A Brief Guide to the Many Layers of Home Security Available to Protect Your Family
Imagine walking in your front door to find that several objects are out of place. You continue walking into your home to see that a few cabinets are left open in the kitchen. Your tablet, which was on the kitchen table, is gone. Feeling slightly unnerved you walk down the hallway, turning lights on as you go, and enter your bedroom. It has been turned upside down. A chill runs down your spine as you realize that someone else has been in your home and burglarized it.
This is a scene that’s all too common. Burglaries of residential properties account for 72% of all burglaries, according to statistics released by the FBI in 2009. The likelihood that your property might be burglarized increases if you are a renter.
If you currently do not have a home security system or are considering upgrades to your current one, continue reading to learn about the layers of home security that are available to keep you and your loved ones safe.
Start With Your Home’s Interior
Good home security really starts inside the home. There are certain visual qualities and cues that will make or break a burglar’s decision to enter your home. For instance, at night having lights and other electronics on timers can help create the illusion that you are home, even if you are not. Staggering the times makes it even more difficult for a would-be burglar to decipher whether or not someone is at home.
Placing obstructions underneath windows is another way to improve your home’s security. If there is a plant or piece of furniture below the window, it will be that much more challenging for a burglar to enter your home – and it increases their chances of personal injury. Heavy drapes are an added deterrent as well, because when they are closed it is not easy to peek through the windows.
Finally, installing a home security system or alarm will provide you with added peace of mind that your home is being looked after even when you are not there. If you don’t currently have a home security system, begin by researching products on the market such as Protect America’s line of home security systems. Reading Protect America reviews and reviews of other products will give you key insights as to their value.
Building a Safe Room
Going a step further in improving your home’s interior security, building a safe room is an option that will provide you and your family with security from several dangerous situations including a home invasion. If you choose to build one in your home, this is also a good place to keep your safe and other valuables. Also be sure to have a flashlight, cellphone and charger in the room at all times.
The Benefits of Locks
Moving beyond the home’s interior, making upgrades to your locks, windows and doors is an additional layer of home security. Doors, especially the front door, should be solid and reinforced with multiple locks. The front door is most commonly how a burglar will first attempt to enter a home and if the material is weak, you might as well leave it unlocked for them.
Quality door and window locks can also make a big difference to your home security. Locks that wedge or bolt are best for sliding doors and double hung windows. Also consider reinforcing the strike plate on the front door. Strike plates, which are generally secured by two wood screws about half an inch long, pull easily from the jamb. You can improve your security by replacing your strike plate with a sturdy brass strike plate that uses up to six screws.
Most garage doors are wired to an electric system that automatically opens them. It is worthwhile to invest an additional lock for your garage door to secure it from the inside. This will ensure that anyone with a universal remote will not be able to enter.
Exterior Improvements That Can Make a Difference
As was mentioned earlier, how your house appears from the street can make a difference as to whether or not it is targeted for a burglary. Start by placing home security system warning signs outside of your house. Place one near the front door and another by the street. These alone can have a great deterring quality.
Next, make sure that your outdoor lights are all working properly and install a few security lights. Places these so that they are facing the darker areas of your property – for instance, an opening to a back alley. Having a gravel driveway or walkway can also serve as a notification that there is suspicious activity happening around your property. The potential burglar won’t want to take a chance of being heard if they have to walk over gravel.
Windows, while providing beautiful natural light, are also a common point of entry into a home. Setting prickly plants underneath them will make accessing the windows a more challenging and painful experience.
Securing the Property’s Perimeter
There are also a few considerations for around the edges of your property to complete your home security measures. Installing a low fence or other barrier is a good place to start. Like the lights around your house, streetlights also make it more challenging for would-be criminals to case a property for fear of being spotted. Ensure that the streetlights around your property are all working. If they are not, call your local municipality to inform them that streetlights are out in your neighborhood.
Knowing your neighbors might not be as common as it was 50 years ago, but it is a good precaution to take. If you feel that they are trustworthy, consider forming a neighborhood watch group with them as a part of a larger scale effort to improve the community’s security.
While home security can seem like a daunting task when you consider the layers involved, it is the most worthwhile home improvement activity you can undertake this year. Your home is filled with memories and is a place of safety and serenity. Maintain those feelings for years to come by protecting your home and your loved ones today.