The first step to securing your home is to make it more difficult for uninvited guests to enter. Burglars look for homes that are fast and easy to access. Therefore, the more effort or skill required to break in, or the more noise likely to be made, the less likely a burglar will even bother to try. Use alarm system signs and/or decals on your exterior doors. By incorporating some quick and easy security tips, you can help deter any home invader.
Lock Bumping & Pick-Resistant Locks
Re- key your home when moving in. You have no way of knowing who has keys for the old locks! This includes all exterior doors, garages/storage units and gates. The code to the garage door opener should be changed as well. Be sure to use high quality, grade 1 or 2 locks on exterior doors with a 1 inch throw bolt. They may be more expensive, but in the long run, the investment is far less than the cost of the average break in. These locks are resistant to twisting, prying, and lock picking attempts. Good quality deadbolts will have beveled casings that inhibit the use of channel-lock pliers, that are used to shear off lock cylinder pins. Good door knobs have a “dead latch” mechanism that prevents entry with a shim or credit card.
Use Solid, Reinforced Doors at Entry Points to Home
Experienced burglars know that the garage and back doors are usually the easiest points of entry, and typically provide the most cover. The most common way used to force entry through a door with a wooden jam is to simply kick it open. The weakest point in a door is almost always the lock strike plate that holds the bolt or door latch in place. Most strike plates are only screwed into the soft wood door jamb molding. To prevent this use a solid core or metal door for all entrance points. Preferable with a a wide-angle 160° peephole mounted no higher than 58 inches. While replacing or re-keying locks upgrade to a four-screw, heavy-duty, high security strike plates for both the dead bolt and the door latch. Install it with 3- inch wood screws so that it is secured into the door frame stud. It is also a good idea to use at least one long screw in each door hinge as well. These small steps can deter or prevent most forced entries through a door.
If any of your entry doors have glass in them, make sure that it is “shatter resistant” Any locks within reach from windows should be keyed on both sides to prevent a burglar from breaking the window, and simply reaching in and unlocking the door. Make sure that all patio and sliding glass doors are installed correctly, and leverage your patio track so that the door can not be lifted up and/or removed from the track. This can be done by simply inserting screws into the top track. It is also a good idea to install and use patio door bars. To be most effective these should be installed to both the door and the door frames.
Don’t leave valuables, keys, personal information or garage door openers inside vehicles, even if they are stored inside a garage, and last but not least LOCK YOUR DOORS at all times. In addition, make sure you have a good home alarm system installed in your home for a second layer of protection.