Here’s Some Home Safety Tips to Remember
Burglary is among the greatest concerns of most families and homeowners, yet home security is something many of us take for granted … or put off to improve another day. Typically, it is only when we become aware of a disturbing incident – or suffer the personal trauma of being a victim – that we actually take steps towards making our homes more secure.
The more common access areas, such as front, rear and garage doors are the preferred points of access for a burglar. But, a proper security assessment will require a careful professional examination to identify the home’s unique critical areas.
Make an Entrance Examination
Every homeowner should take a close look at the obvious entry points of the home, and ensure they provide adequate protection for family members and their possessions. Typically, burglars seek the easiest and least visible point for illegal entry, such as garage doors and back doors. These doors are usually in darker or covered locations, and often can be compromised simply by breaking a glass panel or applying a swift kick to a weak area. Remember, if you make it difficult for thieves to enter your home, you can effectively discourage burglars and protect your possessions. Don’t invite burglars by offering an easy target. After all, if a break-and-enter requires too much work, skill or tools, the burglar will likely move on.
Standard Doors and Frames
A door is only as secure as its most vulnerable point, and the average door lock is often secured in only a lightweight doorjamb molding, which might be torn away with a firm kick. Your door and frame should be as strong as possible, and firmly fixed to wall studs. The hinges and “strike area” (where the lock is embedded into the door frame) should be installed with long, heavy-duty screws. Ensure your entrance doors are made of strong solid-core wood or heavy-guage metal, and consider installing an extra chain lock and a wide-angle peephole.
One of the simplest and most secure locks is the deadbolt. The deadbolt is a rigid lock that is not part of an entrance handle, doorknob or latch. The long bolt slides deeply into door frame and offers little tolerance without the use of a key or inside lever or knob. Deadbolts should have an interlocking mechanism that extends at least one inch into the frame.
When buying a deadbolt lock (often as part of other entrance components or systems) be sure to choose the highest quality hardware you can afford.
There are a number of very practical and attractive keyed entry lock systems for residential use on the market today. But don’t limit your selection to style alone – talk to a locksmith to determine the various benefits and features of the available systems. For example, two sided key locks offer added security from inside the home. Also, keyless locks provide a convenient alternative because you never have to worry about lost keys, and most can be reprogrammed so you can change your pass code anytime.
Patio Doors and Security Bars
Sliding glass doors are secured by latches not bolts, so they’re more vulnerable to being forced open from the outside. However, such movement can be restricted by inserting a rigid bar or blocker into the slider track, or installing a hinged security bar that swings into place between the sliding panel (when closed) and the frame on the fixed panel side. Unfortunately, sliding doors can be lifted up and off their tracks and removed despite a bar, blocker, or latch lock. To prevent this, you should install an anti-lift pin that goes through the slider (when closed) and the fixed door panel. There are numerous locking and blocking devices available in most good quality hardware stores that will prevent a sliding door from being lifted or forced horizontally.
Think About Security Every Day
In addition to more secure doors and locks, it is also a good idea to be mindful of other security precautions, such as adequate outside lighting set to motion detection, and variable indoor lighting set to random timers. In addition to more secure hardware and equipment, better habits can go a long way to prevent criminals targeting your home.
Make sure you don’t tip off burglars with obvious signs of absence such as an open garage, or stacked newspapers and mail. The more you think about security in your everyday life, the more you can do to protect your life from intrusion.
TIP: Don’t keep keys in an obvious place!
Many burglars hunt for keys left in obvious locations. So don’t leave them where they can be easily found, such as under a mat, in your car, or even inside your garage. If your keys are lost or stolen, notify police and change your locks immediately.
TIP: Keep your doors locked at all times!
Once people arrive home from work, they often forget to lock the door behind them. Yet it is more important to lock your doors when you are inside your home than when you are away. Consider the risk to your safety and that of your family – they are much more valuable than any of your possessions!
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