Home Security: Protecting Your New House
Congratulations! Buying a new house or completing construction on a new build is a big accomplishment. At this point, you’re also fully aware that it is a big investment. Being a new homeowner comes with a lot of responsibility and taking on this new role can be stressful.
Every new homeowner has some concerns; one of the main worries is how to protect your new home and your family. Nowadays, the burglary statistics around Pennsylvania indicate a need for vigilance when it comes to residential security. And with the dizzying number of home security products available on the market, deciding how to best secure your property can be an overwhelming process.
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Best Home Security Tips for New Construction Homes
We’ve put together some advice for home buyers on how to protect a new house.
Install Locks on the Windows
Window treatments and locks aren’t usually at the top of a new homeowner’s list of priorities. But windows are significant access points in the building envelope. Your window and door supplier should be able to recommend a set of high-security locks that work with the style of fixtures installed on your new house. There are also many after-market window lock options to help you lock up. You should also consider adding security window screens and electronic sensors that can alert you with an audible alarm or through a wireless smart home security system when windows are opened.
Upgrade Locks on Sliding Doors
Factory locks on sliders are notoriously weak and flimsy. Plus, these doors can be dismantled from the outside.
To help prevent break-ins, we recommend installing a two-bolt locking system on sliding glass doors or reinforcing the lock with an auxiliary lock and jimmy plate. Consider adding anti-lift devices that secure the sliding door to the fixed part of the door. This makes it so that the door cannot be lifted out because the sliding door is secured in two separate places.
Secure the Garage
Garage doors are a major entry point on many homes. Because they are often overlooked by homeowners, garages are more vulnerable to theft and they often provide an easy way for burglars to access other parts of the house. In fact, local police advise residents not to leave remote garage door operators in their cars parked outside of the house. It’s best to extra deadbolts on the overhead door and garage doors, or consider one of the smart garage door locks now available on the market.
Use a Burglary and Fire-Rated Safe
Safes can be real lifesavers. New homeowners should plan to keep original copies of important documents, such as insurance policies, financial accounts, legal documents, passports, birth certificates, and Social Security cards in a safe that certifies protection in case of a burglary or fire. This can also be a secure place to store family heirlooms, jewelry, and valuables.
Read here for information on where to install a safe in the home.
Don’t give home invaders the dark cover they are looking for while working to gain access. Installing lights around the property will help create an environment that deters burglars. At night, floodlights can be used to illuminate the back and sides of the house. When paired with motion-activated sensors, these can be an unwanted surprise for potential intruders and can also decrease energy consumption for powering exterior lights.
Keep the Landscaping Trimmed
Similarly, maintaining a clean yard and clearing away bushes and hedges around the house can help deter criminals. Cutting back trees and trimming the landscaping around doors and windows helps eliminate places where burglars might hide while trying to enter a house.
Join the Neighborhood Watch Program
Many residential areas have neighborhood watch groups. The goal is to work together as a local community to increase safety. By alerting neighbors of threats in the area and reporting suspicious activity to the police, these types of efforts can be effective at decreasing crime. They also help build stronger relationships among neighbors and a stronger sense of community.
Get an Alarm System
Before moving into your home, have it equipped with an alarm system and home security surveillance. It will act as a deterrent for criminal activity, help prevent burglaries, and ensure that the authorities respond quickly in case of a security threat. In addition to popular home security services, lately many homeowners are choosing DIY security systems.
Innovative voice-automated smart home systems can be integrated with security devices. For example, Alexa Guard and Google Nest have security sensors that detect motion, open doors and windows, and even the sound of breaking glass.
Add a Smart Doorbell Camera
Video doorbells can be integrated into virtually any smart home system. They offer extra security in terms of screening visitors, discouraging potential thieves, and recording activity near the home. Video recordings can be helpful in recovering stolen items, prosecuting a crime, or recuperating expenses through insurance after a burglary.
Existing Home Security Upgrades
If you’re buying a home from previous owners, there are some additional security measures that should be put in place.
Secure the Doors
With all the focus on high-security door locks for homes, some homeowners overlook the need for sturdier door frames. If the lock latch doesn’t fit properly into a well-secured frame of an exterior door, it’s easier to tamper with and pry open the door. Read here for more information about reinforcing the doors.
Rekey the Locks
Once you have closed on the house, schedule a locksmith to change or rekey the locks. It’s a simple procedure and solves the problem of not know who previous owners may have given a copy of the keys. This ensures that you are the only one with a key that opens the house.
Check Deadbolt Locks
Many homeowners trust that a deadbolt lock will ensure safety. However, traditional deadbolts can be opened by an intruder if the door is pried from the jamb or by breaking the decorative glass next to the door and reaching inside. To overcome this problem, install a vertical deadbolt that interlocks into the top of the door frame. This type of upgrade makes it more difficult to force entry.
Related article: Tips to Keep Your Home Secure While on Vacation.