If your reading this, then I assume with all of the home invasions, burglaries, robberies on the news you are a parent wanting to ensure a SAFE Family and Home Security. These tips will be affordable (cheap), easy and will provide you with a bit of relief knowing that you are aware of your surroundings. So let’s dive in….
My Disclaimer: I am not a security expert, but more of an enthusiast. I do not know of a way to 100% secure your home. I do not know of a way to guarantee your families safety & security. I do not want to give you any false or misrepresented beliefs of your home security. This information is just that, informative opinions of what I have learned over the years. (blah, blah, blah….)
OK, first and foremost know that being aware of your surroundings, your home, your yard and neighborhood is half the battle. Most thieves, burglars will not want to be seen. They will want to find an entrance/access point into your home from cover, like the backyard. So lets start with your sliding glass door, one of the easiest ways into your home.
1.) Securing your Sliding Glass Door – I have witnessed and actually tested how easy it is to gain access with just a heavy screwdriver or crowbar which will allow a suspect to unlatch the cheap locking mechanism that comes with almost all sliding doors. It is similar to lifting a window out of its frame, same concept but on a larger scale. The 2 options I like are a simple Pin Lock (under $10.) and easy to install, by drilling small hole through frame of slider on both ends. My other favorite is the Double Bolt Lock (under $35.) which secures the sliding door so well that the only way to breach it is by breaking it, which most thieves want to avoid. (both items are shown in image below)
2.) Outdoor Perimeter Lighting – A well lit exterior is a great deterrent. I truly believe in having motion lights installed, but I do not mean in replacement of your typical porch light. I can walk up and unscrew a light bulb at the location of most porch lights. Though if that is the only place you can add the motion light, then that is the only place. I would prefer to see the lights higher up on the wall out of reach of suspects. Yes, the price to have an electrician wire and/or install can run you close to $100 in some cases but in my opinion it is worth it. The motion sensor can be aimed downward so that it only activates along even the most narrow path you outline. I am liking the LED motion lights more and more. Pricier, but a set and forget unit that is dependable (usually guaranteed), with an automated or manual dawn to dusk setting. My choice currently is this LED Motion Light that I actually loved that I purchased at Costco. Super Bright 2000 lumen but very easy on the electric bill at only 25 watts due to the super efficient LED. Now any motion light will work, and there are less expensive variations. (see image below)
3.) Front & Garage Door Reinforcement – A common misconception is that of a secure front or garage door. The word security door gives most people a false sense of security. I have kicked in standard front security doors during training exercises in my youth with ease, no matter if they had one or two dead bolts. The reason for this is a very weak door jamb, and how the strike plate is secured. You can easily reinforce this by removing the typical 1/2″ screws that came with the door set on the strike plate, and install some new heavy duty 3-3 1/2″ screws. This will make it much, much harder to kick in the door. You can even take it up a notch by searching for numerous door jam reinforcement kits that are very inexpensive. When a door is kicked in or breached, it is generally the door jamb the gives out… not the door itself. (see image below)
4.) Window Security – So this one is a bit more difficult as I have not found what I consider adequate window security, other than a deterrent. I have always loved the old school Death Wish – Charles Bronson and his way of easy, cheap and especially effective window security for your home. Though my wife will have me sleeping in the garage if I tried that, not to mention it is not the safest thing for small children, HA!
(FYI – Video is a bit yucky for those sensitive eyes)
Suspects do know what alarm systems look like and are very familiar with most models. They especially know if there is a Glass Break Detector just by looking in your window. They do not like Glass Break Detectors as just the sound of the glass breaking will set it off on most models. If you do not own a home alarm system you can purchase some fake looking glass break detectors for your windows that will be very inexpensive. Otherwise, the typical bar in the window, and many hundreds of small window locking mechanisms will work as a deterrent as well.
5.) Having a Family Plan – This is by far the most important. If the day ever came that someone actually tried to break into your home the last thing you want to do is PANIC! Have a plan for your family that they KNOW. Make it simple the less thought the better, we want reaction and movement, not paralytic fear. Do you have a safe room where the kids and spouse can secure/barricade themselves with a phone to call police? Have a plan!!!!
Here are a few things you might not know and something to ponder:
- Make sure after the house cleaner, the plumber, the carpet cleaner, delivery guy and the contractor is gone to check ALL doors and windows….Think about how easy it is for someone to unlock a window while using your bathroom. Oh Yes, it can be someone you’ve seen before.
- Don’t ever let newspapers pile up on the driveway or porch, clear cut sign your away. Those pesky flyers that are slid into the crack of your door is a great timing instrument to see how long it goes unattended and gives a suspect the ability to get close to your home to peek in those windows.
- A beautiful well maintained landscape is a hint that you have nice things $$$.
- Leaving a TV on while you are away is a good deterrent. At night the light will be seen as if someone is home.
- Please, Please don’t Facebook or Tweet about your vacation until you are back home. Easy giveaway/invite. So many friends over the years have asked me to check out their teen childs facebook page and I ALWAYS know when they are at practice, who their closest friends are which easily tells me where, when, what, why…. I find out some of the most revealing info off of Facebook through simple images I know the kids school, classroom schedules, I mean just about everything. As a parent it is your RIGHT & RESPONSIBILITY to ensure your childs safety. Just do it, make sure their social sights are secure, have the talks, be the nagging pest….You will sleep better at night!
- Don’t leave your garage door open then go in the house and get sidetracked….Unless your giving your stuff away, like your remote garage door openers, extra keys, tools, etc.
- Keeps bushes, trees and shrubs around your house trimmed as suspects love a place to hide.
- Talk to your neighbors, let them know when something fishy is going on outside. Those extra eyes on the neighborhood provides safety in numbers.
- Lastly, keep your car keys beside the bed. Yup, I said beside the bed. A panic button on your car alarm will attract attention and neighbors.
OK today I will not get into firearms for home protecting and all of the other deeper stuff, but hopefully I gave you a few easy inexpensive solutions to make sure your home and family (especially those kids) are a bit more secure. Thank you!