5 Areas of Your Home That Should Be More Secure
No matter where you live or how many people live in your home, security is always a concern. You want your home and family to be well protected from intruders. The only way to effectively protect your home, however, is to know where your areas of weakness are and what intruders are looking for.
According to A Secure Life, here’s what you need to know:
- 65 percent of burglaries happen while you’re at work.
- The master bedroom is the first room targeted.
- 34 percent of burglars enter through the front door; the second most popular entry points are a first-floor window or back door.
- The most commonly stolen items are cash, electronics, gold, guns, jewelry and silver.
Instead of fearing the worst whenever you leave your house, use these details to better secure your home.
The Front Door
There are a variety of ways that intruders can get in through your front door, starting with finding that hidden key and simply kicking down the door with brute force. As such, there are several easy ways you can reinforce this entry point.
Start by getting rid of your spare key, or better yet, finding a better hiding place. Fake rocks and other gadgets that claim to store your key safely outside are well-known to most experienced intruders, along with common hiding places like under the mat or above the door frame.
Instead, there are two security measures to take:
- Go digital, with a new keyless entry, or give a spare to your neighbor.
- Evaluate how easily your door could be kicked in as well. Front doors should always have a deadbolt and a reinforced kick plate.
You may even consider upgrading to a newer door. Check out Consumer Report’s buying guide to find the most secure options.
Finally, consider installing a door alarm. If someone enters your home, an audible noise is made, potentially deterring the burglar, and a notification is sent to your phone so you can immediately take action. Door alarms come with most basic security systems or can be purchased separately.
The First Floor Windows
There are a number of ways to reduce the chance of break-ins with simple window upgrades. Start with curtains, which keep burglars from seeing what’s inside, which can be motivation for them to break-in. If they see two laptops, a flat screen T.V. and no car in the garage—you’ll become an immediate target.
Also, consider upgrading your current windows with reinforced glass, like polycarbonate or Plexiglass. Both materials are significantly stronger and more resistant to breakage than glass windows, according to Safety.com.
As a supportive line of defense, you can also install window alarms that work the same as a door alarm. You receive a notification and an alarm sounds if the windows are broken or opened from the outside.
Backdoors, garage entry doors, the sliding glass door that goes onto the patio—these are all commonly overlooked entry points into your home. If a burglar can easily gain entry through one of these secondary doors, they will. Sliding patio doors are especially vulnerable according to Ackerman Security:
- They’re often unlocked.
- They make it easy to see inside.
- They’re made of glass, making forced entry easier.
- The locks are traditionally easily picked.
- They’re in your backyard, where burglars are less likely to be seen by neighbors.
To secure this area of your home, use a variety of the security measures already recommended:
- Reinforce the locks you currently use or upgrade to keyless entry.
- Hang slider blinds and close them when you’re not home.
- Install door alarms.
The garage tends to be one of the most overlooked areas when assessing possible security weaknesses. Yet it can be one of the easiest areas for intruders to enter through:
“Burglars often aim for this area because most homeowners rely too much on their garage door, forgetting — and completely neglecting — to lock their inner doors,” according to this garage safekeeping guide.
To secure this area, the guide suggests: “Aside from making sure your garage door is sturdy, a garage door monitor is a more convenient tool to use to check whether your door has been thoroughly closed. Some even have features that enable you to connect to a smartphone.”
If you leave home and get that familiar feeling, “Did I leave the garage door unlocked?” you can check the video feed. If it’s open, call a neighbor or nearby friend, or head back to close it yourself.
While shrubs and trees make your yard look nice, they also double as hiding spots for burglars. You don’t have to get rid of your favorite greenery, but you may want to boost security with these tips:
- Plant shrubs with thorns.
- Maintain lawn maintenance throughout the year to ensure overgrown greenery doesn’t look like an appealing hiding place for thieves.
- Install LED or other lights to light areas near greenery. At night, thieves will be more attracted to dark or dimly lit spaces.
- Keep entryways visible.
Use these tips to keep your home safe and secure when you’re there and when you’re not. With a few small changes, you’ll leave your home in the morning and go to bed at night with a greater peace of mind.