Preventing break-ins by increasing your home security should be part of your daily plan.
Don’t tempt fate: Don’t let your daily activity compromise your home’s security. Take a reserved approach when displaying expensive decorations and personal belongings. Keep a low profile with expensive belonging and collectables, and resist the temptation to show them off to the entire neighborhood. If you can see these valuables from the street, there’s a good chance they could end up on a burglar’s “to get list” this year.
Do not flag down burglars, please: Don’t advertise expensive new purchases to burglars by leaving empty product boxes from your new purchase including computer, large-screen TVs, DVD players, other electronic and easy to pawn items next to your trash pick up. Instead, break down the boxes for recycle and place them in a secure and private area until they can be recycled properly. Conceal these items from tempting local burglars from targeting your home. Better yet, take boxes directly to a recycling center.
Make your home look inhabited year round: Piles of uncollected mail, newspapers and lack of normal outside activities can tip off burglars to an unoccupied home and lead to a break-in. If you are going away for more than a day, think about hiring someone to keep up the outside of the home? Leaving lights on, and rotating the which lights are on or off, can help increase the appearance that someone is home! If you’re traveling for an extended period of time, it’s a good idea to ask a trusted neighbor to help keep up your home’s appearances so it doesn’t have that vacant look about it. Even a small favor such as asking your neighbor to occasionally park their car in your driveway can improve your home security, or have them move your car to a new parking spot once a day.
Stronger doors and heavy deadbolts: Ensure that invited guests are the only ones welcomed through the front door. Make the following entryway improvements throughout your home.
Invest in a heavy duty deadbolt: Doors with handle locks can be broken into easily with minimal effort and a pocket knife or plastic card, like a drivers license. Heavy duty deadbolts, offer more locking security and require hammer force to break through. Each exterior door should have a deadbolt, not just the front and back doors; ALL of the exterior doors. Your home is only as secure as its most vulnerable entry point. Doors and windows are the weakest link in the chain.
The lock you choose is only as strong as the door and the door frame: Most doors are weakest around the lock, and wooden doors are easily broken through. Door reinforcement plates should be installed. These reinforcements can make your door more secure and deter burglars.
Secure the rear of your home: Many homes have sliding patio doors. These glass doors are most often the most vulnerable entryway in a home. Secure the sliding door with a bar that will keep the door from sliding open even a half inch. If your patio door can be lifted out of place, consider replacing the door immediately. Nothing makes a burglar happy than recognizing an old patio door while searching for an easy mark to burglarize. If replacing the doors is not an option, call your handyman (person) and have them create a wedge to fit above the door while you are away or at night. This, with a 2×4 keeping the door from sliding open, will help you sleep at night..
Window security: The most fragile entry in your home are your ground level windows. Windows are many burglars choice of entry. Window security, while your choice, is a must. Be sure not to lock yourself in, but the burglars out.
Keep an eye out for unexpected visitors: Installing a peephole camera in your front door. A wide-angle (200-degree) peephole cameras offers a better view of your entire entryway when guests come knocking at your front door. These cameras run on long life lithium batters and can broadcast wirelessly to your computer and iphones. Know who is at your door with ease from a secure location in your home.
Delay and ideally, deter thieves: You need more than the standard window or patio door latch. Because you may need to exit through locked windows and doors yourself in an emergency, keep the key near the lock, but hidden from outside view. When possible, buy all latches from the same manufacturer so that the keys will be interchangeable. If local fire code permits it, further improve security by replacing single glazing with polycarbonate or wire-embedded glass. In some cases, you may even want to install security shutters, a grill, or a security gate. For more information please visit http://www.homedepot.com
Sash locks are common on most windows. Reinforce them on wooden windows by drilling a hole from the front to back where the top and bottom windows overlap on both sides of the window, slip a long nail into the holes. Do not to drill the glass, or through the rear window to the outside. Hire a handyman to do this for you if you feel you need assistance. The nails will stop the windows from sliding, you will be able to remove the nail and open the window from the inside, while storing the nail in the open window. This will allow you to use the window for normal reasons, and in case you need to use it for an emergency.
Security bars prevent intruder access even when the window is unlocked or the glass is broken. Bars should be used on ground-level windows situated in low-traffic areas that make a convenient and inconspicuous entrance for intruders. Security bars must be fitted with quick-release mechanisms on the inside of the house out of site and reach of the window through the bars. This will allow someone in the home to get out easily in case of an emergency such as a fire
Turn on and off the light: Having a secure home is not just about the locks and protective measures to keep burglars out of the home. Make your home appear active and lived in, providing a poor target for burglary.
Light the exterior of your home: Debatably, lighting the exterior areas of your home on all sides and in low traffic areas can dissuade possible burglars from targeting your home. If they can easily be seen while working their way into your home at night, they might not target your home. Motion-detector spotlights can be an effective ways to do this. Keep those night time burglars moving by putting a light on them.
For those homes in densely populated area, work with your neighbors to share lighting responsibilities. Take care not to point light directly at your neighbors’ bedroom windows, unless they want you to. The neighbors spotlight turning on can be more dissuading to a burglar than a light coming from a home they believe to be unoccupied. (oh my the neighbor sees us, run!)
Home Activity: An illusion of activity in your home will also dissuade prospective burglars. Install timer switches on lights in many living areas. Use at least one timer per living area, the kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms are great areas to turn lights on and off, even randomly. Setting a timer to keep the light on from about 9 pm until 1 or 2 in the morning might seem like a good idea, but keep in mind your regular habits. Maybe program the lights to be active while you are home. It would be nice if the light were programmed for everyday use. No more light switching for you when you are home or away. Active interior lights imply that you are home and that your home is not a good target to burglarize.
Landscape to keep them out: Landscaping can provide useful cover for intruders planning to burglarize your home. Landscaping can also prevent burglars from easily accessing ground level windows. Rose bushes are excellent deterants, a trellis can allow you to train a climbing rose along the window’s edge. The pyracantha is a very good landscape plant that not only boasts great holiday color but it displays sharp barbed leaves. Extremely long, sharp thorns can be found on the Washington hawthorn (Crataegus phaenopyrum), which reaches a height of 30 to 40 feet at maturity in a rounded to oval shape. The thorns measure up to three inches long. This defensive tree also displays splendid fall color and colorful red berries that hang on all winter.
Inexpensive home security systems: Affordable home alarm systems are more widely available and more effective today than ever. Advancements in technology have helped make it easier to know when your home has an intruder. Home security systems can protect your home from fire, carbon monoxide, air conditioner theft and some include sensors that monitor the temperature to prevent freeze damage. Most home security systems connect to the company’s central monitoring station. When the alarm is activated, the station can alert you, your listed contacts, even police or fire officials of a potential issue at home.
Arkansas UCR Crime Statistics prepared by the: The Disaster Center
The National Crime Prevention Council recommends that homeowners improve home security to protect their homes from break-ins.