There are over two million burglaries each year in the United States and about 70 percent occur in residential areas. Criminals are always on the lookout for the next easy target. With a few common sense steps you can improve your home security and discourage criminals from targeting your home.
- Doors that have damaged, loose or broken locks make an easy target and are a sign that you have a lax attitude about home security. Your exterior doors should be inspected annually. Do they close and latch properly? If not your home security is at risk. Check the hinges, strike plate and knob or handle for loose or missing screws. Ensure that the door fits squarely in the jamb and that the jamb is not cracked or split near the strike plate. If your door has glass near the latch a dead bolt that is keyed on both sides may discourage a burglar from breaking the glass to gain entry. If the door or door hardware is damaged it should be repaired or replaced immediately. No matter how strong your door is it wont stop burglars if it’s not locked!
- Just as with doors, Your windows play an important role in home security. Damaged or decayed windows are an easy target for criminals especially if they are hidden behind shrubs or are on a secluded side of your home. Check both the interior and exterior of your windows for proper maintenance. Loose or missing glazing and broken glass make your home look less secure and thus more inviting to a criminal. Trim tall shrubs back from windows and make sure they are caulked and painted well. Inspect all latches for proper operation and replace any that are loose or damaged. Keep windows closed and latched when you are away.
- Safety lighting is a key factor in home security. Exterior lights and motion detector lighting are good deterrents to keep prowlers away. All exterior doors should have a light that can illuminate anyone at your door. If someone comes to your door at night and the light doesn’t work, be extra cautious, home invaders will sometimes disable exterior lights. Timers for some of your interior lights and a television or radio are a good way to simulate your presence at home while on vacation or any time you are away for an extended period.
- When you are away from home on vacation or extended trips, have a neighbor or family member collect your mail, newspapers and any deliveries you may receive. If cars are normally parked in your drive way consider asking a neighbor, friend or family member to park one of their cars in your drive while you are gone.
- Criminals target homes with expensive easy to sell items. If your big screen television is visible from the window it may be attracting unwanted attention from a burglar. Keep big ticket items like lawnmowers, jet-skis, ATV,s and boats out of sight when you are not using them. Take a walk around your home and see what is visible inside and out. If you can see your valuables so can a criminal. Curtains, blinds or shades are a small price to pay to increase your home security and prevent a burglary.
- Spare keys are a life saver if you are locked out but don’t let a conveniently located spare key fall into a burglars hands. Fake rocks, doormats, window and door ledges, flower pots, grills and the ash door on your chimney are the first places a burglar will look. Be very creative when hiding spare keys. If it is convenient to access when you need it, a burglar can easily find it also. If your spare key mysteriously disappears change your locks immediately.
- For even more home security consider installing an alarm system. It would be wise to shop around some to find the system that best fits your needs and your budget. Prices can range from $100.00 up to $1200.00 or more for a good system depending on the features and monitoring package you choose. Monitoring fees start in the $30.00 – $40.00 per month range. If that doesn’t fit within your budget, a prominently displayed alarm or hidden camera sign can discourage burglars, even if you don’t have a home security system installed.
Wood’s Home Maintenance Service offers solutions for a wide range of building, maintenance and repair needs. Contact us today for a free estimate.