According to recent research conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice, American homes are victims of burglary about every 15 seconds. Ideally, a typical homeowner suffers a loss of around $2,000 in property damage or stolen goods. With the national economy moving from bad to worse, insecurity is again becoming rampant, suggests Charles Sczuroski, a former police officer and now senior trainer for the National Crime Prevention Council. Although Americans with high deductibles on their homeowner insurance policies will likely have to pay out of their pockets to replace their stuff, they are advised to make small investments on their homes to make them (homes) more secure in the first place.
There are a number of efficient and cost-effective ways you can adopt to ensure your home is secure and less appealing to burglary. These include:
Pruning an Overgrown Vegetation
Trees, bushes and shrubs can offer an intruder lucrative places to hide and perfectly plan on how to steal or damage your property. As such, it is important that you trim down any overgrown vegetation so that your home’s doors, windows and porches are visible to passersby and neighbors. “If you think this will cost much of your time, you are wrong,” says Officer Mark Buetow of the Milwaukee Police Department. Although it only needs a few hours of your time, pruning overgrown shrubs, trees or bushes can make a huge difference as far as the security of your home is concerned.
Being sure to have Motion Sensors
It is crucial to have adequate nighttime illumination given that a poorly lit or dark property makes it easy for an intruder to go unseen. According to Glenn Dopfel, exterior lighting merchant at Home Depot, one of the best ways to deter crime and ensure the safety of your home and that of your family is by installing motion sensors. Motion-sensing security lights are automatically activated when motion is detected. This automatic activation creates sudden change from darkness to the bright light, and this can startle buglers as well as provide a visual alert to neighbors and of course, the homeowner.
Setting Timers Doors
According to Sczuroski, using timers, which are hooked up to indoor lights, as well as televisions or radios can really be essential at keeping your home secure. “Setting a timer to switch on about thirty to forty-five minutes before it gets dark makes it appear like someone is really at home,” says Sczuroski. This impression can be even more convincing when it is combined with a TV or radio activating during the day and in the evening. Intruders generally do not desire to be confronted by anyone in a home, and want to slip in and out unnoticed. Therefore, sounds of activity generally keep them at bay, asserts Buetow.
Reinforcing your Entry Points
Sixty percent of all burglaries occur at ground floor windows and doors, suggests Sczuroski. As such, it makes sense to reinforce your entry points. Sczuroski advises Americans to use doors made of solid wood. He also recommends wrapped-wood core doors. Ideally, he is against rickety old wood-panel doors or hollow-core doors because a bugler can kick them and get in easily. Moreover, they do not offer much of a deterrent to burglary. New solid (slab) doors currently cost around $100 although installing them will definitely cost extra cash. Nevertheless, an experienced handyman can carry out the task perfectly with the help of instructions.
Shielding Windows near Doors
If your home has any doors with windows, Buetow advises that you install a protective barrier of quarter-inch Plexiglas over any existing glass. Attached properly, the quarter-inch Plexiglas can prevent buglers from breaking the window and either getting into the house through the opening or opening the door’s lock from the inside.
According to Melissa Richards, Depot’s safety and security merchant, every exterior entry door should have a deadbolt. Furthermore, she recommends that the bolt features a throw of at least one inch. Most insurance companies and locksmiths advise Americans to install Grade 1 or Grade 2 American National Standards Institute deadbolt locks on their exterior entry doors. Deadbolts are mainly available in two types, and these are single and double cylinder locks. While a single cylinder deadbolt costs around $35 and has a keyed opening on one side and a knob, which can be turned by hand on the other, a double cylinder deadbolt goes at around $45, and is keyed on both sides. According to Richards, a double cylinder deadbolt is suitable for a door located near a window or that with a glass section. “If the glass is broken and buglers try to reach in to open the door, they will not be able to,” she explains.
While there are many ways to secure a home, the above 6 tips to keep your home secure are effective. They are easy and most of them are inexpensive yet they will secure your home to the required standards.