Your Home Security Checklist

July 26, 2012 by admin  
Filed under Home Security Solutions

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home-pic-for-website-8-6-08rNo home is totally burglar-proof especially when a professional burglar decides to target your home.  But even the professional will admit that they can be discouraged from breaking into a home when the homeowner has tightened up the perimeter security of the home. 

To begin with identify the weak areas around your home and fix them.  Certainly, installing a good, quality home security system will deter most burglars.  However, building layers of protection for your home, even if you don’t have a security system, is going to make your home much tougher to break into.

One of the first things you should ask yourself about your home is, “if I am locked out of my home, where could I get in without too much difficulty?”  If you think like a burglar, you  will see potential problems with your current security and be able to fix them.  Review the following checklist and see if you have any weak areas that you can quickly fix to ensure your home totally secure and well-protected.

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EXTERIOR DOORS

  1. Should be strong enough to withstand excessive force, be secured with a deadbolt lock that has a minimum one-inch throw, and all strike plates and frames should be anchored to the home’s main construction.  *Deadbolts come in double key cylinder and inside thumb-operated models.  Frames should be free of warping, cracks, and in good repair.
  2. All doors should be locked at night and every time you leave the house – even if it’s just for a few minutes.
  3. Doors should be solid hardwood or metal-clad. 
  4. Doors should have had wide-angle peep-holes at heights that everyone can use.  If you have glass panels in or near doors instead, ensure they are reinforced in some way so that they cannot be shattered.
  5. Spare keys should be left with a trusted neighbor, not under a doormat or planter, or on a ledge.

 *Be extra cautious when using double key cylinder deadbolt locks as they could be hazardous if the  door is used as an emergency fire exit and the key is not readily available.  If used in your home, a key should be left in the inside cylinder whenever the home is occupied

GARAGE DOORS

  1. Most overhead garage doors have a lock so you do not have to rely solely on the automatic door opener to provide security.
  2. Overhead garage doors can be a perfect invitation into your home so keep the door closed when not outside.  Don’t make it easy for a criminal looking for an easy target.
  3. The door leading from the attached garage to the house - service door - should be solid wood or metal-clad and protected with a quality keyed door lock or deadbolt.
  4. Make sure the garage overhead and service doors are closed and  locked when leaving the house or when you’re retiring for the evening.  Develop that security habit of double checking!
  5. When moving into a new home, reset the code in the opener and the remote control units.

SLIDING GLASS DOORS

  1. The sliding glass door should have proper working, strong key locks.
  2. Add a dowel rod into the track of the window or a metal screw placed in the top of the door frame to prevent the door from being lifted from the track and removed.
  3. The best lock for older sliding glass doors is operable by a key from the inside. However, some of the newer sliding doors have solid cylinder locks with one-inch or more kick-lock at the bottom of the door making it extremely difficult to get the door open without breaking the glass.
  4. Common sense says lock your sliding glass door every night and each time you leave the house.  It’s amazing the number of home burglaries through an unlocked door or window.

WINDOWS

  1. Every window in the house should have a proper working lock and an extra metal pin or dowel rod placed in the track to discourage prying open.
  2. On casement windows (crank type), make sure the locking latch works properly and the crank which opens and closes the window has no excessive play.
  3. For casement windows that aren’t normally opened, remove the handle and leave nearby.
  4. Have windows secured with a lock or metal pin if you leave the window open for ventilation.
  5. Basement windows are one of the most common points of entry for burglars.  Remove bushes or trees if they hide the windows as this is an ideal place for burglars to work unobserved.  You could replace windows with Plexiglas or polycarbonate or reinforced with decorative security bars.

OUTDOOR SECURITY

  1. Shrubs and bushes are trimmed so there is no place for someone to hide.
  2. Include outdoor lights so that there are no dark areas around your house, garage, or yard at night that could hide prowlers or a burglar.
  3. Include floodlights appropriately to ensure effective illumination.
  4. Be sure to keep outdoor lights on during the evening – whether someone is home or not.  Or you could install photocell or motion sensor lights that come on when someone approaches.
  5. Ensure your house numbers are posted on your house and clearly visible from the street both night and day should the police or other emergency vehicles need to find your house quickly.

SECURITY WHEN AWAY FROM HOME

  1. Keep timers set to turn lights on and off in a logical sequence when you are away for an extended period of time.
  2. If you have an alarm system, ensure it is activated when you leave home.  If you have someone watching your home who must enter, be sure they have a security code, password, and know how to use the alarm system.
  3. Either stop your mail and newspaper deliveries or make arrangements for a neighbor/friend to pick them up.  A buildup of newspapers is a sure sign to the potential burglar that no one is home.
  4. Let trusted neighbors know you will be gone and leave a phone number where they can reach you if there is a problem at your home.

OUTDOOR VALUABLES AND PERSONAL PROPERTY

  1. Gate latches, garage doors, and shed doors should be locked with high-security, laminated padlocks for the best protection, and kept locked when not in use.
  2. Grills, lawn mowers, and other valuables are stored in a locked garage or shed, or if left out in the open are hidden from view with a tarp and securely locked to a stationary point.
  3. All bikes are secured with a U-bar lock or quality padlock and chain and are always locked even if we leave them for a few minutes.
  4. Firearms are stored unloaded and locked in storage boxes and secured with trigger guard locks.
  5. All valuable items, such as television, stereos, and computers have been inscribed with the identifying number per local police.
  6. Your home inventory of personal property is up-to-date and includes pictures.  A complete inventory is kept somewhere away from your home (in case of fire).

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NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH

Start or join your Neighborhood Watch

This is a crime prevention program that uses people, in cooperation with law enforcement, to reduce crime in their own neighborhoods.  Neighborhood Watch involves neighbors getting to know each other, taking the time to watch out for each other and working together in a program of mutual assistance.

By cooperating with each other and the police, people can help fight crime in their community in the most effective way – before it begins!  Neighborhood Watch can help you substantially reduce residential burglaries and other crimes.  By participating, you will learn:

  • What are effective crime prevention techniques for houses, apartments and neighborhood safety.
  • How you can be a good neighbor by becoming law enforcement’s “eyes and ears” and helping them do their job of investigating and arresting criminals.

The first thing I recommend in a home security plan is to install a good quality security system from a recognized security alarm company.  When you install a good level of protection in your home BEFORE having a breakin, you usually end of spending less money and can still get very good coverage.  Being proactive is the key - don’t wait until you have been a victim of a home burglary or home invasion crime!

Protect your home with ADT.  Get a Free Home Security System - $850 Value - + $99.00 installation and 24/7 ADT monitoring.  Call today for complete details 1-877-388-9242 and be protected tomorrow.   Ask about a $100 Visa Gift Card too.

 

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