Becoming a proud owner of your very own home is an amazing feeling, but once the first wave of excitement passes the fear could easily set in. As you look at your new shiny set of keys, the question is inevitable – will someone try to break in? And this is not an irrational fear – statistics show that burglaries happen every 21 seconds on average, so it’s important to make sure your new home is secured.
If this got you thinking about expensive home security systems and the fact that you’ve already invested everything into the house itself, you should know that these systems are not the only option to burglar-proof your home. There are a number of simple ways to secure your new home you can implement right away without breaking the bank. Even if you do have the budget, these simple upgrades and change of habits are the cornerstone of home security.
The Turn of The Key
This may seem like unnecessary advice, but the fact is that most people don’t have a firm habit of keeping their doors and windows locked. Maybe you imagine burglars as skilled nightcrawlers, but the fact is that most burglaries take place during daylight and that 23% of burglars use the first-floor window, while 34% use the front door as an entry point. In other words, most burglars are just looking for easy targets, so it’s important to develop the habit of locking both doors and windows when they’re not in use, even when you’re inside the house. Keep in mind that the garage is also a popular entry point, so this goes for the garage doors as well.
In Locks we Trust
This trust shouldn’t come automatically. If your new home has had previous owners, it’s mandatory to change the locks since you never know if there are some extra keys jingling in the pockets of strangers. It’s equally important to conduct an inventory of all locks around the house to make sure they’re not damaged or easy to bump open, jimmy, or pick. At the first sign of these weak points, you should replace the locks with more tamper-proof ones. Pay special attention to exterior doors and make sure they have ANSI Grade 1 or Grade 2 deadbolts.
Repair & Reinforcement
The fact that locks are now solid doesn’t mean that your hardware, windows, or doors can be flimsy and weak. Someone could get inside in a matter of seconds with just one well-placed slam or kick. So if your exterior doors are broken, hollow-core, or thin, they have to go. Most homeowners ignore their windows, and the burglars know it. Maybe tiny cracks in window glass are just unsightly for you, but it’s a major security risk and should be replaced immediately. Make sure to inspect all the entry points and repair or reinforce each one that looks outdated and weak.
Out of Sight
All security measures in the world won’t putt of burglars if you give them a reason to remain persistent, so keep all of your valuables out of sight. All the items lying outside, such as bikes or tools, are easy-to-grab so lock them up in the garage when you’re not using them. To prevent passers-by from casing the inside of your house, use window treatments such as curtains. Of course, curtains are not an excuse to leave important personal documents, cash, jewelry, or electronics in plain sight. Your most valuable documents and goods should be kept in a household safe.
Shine a Light
While your valuables shouldn’t be in the spotlight, it’s good to catch burglars into one. You will keep the criminals at bay with plenty of outdoor lighting. Of course, this doesn’t mean your landscape should look like Disneyland all the time – go for motion sensor lights and save energy by opting for solar-powered ones. Place the lights near outdoor structures such as a garage, along pathways, around back and front yard. In order to make the most of it, you need to eliminate the handy hiding places – trim down shrubs and trees close to the house which burglars could use as cover.
As we’ve said, these measures are the cornerstone of home security. They’re the best way to take immediate action and show intruders that you’re aware of potential security risks. Once in place, you’ll have a foundation to build upon in the future.