If there's one place you should always feel safe, it's your own home.
Yet a home break-in occurs every 15 seconds in the US. The best thing homeowners can do to protect themselves is to identify and resolve the weak points in their home.
Below, we're taking a look at how to protect the points of entry into your home.
If you have a garage that connects directly to your house with an interior door, then you also have a popular target for thieves.
The door leading into your house will often lack the security features of a true external door. Homeowners also tend to replace their external garage doors infrequently, which means many use older locking systems or have locks succumbing to age.
Ensure your garage door is a modern system with sturdy locks. And treat your interior door the same as you would the main doors to your house.
You should also be aware that many burglars won't carry tools on them - so they'll use your garage to supply themselves. Keep any useful tools in locked containers to give would-be burglars a hard time.
If you have garage windows, ensure they're frosted to discourage thieves from peering in. With a view into the garage, they can scope out your car, your tools, and your internal security.
Many of us like to get some fresh air whether during the day or at night. But your open windows could leave you vulnerable to intrusion.
Burglars are often opportunists. When they're figuring out how to break into a house, many don't look for the noisy break-in that will draw attention. Instead, they'll look for vulnerable homes they can access quietly.
Ensure you close your windows when you're not around to mind them. Even in broad daylight, you could be providing a literal window of opportunity to a burglar. Many home robberies occur during the day while homeowners are either away or busy in the backyard.
Even if you keep a close watch on open windows, you should also ensure they're as strong as you can afford. Double-glazed windows with sturdy locks will help convince a burglar that your home is more trouble than it's worth.
There are still some idyllic pockets in the world where people don't lock their doors. The sad truth is that those people will likely change their habits when something finally occurs.
Much like in the animal kingdom, a niche is a space for the enterprising individual to thrive. A "safe" area is just a fat and soft target waiting for attention.
Leaving your doors unlocked is an unnecessary risk for very little reward. The minor inconvenience of unlocking your door to head outside is worth the comfort of knowing you won't suffer an avoidable home invasion.
Some doors have both automatic, Yale-style locks and deadbolts. You should ensure both are secure. A criminal can often defeat a Yale lock by removing a window, whereas the deadbolt requires a key or more sophisticated techniques to open.
Your Sliding Doors
Sliding doors are often a weak point of entry into your home.
Like garage doors, many sliding doors are old, thanks to the expense involved in replacing them. And many older models have weak locks compared to those on standard front and backdoors.
Take a look at your sliding doors and make sure they meet modern security standards. Fitting your sliding doors with alert systems can also be helpful. They're not usually your main access to the home, so having an extra alarm in place shouldn't cause too much additional inconvenience.
As with your windows, multiple glazing layers will help slow down or deter an attempt to break through the glass.
Your Old Locks
By this point, most of us know the role updates play in tackling cybersecurity issues. But it may surprise you to know that the same applies to more traditional security.
The same arms race occurs with the traditional lock and key, as new systems emerge to replace those with known vulnerabilities. And as a lock ages, it also becomes less secure.
If your locks are of an old design or worn out, it may be time for an update. Get a locksmith in to ensure your locks are doing their job to modern security standards. The older a lock is, the longer criminals have had to develop and share their knowledge about breaking it.
Your Hidden Key
If you're still the type to stow a key outside your property for emergencies, then it's time to drop that habit now.
Perhaps you have the most advanced security system in the world. It's all for nothing if you're providing intruders ready access to your home.
And no matter how smart you think you've been with your choice of hiding place, many burglars have seen it all before.
Even if you've chosen a good spot, simply observing your habits could give it away quite quickly. Most people aren't very imaginative. The cliche of the key under the welcome mat or the potted plant is an everyday reality.
Limiting the range of access to your property can help you direct activity toward your secured points of entry.
Fencing in your home reduces its appeal to burglars. Accessing your home will become more conspicuous, as will removing items. It'll also become harder to carry items to a waiting vehicle if there are fences and locked gates standing in the way.
There's a lot of psychology involved in the deterrence of crime. Fences provide both a physical and psychological barrier to crime, so they'll add yet another item to the list of things that make your home less appealing to criminals.
Securing The Points of Entry in Your Home
While you can never 100% secure your home, making some small alterations could greatly reduce the chance you'll suffer a burglary. Use these tips to secure the points of entry in your home, and you'll sleep a little more soundly at night.
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