Improving the Security of Your Home - Anthony's Library and Resources

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Monday, 30 October 2017

Improving the Security of Your Home

It has been reported that a burglary now happens every 15 seconds.  As such, the chances of your own home actually being at risk from a break-in are greatly increased, and it does not matter where you live.  When people think of a break-in, they think of someone gaining entry into their home through breaking some glass or smashing down doors. Yet there are certain things which could actually extend an invitation to those intruders to make an attempt at getting into your home.

There are many places which are vulnerable to attack by an intruder to your home, and therefore you must set up a routine which will provide them with less opportunities of attempting to break in.  Below are some of the weak areas in your home security routine which could help to prevent any kind of break-in from occurring.

1.   Keys
You may think it is a great idea, but lending keys to family and friends, as well as those people who carry out work in your home, greatly increases the chances of your keys being placed in the wrong hands.  Although the people you leave the key with might be completely trustworthy, you cannot control where the keys are once they are out of your hands, and the chances of their being duplicated are greatly increased.  So, it is important that you think deeply about whom you are leaving your keys with.  Also, never place your keys in those “secret” places outside the home, as a smart burglar may know exactly where to look for them.

2.   Locks
Those doors which have handle locks are very easy for a burglar to get into, as all he requires is a plastic credit card.  Therefore it is best if you install good quality deadbolts to all entry points (doors) into your home.

3.   Doorways
Although you may have installed a very good lock to your front or back door, they are only as effective as the actual strength of the door itself.  Unfortunately, the weakest area around any door is where the lock is located, and this is especially true for wooden doors.

4.   Sliding Patio Doors
These security doors have several distinct disadvantages to them when compared to other doors.  The main reason is that they come with much less sophisticated locks on them.  There are even some much older models which, unfortunately, can be easily lifted off the tracks that they run on and provide any intruder with a way of gaining easy access to a home.

5.   Windows
Windows which are left open and unattended not only provide intruders with access, but they allow them to quickly view what is available to them.

6.   Gardens
Both shrubbery and trees provide a way of allowing intruders to gain access to your property. Not only do they provide ideal coverage, but can also provide them with ways to gain access to your home easily and quickly.

Steps to Help Improve Your Home Security
Most people, when they consider improving the security to their home, will immediately think about getting an alarm or security system installed.  Although they do play a major role in helping to ensure that an intruder is less likely to try to gain access to your home, there are some other things that you can do which take very little effort, and do not cost too much to implement. 

    1.   The Keys
If you are someone who likes to leave a key for their home hidden under, say the doormat or above the door on top of the frame, then you really are inviting someone to take their chances and break in.  In fact, the first thing any burglar will do is look close to the home to see whether a key has been left, and so gain entry to a person’s home very quickly and without causing too much disturbance. Therefore, it really is not a good idea to leave your key hidden outside your home.  However, if you do need to, then hide it in a position that is some distance from your home, and in a location where you think an intruder is unlikely to look for it. 

2.   The Windows
The easiest and most common way that many burglars or intruders gain access to homes today is through a window, which has either been left unlocked or open.  So, if you are someone who is likely to have their windows open, then fit safety locks which will allow them to open part way, but not enough so that an intruder can actually climb through it.  Plus, when you do actually leave your home for any length of time, ensure that all windows have been shut and that they are locked.

3.   The Garden
Every house you drive past will often have some kind of shrubbery or trees which can be found quite close to the property.  These provide any would-be intruder or burglar with places where they can hide away from prying eyes until such time as they feel comfortable and are unlikely to be seen by others as they try to gain entry into your home.  Therefore, take some time and look at your garden very closely and see which shrubs and/or trees you have in your home that can act as camouflage for these would-be intruders. 

So it is extremely important that you eliminate any potential hiding places or ways for them to gain access to your property without being seen.  Any trees that are close to your home should be well pruned and cut back to ensure that there are no branches within easy reach to areas of the upper floors of your home.  Keep all bushes and shrubs at a level that there is no chance for a would-be intruder to be able to hide behind them or in them.  Certainly, prevention is the best way of ensuring that your home remains safe at all times.

If you really feel it’s necessary to have shrubs or bushes near your house, try to find those with thorns. Few burglars are willing to risk their personal health (not to mention the kind of evidence this would leave behind) when there are easier houses to go for.

4.   Lighting
Most break-ins to homes occur during the night, as the darkness helps to conceal the intruders from prying eyes.  Therefore, having lights installed are an ideal deterrent to any would-be intruder.  A great way of preventing and helping to deter would-be intruders is by installing some motion detection lights.  These are very cheap, as well as being easy to install, and in a matter of hours, you could soon have a very effective way of helping to prevent a break-in from occurring.

5.   Keep your Possessions out of Sight
It is best if you try to attract as little attention as possible to what you actually have in your home.  So if you happen to have a nice car, and you do own a garage, make sure you put it in there each night.  Unfortunately, a lot of burglars or intruders who see a home with a nice car parked outside are more likely to take chances and move in closer to see what else is on view for them to possibly take.  Also, invest in getting some kind of coverings over your windows so that it makes it much harder for the would-be burglar or intruder to see what you have inside.  Plus, when at home in the evenings, make sure as soon as it starts to get dark, you close your curtains or shades, as this provides them with less opportunity to actually see what is on show in your home. 

Ways to Prevent a Break-in to Your Home
A lot of people today think that they are unlikely to be a victim of an intruder gaining access to their home. Unfortunately, as far as burglars and intruders are concerned, they don’t care whether you are a law abiding citizen; all they are looking for is a home where they can easily gain access to and take whatever they like. 

Therefore, if you are worried that your home is likely to be the next target of a break-in, there are some steps you can take to help ensure that this does not occur.  Although these tips will help to prevent a break-in from occurring, they will not actually stop the most determined of burglars from gaining access to your home if they really want to.

1.   The Doors
Instead of fitting traditional deadbolts to your doors, now install ones which are much longer in length.  This will make it more difficult for any burglar to break them down.  Also if you can, renew the main doors of entry into your home with ones which are much sturdier.  If you want wooden ones, there are some which you can now purchase that come with reinforcements within them. As for patio doors, if you can, a very quick and simple way of helping to prevent a burglar gaining access through these is using a sawn-off broom handle or a metal pole.  The only way a burglar would actually now be able to gain access to your home through these doors is by smashing them.  This they won’t do, as it is too much noise and is likely to alert neighbors to what is happening.  You could also use this method on windows which slide open.

2.   Pets
Probably a very cost effective way of providing a deterrent to your home is having a pet that is noisy, especially when people get very close to your property.  Often, a dog barking will generally prevent any would-be burglar from trying to gain access to your home, whether you are in or not.

When it comes to making your home secure, at the end of the day, it comes down to your using your common sense.  Look closely at those areas of your home which you feel are most vulnerable, and increase the amount of security that you have on them.  But whatever type of security improvements you decide to make to your home, you must remember to keep them within the requirements of the law, as you do not want to find yourself faced with a law suit after a would-be burglar has been injured after trying to gain access to your home, and you have used something which can be construed as a weapon to prevent them from doing so.

Lights Are a Good Deterrent
One of the best deterrents a person can install in order to help improve security on their home is lights.  You have the choice of either mounting floodlights, or spotlights at each corner of your home, which will flood the walls of the property and provide no shadow or area where a burglar can sit or stand undetected. 

These can either be single or double models, but generally most security consultants will suggest that you have the double versions installed. 

Again, as with the spotlights, these come in single and double models, and again it is recommended that if you are going to install floodlights, you install those which have a double floodlight on them. This type of light actually provides more light around a property than a spotlight, as spotlights are directed towards a particular area.

But whatever kind of light you decide to install outside your home, it is best that you place them high enough so that the burglar cannot gain access to them easily.  Generally, spotlights are mounted around about half way up the sides of a home, while a floodlight can be mounted much higher up and at the end of the house.

When installing your lights, you should mount them at the corners, or ends, of your home, and should be placed in such a way that they illuminate the various areas of your garden where a burglar is likely to hide.  So aim them towards bushes, walls, screens and trees.  Also, mount the lights in those locations around your home which you feel are going to provide any would-be burglar with a place they can hide.  Say, for example, your garage is separate from your home, and there is a walk way in between, make sure to mount one to illuminate this space. Also, if you have any form of shed or gazebo in your garden, arrange to have a light mounted that is directed towards this area.

Installing good quality lighting to the outside of your home is one of the most inexpensive, yet very effective ways, of helping to reduce the chances of a break-in occurring in your home.  However, it is important that any time any of the bulbs burn out, they should be replaced immediately, or else your lighting will become completely ineffective in helping to prevent a break-in.

There are also do-it-yourself home security solutions you can implement to secure your home.  Check them out here

To learn more about how to secure your home, get a copy of Home Security Exposed.

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