By Jack Nelson
Every homeowner needs to be active and aware of their home security concerns. With home invasions and break-ins on the rise, it is time to take some steps towards protecting your family and your valuable belongings. It would surprise most people to realize how simple it is for a burglar to break into their home. By following these simple steps, you can reduce the odds of coming home to discover your home has been broken into and your cherished valuables have been taken.
For a burglar, the three greatest enemies are noise, time, and light. If a burglar must make a lot of noise, take a lot of time, and work in a well-lit area to get into your home, chances are that he will not bother. In most cases, he will move onto an easier "mark". These are things that work in the favor of homeowners. I always tell my clients that, in order to defeat the burglar, one must think like the burglar.
Take some time and "case" the exterior of your home for points of entry. Imagine yourself as a burglar. Where would you try to get in? Where are the security weaknesses? You could even conduct a little experiment, by locking your home and trying to break in. If you, honest citizen, can break into your home with relative ease you can be sure it will be no problem for an experienced thief to gain entry.
Doors and windows are the first places to check when assessing the security of a home or business. Make sure that your home is equipped with a hard wood or metal exterior door, that is at minimum 1 ¾" thick. The doorframe should be equally as strong. A peephole is much better than a simple door chain, as it will allow you to identify the person at your door without having to open it. And if there is one thing you spend a bit of money on, be sure it is a good quality deadbolt!
Windows are also extremely vulnerable, from a security standpoint. If you have an older home with double-hung windows, you can secure them by nailing the upper and lower panes together from the inside. As well, simple key locks can be added to windows for a reasonable price. If you have windows that are located at street level, consider adding an iron grate or grille for added protection. Balconies and fire escapes can also be security weaknesses, so consider purchasing one of those metal "accordion" gates.
There are a few other simple precautions you can take to secure your home. Try to establish a routine to ensure that your doors and windows are locked when you leave the house and when you go to bed each night. If you can afford it, you should also invest in a home security system. There are some incredibly advanced systems available on the market today, and these systems are very difficult to bypass. These simple steps could make the difference between being a victim of crime and being safe from harm. Think about it!
Nelson is a security consultant, and a member of the editorial team at http://www.homesecurityandalarms.com, an informative guide to home security with information about motion sensors, security cameras, emergency monitoring and more.