Home break-ins are all too common, especially during the daytime on weekdays when most people are away at their jobs. Home break-ins are also most frequent during the warm months of the year. However, many break-ins are preventable by increasing your home security. Use these tips to protect your property.
Install a Home Alarm System
There are home alarm systems that use a variety of sensor technology, such as motion detectors, contact sensors and glass-breakage detectors. Most alarm systems also notify either the local police or a monitoring center through a land line. After installation, it's important to advertise the fact that your home is protected by an alarm so that thieves are deterred. Use the stickers provided and place them in obvious spots where a break-in is likely to occur.
Secure Sliding Patio Doors
The latching mechanisms on sliding doors are easily forced open. Place a bar or a broom stick handle into the track on the door bottom. It should be sized so that the door doesn't move, yet the stick is easily removed from the inside.
Keep Ladders and Tools Inside
Don't leave tools and ladders lying around in the yard. These can facilitate a burglar's entry into your home. Burglars are opportunistic by nature and will take advantage of anything that makes their work easier.
Check Your Door Knob Locks
A common problem with door knob locks is that sometimes the latch barely extends into the strike plate. This could be the result of a sloppy installation or of repeated temperature and humidity cycles that cause the dimensions of the surrounding wood to change. When the latch barely extends into the strike plate, the door is easily popped open with a good shove. Test all of your doors. Exterior doors should be further reinforced with a deadbolt lock.
Install Motion Activated Lights
Motion activated lights that illuminate the exterior of your garage door and other exterior doors will help deter the thief who tries to break in at night. These lights should either remain on or should be timed to turn off after several hours.
Install a Timer
Use a timer that automatically turns on internal and external lights when you're away on a trip or vacation. Set the timing so that it mimics your normal routine.
Back Up Your Window Latches
Windows often use latches rather than locks. Depending on your particular window type, simple and inexpensive secondary locks are available in various hardware stores. These are easily installed within an hour or so.
Use the above tips to beef up your home's security so that your loved ones and property are protected. Also make sure that your homeowners insurance provides enough coverage by giving your insurance agent a call.