Every homeowner becomes concerned with home security at some point over their lives. Whether this worry is caused by new additions to the family, reports of thefts nearby, or a desire to protect important valuables, there are a few relatively simple steps that every homeowner can take to help protect their family and their belongings from theft and home invasion.

Improving Home Safety

Most burglaries are committed by low to medium skill thieves looking for quick reward, not the high-level thieves who steal items like cars. Looking for easy marks, they use simple tools to gain entry to unsecured homes. This means that it is easy to prevent most thefts as burglars of this skill level are easily guarded against. Once they realize your home is not going to be easy to access, they will move on to a more attractive target.

Replace Doors and Windows

Without question, the most important thing that you can do to make your home an unattractive target for all burglars is to ensure that your doors and windows are strong and secure.

Doors

All exterior doors should have a reinforced frame to prevent thieves bypassing the door entirely. After all, the security and strength of your door doesn’t matter if they are able to remove it. In order to reinforce the frame, hire a door installation company that has a strong track record of supplying products that are high quality and long lasting.

If you decide not to install new doors, at the very minimum you should ensure that the strike plate (the metal piece on the door frame into which the deadbolt throw moves when locked) on the ones you already have are at least 4” in length and were installed with case-hardened screws of no less than 3”. The deadbolt should extend at last 1” from the door and must contain a hardened steel plate to provide the best security.

Windows

All windows on the ground floor of your home should have secure locks that prevent the window from being forced open from outside. Any glass within 40” of an exterior must be secured to prevent thieves unlocking the door and accessing the home.

Basement windows should been frosted or covered with curtains to prevent thieves from easily seeing inside. This will make it a less appealing entry point as they cannot see what awaits them inside. For additional security, consider adding security bars to all basement windows large enough for a person to squeeze inside.

Outdoor Lighting

Having lots of lighting on your property at night is a great way to prevent opportunistic burglars from using the cover of darkness to sneak around and find a good entry point. Motion sensors are a great way to scare away these would-be burglars and should be positioned near doors, including garage doors, and gates to the back yard.

Landscaping

Finally, take a look at your landscaping and ensure that you are not providing unintentional help to these opportunistic criminals. Check that all basement windows are not covered by bushes that would give a thief somewhere to hide while they try to get in. Trim back tree branches that provide easy access to the second floor of your home.