What are the odds that your home will be broken into this year? Unfortunately, according to burglary statistics within the United States, one in every thirty-six homes will be burglarized in this year alone, resulting in an average loss of $1,675 per break-in. That is one every 15 minutes in these United States. And this statistic doesn’t account for the psychological cost the victims suffer.
Protecting your castle, or your home, does not require moats to surround it, or ugly bars on doors and windows. And remember, important as security is to your home, bringing up the drawbridge has its drawbacks. You never want to compromise exits or entrances during an emergency.
Home Security systems that alert when an intruder enters your home are great tools, but should not be be the first or only defense. These systems often will not register something as simple as a broken window. Below, you’ll find ways to strengthen your home’s security by building it in to the structure of your house. We’ve listed some of the areas you should pay attention to below (click here to download a print version).
Finally, knowing your neighbors, and which ones are home during the day, is often your most powerful defense against intrusion. Think of it as your personal “social security.”
Contact us for a security audit of your home. We’ll find problem areas, make recommendations and provide window and door solutions that will help you rest easy when it comes to home security.
Check your points of entry all along the front, back and sides of your home. Check for hidden areas such as behind fences, gates or foliage. Installing motion sensors is an excellent way to deter unwanted visitors (both two legged and four legged). And don’t forget to check simple lighting over your doors and windows for something as common as say, just unscrewing a light bulb would leave an area in darkness. Perhaps upgrading your area lighting is a good first point of defense.
Short of leaving a door or window open, easy access through a glass window by breaking it makes glass one of the most common means of unwanted entry.
The best glass solution for points of entry is laminated glass. Laminated glass holds together even when shattered because
it is held in place by an interlayer between two sheets of glass.
This interlayer keeps the layers bonded even when broken.
Think of it as a “spider web” effect that keeps the glass together so no large pieces separate.
Advice from the National Crime Prevention Council simply states :“All exterior doors should be either metal or solid wood. For added security, use strong door hinges on the inside of the door, with non-removable or hidden pins. “
Having strong reliable locks is essential to keeping your home secure. They are your first line of defense. USE THEM, even when running to the store for a quick errand or taking the dog around the corner for a short walk. Install locks for your door that have multiple points of engagement with the door frame.
Exterior doors become prey to a burglar kicking open the door from outside. In fact 34% of illegal entry is from kicking open a door. Make sure, at a minimum, to use deadbolts and high quality door knobs.
When choosing a deadbolt, look for one that extends at least 1″ when in the locked position. This will inhibit ramming, kicking and persons using screw drivers or crow bars inserted into the door jam. Also, use a reinforced strike plate with extra long mounting screws (ex. 1 ½” screw) to anchor the lock effectively.
With technological advance, comes improvements in window hardware and security. As with the benefits of laminated glass, if the locks are not secure, you will have possible intruder issues somewhere down the line. Many new hardware systems for wooden windows include lock and pin systems that are virtually “tamper proof.”
Now that we have some sense of the add-on locks, glass and lighting to protect your home, let’s look at the actual integrity of the wooden doors and frames.
The most secure and resilient material for a door is solid core hardwood. How do you tell if you have a particle door, hollow core or solid core door once it is painted? Grab your step stool, open your door and look at the top of the door.
Framing surrounding your front door should be solid all the way around. Often, reinforcing the door jamb is a simple way to improve the strength of the entry to your home.