Criminals don’t like obstacles. Most are looking for an easy target – they want to get in, take what they can, and get out quickly. Those who take action to secure their homes and businesses are significantly less likely to become victims. Here are a few simple tips to help safeguard yourself and your property. Some you can do on your own and some will require the help of a professional.
Know your Neighbors
- Exchange phone numbers.
- Know the type and color of their cars.
- Tell a trusted neighbor when you are going away for an extended period, and ask them to pick up your mail and papers from the drive way.
If you have a alarm system installed, ask the company for a few things to make it as effective as possible:
- Glass break sensors. Sensors trigger the alarm immediately if a window is broken, while the burglar is still outside. Motion sensors go off after the burglar has entered your property.
- Loud sirens inside and outside. Most homes are well insulated. If you only have sirens inside your home, they might not be heard by your neighbors. Also, if your alarm is tripped and the sirens are loud, they are more likely to scare the burglar away. Some counties and cities do not allow visible sirens mounted outside your house, but you can bypass this by mounting sirens in the attic facing outward near a vent or opening.
- Minimal delay to disarm the alarm from the keypad. Ten seconds should be adequate to come in and disarm it. If the alarm is triggered and not disarmed, the monitoring company will be alerted more quickly, giving the burglar less time inside. Every second counts! Some alarm companies offer a remote that will allow you to arm and disarm your alarm instantly.
- Contact sensors on all windows and doors. If any of your entry points—doors or windows—are forced open, your alarm will be triggered immediately while the burglar is still outside. Contact sensors on side doors (not on the door you go through to disarm the alarm) and windows must be programmed to trigger the alarm instantly.
- A wireless system. This prevents the burglar from being able to bypass the alarm system by cutting the telephone line.
- Backup power supply/battery. This ensures that the system remains functional if the burglar cuts off the power.
- Multiple signs. Ask your alarm company for multiple signs to place around the property near each entry point to indicate the presence of a security system. This is often enough to scare off buglars.
Install motion sensor lights around the perimeter of your property
They will go on if someone is walking around your property at night and might be enough to scare them away, knowing that they can be seen. If you are home, you will also be alerted of movement outside.
Check Your Entryways
If the shrubbery around your entryways is an obstacle to a burglar, it’s good to keep it untrimmed. But if it provides a good place for someone to hide, it’s best to trim it down.
Install a wide-angle door viewer (peephole) on your front door
Many times a burglar will knock on the door first to check if someone is home. If no one comes to the door, they assume that no one is home and that it’s safe to break in. If you answer the door, they will often misrepresent themselves as a salesperson, serviceman, or will simply ask for someone. With a peephole, you can go to the door and see the person on the other side without having to open the door and put yourself at risk.
Install a heavy duty, double-cylinder deadbolt on doors that have glass in or around them
These deadbolts require a key to unlock them from both the inside and the outside, preventing people from being able to break the glass near the door and reaching through to easily unlock the locks. IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP: Always keep a key easily accessible to each double-cylinder deadbolt to ensure a quick exit in case of emergency.
Be aware that most break-ins occur through a locked door, by simply kicking it in
The most vulnerable area of your door is where your locks travel into the area of the frame called the strike plate. Most strike plates are two inches long and are made of soft brass. Additionally, they are installed using 3/4-inch long screws, which only penetrate into the soft wood frame. This makes the strike plate area the weakest area of the door. It literally only takes one or two strong kicks to go through most doors. The immediate solution is to run 3-inch long screws through the strike plate into the studs behind the door frame. This alone makes it much more difficult to kick the door in. The better solution is to install a Door Frame Protector, which is a 59-inch solid steel strike plate that reinforces the softwood frame. This piece is installed with (12) 3-inch screws, making the frame unbreakable.
Windows must be secure as well
They provide an additional entry point through which burglars can enter your home. There are many solutions for securing your windows. One of the most common ways is with window pins. This prevents burglars from being able to simply pry open your window. The most common window locks are not sufficient enough.
Inspect Your Sliding Glass Doors
Sliding glass doors are often easy to force open. Some sliding glass doors are installed backwards, meaning they can be lifted out of their track from outside the house. To resolve this problem, you must install a retaining plate along the track to secure the sliding door in its track. For do-it-yourself added security, place a pipe or wooden stick along the track behind the sliding door to keep it in place.
We hope these security tips will help you safeguard your home and family.
There are a lot of sensitive security tips that cannot be given online to protect you and others. For more information on security for your home or business, please contact us at 770.441.0466.