Statistics show that the average burglary happens with a crook breaking into a home in about a minute and they’re usually gone in under ten minutes. While it’s common to imagine thieves rummaging around the house looking for the most prized possessions, typically that isn’t the case at all. In most cases, the thief is in and out within a few short minutes, grabbing the first valuable items they see before fleeing.
To protect yourself, your family, and your valuables, you’ll want to take necessary precautions and safety measures. Here are a few simple and effective ways to protect your home by safeguarding common entry points.
Would you believe that almost 35% of all burglaries happen with the thief walking right through the front door? Most times we imagine burglars stealthily canvassing the area to learn the lay of the land prior to breaking into a home but most times that isn’t quite the case. Many times it’s simply a matter of a bad guy taking advantage of a situation, such as seeing a front door open or ajar.
You can significantly reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim simply by making sure the front door is locked. It sounds obvious but many victims report forgetting to lock the front door or the simple lock they had wasn’t sturdy enough to stop the burglar from breaking into the home. Experts suggest that the locking bolt should extend at least one inch into the doorframe, anything less than that and the door could be easily kicked in by would-be intruders.
Of course, home security systems are always a safe bet as they will inform you if anyone has opened the front door, or triggered any other entry point, while the system is set.
After making sure that your deadbolt is sturdy enough for the front door, go around and check the back door and make sure the locking mechanism is sturdy and passes the one-inch test. Back doors can be prime targets for lurkers because they typically aren’t visible from the street or within eyesight of neighbors, meaning they could allow for easy entry.
Patio Doors / Sliding Glass Doors
If you have any patio doors or sliding glass doors leading into your home then you’ll want to secure these as well. There’s no sense in only securing half of the doors going into your home. Sliding doors typically have weaker locks so you may need to take extra precautions.
One cost effective way is to place a long wooden rod in the door track which would prevent the sliding door from being opened from the outside. If you have an alarm system then install glass break sensors to alert you if any thieves try to get through by shattering the glass door.
While you might not have jewelry, expensive electronics, or family heirlooms in your garage, there’s a good chance that you have other valuables stored inside. You might have tools, equipment, and even your car, which are all things that should be kept safe. That said, remember to secure your garage door as well.
This is especially important if your garage is attached to your home and provides an unobserved entry point into the home. Protect your garage from intruders by installing lights with motion detectors and/or security cameras.
This can include first and second floor windows. It’s easy to open a window to let some fresh air into the home, but it’s just as easy to forget the window was left open when you go to work or leave the house to run errands. Before you leave, double check to make sure that all windows are closed and locked. Once again, if you’re looking to get a home security system, then consider one with window security sensors.
Last on our list, if your home has a basement door then you’ll want to make sure this is secure as well. Oftentimes this can go overlooked because it’s not a door that you would typically use to enter your home. However, it could be exactly what a burglar is looking for to gain hidden entry. Make sure the lock on your basement door is sturdy enough to stop intruders and keep them outside where they belong.