Home Security Check Up

The first place to begin toward preventing break-ins of your home is to do a through security check-up of your home to discover where your home is the most defenseless This step-by-step guide, set out in order of risk, could be a good starting place.

The Appearance of Your Home

Burglars look for an easy target. Stand on the curb looking at your home and ask yourself: if your property appears neglected, hidden, or vacated? Do you have a front door or walk that's hidden by overgrown shrubbery provides burglars the ideal cover they need as they break in a door or front window?

Think about trimming those shrub back from windows and front walks, and putting in exterior lighting featuring motion detectors. Minimal motion-activated floodlights are inexpensive at less than $50 apiece, and putting them up is an easy to do yourself if the wiring is already there. Every side of your property should be lighted, not only the front.

Doors: Your First Security

Could your front or back doors be at risk? solid wood, Steel, and impact-resisting fiberglass are all excellent security choices. If you really need glass in or near your doors, make sure the glass is reinforced or tempered for additional strength, and that side windows are aligned where someone can't reach in easily and undo the lock. v Open up your exterior doors to check the striker plates, those metal fittings that receive the bolts and latches. Odds are, that those striker plates are attached to the door jamb's soft wood with only two screws, which is not real good. Better are the four-screw striker plates containing 3-inch screws which go all the way through the jamb and screw into the stud located behind the door jamb. Every exterior door should have a deadbolt that throws a minimum of a 1-inch bolt. Have your locksmith upgrade your locks to Grade 1 or 2 locks and deadbolts, which are the most secure locks.

Back doors or garage doors have the most likelihood of being entered ahead of the front door. If your garage is attached, secure your garage door by disconnecting the automatic door opener and lock the door prior to going away on an extended trip. The door going from the garage to the house should have the identical hardware as all the rest of the exterior doors and always be kept locked.

Patio Doors

It's somewhat simple to lift an older patio door off it's track, even while its locked. Don't try to attempt this on during your inspection, but take the time to look at the doors and their hardware. Replace or repair missing or broken door locks, and think about adding and employing locking pins to keep them from sliding.

Think about the habits of your family: Do the patio doors stay open all summer long? Using the screen door lock doesn't help; it only keeps bugs out, not the thieves. Develop the habit of shutting and locking your patio doors if they're not being used or when you're away from home.


In risk order, the ground-floor or windows of the basement have more likelihood of being entered over second-floor windows. An exception is a second-floor window with a deck or some other type of elevated structure that are easy to reach from the outside your home. Be sure every window is able to be opened, shut, and secured with comparative ease--and then keep them locked. The biggest issue with windows is the fact that homeowners go away and leave them wide open and unlocked.

For additional security, think about installing devices that block the most easily entered windows keeping them from being opened from outside. Wooden dowels in the tracks stop windows that horizontally slide, while steel locking pins (around $7 apiece) inserted into small holes drilled into the frames stop windows from vertically sliding. If you later put in a home security alarm, the professionals will install glass-breaking sensors on your most at risk windows.

Safeguarding your household valuables
Thieves look for easy-to-snatch electronics, jewelry, cash, and other expensive items, though a few are not above going down the block with your plasma TV in hand. Most go straight to the master bedroom, as that's where we're most likely to keep spare cash, jewelry, and even firearms.

Go through every room and ask yourself: Are there items in here I can keep in a safe deposit box? Think about parting with all that old jewelry you no longer wear. A safe in the home, bolted to the basement floor, is a good place for other items. Have you done a video inventory of the other valuable articles in your home? Do you have adequate theft insurance? Be aware that big-ticket articles in your home office, like computers, professional camera gear, or other business tools, may necessitate an additional insurance rider or even a separate policy. And make the steps to necessary back up personal information on your home office computer.

Storage Sheds

Secure the doors and windows of your exterior storage shed, particularly if you keep tools like ladders, screwdrivers, hammers and saws, any of which could be convenient for a burglar. The same as with door to your house, the best device is a strong deadbolt. Hasp devices can easily defeated as someone can place a crowbar in back of the hasp and break it.

Not every storage shed door can accommodate a deadbolt. In that case, go for a heavy-duty slide bolt (around $15-$25) in place of a hasp closure. Using shed deadbolt, a strong steel bolt which slides into a device attached to the frame of the shed door or a into the other shed door. The bolt then rotates down and is locked in place using a padlock. When adding a slide bolt, stay away from screws, which can simply be unscrewed. A better choice is to use nuts and bolts as they're stronger, and the nut performs its intended job from the inside of the shed. Aug 5, 2011 By: Gene Wright

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