Security is a top priority for any homeowner. Here are some simple security measures to help protect your home from break-ins.
- Lock, stock and barrel Police suggest many opportunistic burglars break in to homes via unlocked doors or window. So lock up all your doors and windows, even if you are going out for a short time. Locksmiths can advise on the best door and window locks, and even key all the windows to a single key.
- Blow the cover Discourage thieves from targeting your house by getting rid of trees and shrubbery that obscure the view of your door from the street. Keep your porch and exterior well-lit, with internal switches than a burglar can’t reach. You could also consider installing infrared sensor lights. Street lights are a deterrent for your neighborhood, so report broken lights straight away.
- Secure windows and doors Fortifying your doors and windows is one of the best ways to protect against a home invasion. If your door has glass panels (which is easy for a thief to smash) replace it with burglar-resistant glass. Replace rotted door frames with new, solid wood and install deadbolt locks on all your exterior doors. (Of course, I shouldn't have to tell you how important new windows can be either!) A peephole or lockable security screen will also enhance your security. Your windows should have one or more good locks, and you could also consider grilles and shutters. If your door has too much space between its frame, reinforce the a panel of 3/4-inch plywood or piece of sheet metal. If there are door hinges on the outside of your house, take down the door and reset the hinges inside.
- Guard the garage Garages and sheds are often targets for burglars, who can then use your tools or ladders to break into the main house. Fit a sensor light in your shed or garage and install keyed locks.
- Be careful with your keys…and who you let into your home Keys are easily copied so be scrupulous when lending your keys to cleaners, tradespeople and acquaintances. Check all references, including the reputability of the firm, before handing your house key over to a professional house cleaner or tradesperson. If you lose your keys, change the locks immediately. Professional burglars may pose as salespeople to check out homes, so ask for salespeople to push their ID under the door. If someone comes to your door asking to use the phone to call a mechanic or the police, keep the door locked and make the call yourself.
- Get an alarm or a dog An alarm system is the next layer of defense. For the most effective alarm system, conceal all wiring, and repair faulty alarms that go off too often. Dogs are good deterrents- even a small, dog with a loud bark. Failing that, even a "Beware of the dog" sign will make burglars think twice before targeting your home.
7. Be smart when you travel A burglar can spot the signs of an unoccupied house, so ask friends or neighbors to collect your mail when you head away. Also ask if a neighbor can park in your driveway, as this will help make your house look occupied. Use timers to switch lights and radios on and off and organize for someone to mow your lawn.