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How Do I Design My Home With Security in Mind?

One of the fears that we have in our society centers around home security. A fair amount of people have their homes broken into and valuables were stolen. If you want to protect your home, your family, your valuables and the rest of your property and yourself inside your home, you do not have to take extreme measures to enhance your home’s security. You just need to use the best home security practices. Here are some of the Frequently Asked Questions we get about home security and security design to help you get started.

How can I make my home safe from intruders?

Walk around your home and property looking for security weaknesses.
This is what a burglar operating in your neighborhood will do. They are opportunistic. Are there entry points into your home that he can enter without being observed? Are there places he can enter easily? If so, yours is the house he will pick. If your house is more difficult to enter than your neighbor’s than he will avoid yours and go next door or somewhere else.

Install a lock on all exterior doors and ground floor windows.
And then use them. Approximately 30% of burglaries are not forced entry. The intruder simply enters through an unsecured door or window.

Most burglars do not have sophisticated skills. They will just kick your door in if they can. Doors need deadbolts in addition to the doorknob latch bolt lock. The deadbolt needs a 1-inch throw. The doors need to be solid, not hollow. Replace the short strike plate screws with 3-inch ones that will go through the door jamb and into to a wall stud. We can help you with the right locks for your doors and windows; call us 561 964-6114.

Windows need to be closed and locked.
The burglar will look for the door or window you did not lock. Do not leave ground floor windows ajar. Latch or lock them shut. If a window doesn’t have a latch, lay a wooden dowel in the window channel to prevent it opening.

Remove or prune vegetation that hides windows and doors.
A burglar will enter through one of these; don’t let him be able to hide while breaking in.

Add lights to all exterior doors and windows.
See the next question below.

Do lights deter burglars?

Yes. The burglar who intends to enter your home does not want to be seen doing so. If he is seen by an observant neighbor at the locked front door with a pry bar, he will be caught. It is worse if he is seen entering a window. Darkness is a burglar’s assistant. Ex-burglars interviewed by security experts says that they will avoid a house that is well lit or has light fixtures visible outside entry points. This increases the chance of detection and arrest. Instead, they will choose an unlit house.

We recommend that you install motion activated flood lights at your front and rear doors and your windows. Floodlights give a wide viewing area that is difficult to hide in. When one of these lights comes on, it can alert you before the burglar even touches your house. When a light turns on as the burglar approaches your house, he is thinking the light is telling everyone to “look here, there is something going on here”. This enterprise has suddenly become annoying and risky. Time to leave.

How do I secure my sliding glass door?

A sliding glass door is a weak point in your home security. Security experts say a sliding glass door makes an otherwise secure home vulnerable to intrusion. They are a favorite target for burglars for several reasons.

• They are usually hidden from view in the back or the side yards.
• Most of these have fairly simple built-in latches. They don’t slow down an experienced burglar very much.
• They expose your property to view like a large window into your home.
• They are made of easily breakable glass. You don’t need fancy skills or tools to defeat that.
• They slide on tracks. A bit of muscle can dislodge them.

We recommend removing or pruning vegetation to increase visibility at that door. Add the lights we mentioned earlier. Add a door alarm that senses when the door is moved or the glass is broken. Install an additional lock. Lay a wooden dowel in the tracks. This not only prevents the door from being moved, it defeats a lock picker. Keep your curtains or blinds closed at night and when you leave home. Install a transparent film on the glass to make it shatter-proof.

Do burglars return to the same house?

Yes. If your home is burglarized, the burglar knows you will replace the computer and big screen TV he stole. He can wait until you have collected a couple of paychecks or your insurance has paid out and then he can return and rob you again. He already knows the points of entry he wants to use and the layout of your house and where to collect everything he wants. It is shocking the number of times this works. Often the homeowner doesn’t fix their home security practices because they think (erroneously) that they wouldn’t return to the scene of their crime.

Are dogs a deterrent to burglars?

Yes. Ex-burglars tell crime investigators that a barking dog will make them consider choosing a different home to break into. They draw attention and increase the burglar’s chances of getting caught. It is important to note here, that size doesn’t matter – it’s the aggressive defense of the dog’s space that matters. Any dog of any size that barks when anyone comes to the door (or window) will do the trick. One security expert we know of said that even a recording of a barking dog will work.

If you have any questions about something in this article or about how to improve the security of your home, call us at 561 964-6114 or submit your question on the Contact Us form on our website. We will be happy to help you.