Hardening Your Home
We all want our homes to feel inviting to our families and guests, but when it comes to intruders, we want to be a tough and not an easy target. Below is a list of steps we can take to encourage a potential burglar to move along.
- Keep doors and windows locked. Approximately 1/3 of home invasions are through unlocked doors and windows.
- Cut back trees and shrubbery around house. Don’t provide cover for intruders!
- Don’t leave garage door openers in unlocked cars—particularly if your garage is attached. This can easily give a would-be burglar the tools, time and cover to get into your house.
- Don’t advertise. Don’t put expensive items in plain view of front windows or leave garage doors open with belongings in plain sight. If you purchase a big ticket item, don’t put the box out on the curb for all to see—remove photos, flatten wrong side out or take it to the recycling center yourself.
- Provide evidence of your presence. Take in trash cans promptly, move your cars around, collect mail and newspapers daily. Have a friend or family member do this for you while you are away.
- Purchase and cut dowels to put in the tracks of sliding doors and windows.
- Add peepholes to exterior doors that do not have windows. Never open the door unless you know who it is!
- Change or upgrade locks if necessary. Look for “bump-proof” locks. Change your locks if you have recently moved in.
- Plant thorny plants under windows.
- Install gravel around house. This is great for roofline drainage and providing a noise alert if someone is snooping.
- Upgrade hinges and door jambs. This can range from simply installing 3 ½” or longer screws (so you can anchor into the door framing) to purchasing metal door jamb reinforcements.
- A dog. Still one of the best deterrents out there…
- Solid-core exterior doors. A hollow-core door is far too flimsy for exterior use. They are no match for weather or thieves.
- If you are concerned about home security, think twice about the fancy windowed entry doors and sidelights. These are weak points in your entry. If you have them, look into security glass film (this needs to be professionally installed) or consider installing storm or security doors.
- Add storm windows. Many of these are built to withstand projectiles from hurricane-force winds.
- Security system. Too much potential trouble for many thieves.
- Add motion-detecting lights. Most will install into existing light fixtures and will provide you light when you want it most and when potential intruders don’t.
- Install venetian-style blinds on your windows, keep them down and tilt the slats for light. These are a noisy hassle for potential burglars to climb through.