By Jerry Clifford
Interested in protecting your home, which is your biggest investment?
Let’s start with the doors. If you have an ordinary deadbolt lock, consider how easy it would be for a burglar to force open your door. They don’t need to pick the lock. Enough force will snap either the door or door frame, making entry all too easy. To prevent this, choose a lock system that has a large plate on the door. On the door frame side, ensure that screws extend at least one inch into the wall stud. If there is a gap between the frame and the wall stud, insert a strip of hardwood to strengthen the connection. The more metal holding onto the door and door frame, the harder it will be to crack. Remember to install sturdy locks on all the doors, not just the main entry.
To further protect doors, check for exposed hinges. If these could be unscrewed by a burglar, see about installing pins or locking screws. If you have patio doors, have a bar installed to prevent the doors from being slipped off their tracks. You can also install a pin on the bottom track to hold these doors in place to help to protect your home.
If doors have windows on them, a burglar can easily break the glass and then reach in to open the lock from the inside. An acquaintance recently had the horrific experience of coming home to discover a burglary exacerbated by the mess of the thief’s blood all over her home. It was of little conciliation that this blood trail is also what ultimately caught the thief. She could have been spared the grief and mess had she had the door’s window double glazed, or treated with a burglar-proof glaze that makes them extremely hard to break.
If you must leave a window open while you are away, consider installing a pin so that it is locked in place, and obviously not open enough for anyone to climb, or even reach, through. Be aware of basement windows, which are often low to the ground and therefore easy to access, yet are in a part of your home you may overlook.
If you have dog or cat doors, or old firewood boxes, be sure they are either too small for even a child to enter them, or are fastened with a padlock.
While a fence and lots of shrubbery may make your home feel protected, it is just that type of protection that actually attracts burglars. They can break into your home unseen by neighbors or passersby. Consider pruning back shrubbery, especially if it blocks the view from the street. Also, invest in a motion sensor, and hook up strategically placed outdoor lights to it. These are great because they are like a spotlight on an unsuspecting prowler.
Another way to protect your valuables is to clearly mark them with an identification number. Your drivers license will do. Make sure the number is written in indelible ink, or scratched into the surface, and in a highly visible location. After all, those numbers on the front won’t affect how well your stereo plays, but it sure will make its resale value go down. To discourage thieves, place signs at some of the main entryways outside your home, stating that valuables are so marked.
Contact the experts at Godby Safe & Lock to find out more on home security options and solutions.