Maybe you have a home alarm, and you and your neighbours look out for each other, but did you know, doors and windows are the most common access points for burglars?
Your home security is only as safe as your weakest spot, and you may be surprised to find out just how many your home has and how easy it is to overcome them. Take a look at these potential weak links, and our suggestions for how you can reinforce them.
1. Sliding-Glass Doors
Sliding-glass doors may be aesthetically beautiful but they can also be a source of security vulnerability. As they are secured by latches, they can be quite easy to force open but you probably didn’t have sliding glass installed to have it obscured by burglar bars.
The good news is that you can reinforce the latch without sacrificing your view of your surrounds, using a charley bar or track blocker. For an added layer of safety, security experts also recommend replacing the standard (read weak) screws in the strike plate. These are usually ¾ inch in size, which can be easy to remove or force open. If the standard screws are smaller than 3-inches, they should be replaced. For optimal security, replace them with 6-inch screws.
If you have older sliding glass doors, they can also just be lifted up out of their tracks to allow someone access. An anti-lift device, locking device or anti-jacking screw can be installed to prevent this from happening.
2. Weak Or Open Windows
Your windows are potential weak spots for burglars to gain access to your home, because the research shows that we’re more likely to leave windows open than doors. And, while you might think that you only need to secure windows on the bottom floor, windows that are higher up can also be accessed from trees, fences and balconies.
Vertical sliding windows and double-hung windows can be secured by inserting pins through the frames. These take a few minutes to insert but deliver a lot of reinforcement. All you have to do is drill two holes in the window frame; one to lock it, and one so you can keep it open slightly for ventilation. Anti-locking devices can also be installed on windows, to stop would-be criminals from lifting them out.
3. Leaving Your House In Darkness
A dark house is tempting for trespassers as it sends the signal out that no one is home. You may not be able to leave work early enough to get home before dark, but you can automate your lighting system to make it look like you are. Make light timers a part of your daily routine so that, whether you are at home, at work, or on vacation, your lights come on consistently every day.
External lighting is also important especially around the entrance to your house. But, it shouldn’t give you a false sense of security during the day, as burglaries can still take place during the daylight hours.
4. Not Having a Home Alarm System
Even criminals practice a degree of risk management when identifying potential residences to break into. And the research shows that homes with a visible security alarm are significantly less likely to be broken into.