It also provides police with a way to identify property should it be stolen and recovered. In communities where it has been properly implemented, Operation ID has shown dramatic results in burglary reduction.

1 – Engrave you valuables with your drivers license number so your property can be easily traced and identified as yours. Please note – DO NOT USE your Social Security Number. That number is tied to financial documents that can be used by criminals.

ENGRAVE AS FOLLOWS:
-Your Drivers License Number or ID Number and year of expiration
-Engrave where it can be easily seen and another one that cannot be easily seen
-Photograph or videotape items and keep the photos/tape in a fireproof safe or safety deposit box. Photographed jewelry with an ID card and ruler next to it to show ownership and size.

2 – Display a sticker that tells would-be burglars that your serial numbers are recorded, and your property has been marked.

Marked property is difficult for a burglar to dispose of – it can be traced to the rightful owner with relative ease. And, if a burglar is caught with marked property, it is solid evidence of possession of stolen goods. After Marking your property, make a list of your valuables, and keep a copy of the list in a safe place.

This will be of great help to the police in their attempts to recover stolen property. Then, display an Operation Identification sticker at your doors and windows which is used for entry. Often the presence of the sticker alone is enough to deter a burglar.

 

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