In less than 60 seconds, an intruder will either give up trying to break into your house – or they’ll already be wandering around your main level.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to make your home as secure as possible. Here are a few simple ways you can upgrade your doors, windows, landscaping and even your house-sitters in order to keep your family (and valuables) safe and sound.
- 1. Lock those doors (and windows). This one sounds obvious but you’d be surprised how many people skip it. The movie villains seem to like smashing windows but the 90% of break-ins involve entering through a door – often one that’s been left unlocked.Main-floor windows are another easy target, so make sure you have ones that lock – and that you actually lock them.
- 2. Count your deadbolts. A door without a deadbolt is an easy entry point for an intruder – a firm shove and they might be able to break it open. All exterior doors leading to your house or your garage should have deadbolt locks – including the door from the garage into the house because that’s a common entry point.Make sure to check your locks and deadbolts every six months in case they start to show signs of tampering or excess wear. A lock that sticks – even if it’s just on cold nights – is a lock that should be replaced before you find yourself stuck out in the cold.
- 3. Beware of the glass. Intruders will often break a glass door and flip the lock, so you might want to consider installing a double cylinder deadbolt that needs to be opened with a key from the inside as well as the outside.
- 4. Evaluate the property. Put yourself in the bad guy’s shoes for a second. If you were looking to break into your house, what would you hope to see? Lots of dark areas to hide? Shrubs and bushes to conceal you while you jimmy a lock or break a window? No fences to get in the way of a quick escape?Reduce your chances of being burgled by keeping the area around your house well-lit and free from tall plants and bushes. A few prickly plants are always a good idea, too – you don’t want to make it easy for anyone trying to sneak up to your home.
- 5. Be vacation-smart. While we’re on the subject of thinking like an intruder, when would be the ideal time to break into a house? When the family is away, of course. If someone is looking for a quick grab-and-go they’re not going to want to contend with anyone getting in their way and potentially calling the police.Before you go out of town, enlist a trusted friend or neighbour to keep an eye on your home. They should pick up the mail and the newspaper and ensure the lawn is mowed or the driveway is shovelled to keep up appearances. They might even offer to park in your driveway so it looks like someone’s home.Instead of handing out your house-keys to neighbours who may or may not lose it before the next time they need it, we like the convenience of using a Weiser SmartKey. You’re able to re-key your lock to a temporary key for your neighbour while you’re gone and then swap back to your permanent key once you’re back at home. Re-keying is also a good idea every time you loan a key to a repairperson or think you might have misplaced one.
Photo Source: smart key lock
- 6. Skip the Hide-a-Key rock. Those plastic rocks with a compartment for hiding a key look pretty clever but intruders can probably spot them from the end of your driveway. They also know about leaving keys under the mat, above a doorjamb, inside a mailbox, inside a potted plant and under the cushions of a patio chair, so don’t bother trying those places either.Hiding a key is just a bad idea. You never know who might sniff it out – or catch a glimpse of your forgetful kid retrieving it. If it’s not always possible for everyone in the family to have their house key, consider the SmartCode combination door lock. Everyone gets their own custom code and there’s no need to remember a physical key.
Photo Source: smart code lock
We’re here to answer any questions you have about keeping your home secure, so come in today to discuss how to put any of these steps into action.