Every day we perform actions to protect ourselves and our loved ones: we buckle seat belts, obey traffic laws and lock our doors. Regrettably, accidents and crimes do occur and we may fall victim to an unfortunate event or two in our lifetime. One of the most important places to feel safe and secure is our homes. Unfortunately, burglary is one of the most common crimes committed in the United States. Some experts state that a burglary happens every fifteen seconds in the United States, causing many individuals to feel a sense of insecurity and loss. While this statistic is alarming, there are some simple things you can do to establish better home security. Read the two tips below to help secure your home and prevent it from becoming an easy target.
1. Don’t Publicize Your Lack of Presence at Home
In today’s electronic world, many individuals make the mistake of advertising their whereabouts on social media forums. They post pictures of themselves on fun vacations, family reunions and weekend getaways. While it is certainly fun to let friends and family see pictures of you having a blast on your vacation, it is better to post pictures once you are home so as not to advertise the fact that your home is left completely unattended. Some people reason that only their friends and family see their social media updates; however, it is possible for others to see your information and word may get out that you have a beautiful home that is currently unoccupied.
In addition to not advertising your presence online, there are a few things you can do to make it look like you are home while you are gone. Below are some simple tips:
- Consider purchasing automatic timers that can regulate everything from lights, curtains, radios and televisions.
- Ask a neighbor or friend to pick up your mail and newspaper, shovel your walks or mow your lawn if you are going to be away from home for a while.
- Try to always park your vehicle in the garage when you are home. Some burglars watch patterns of behavior and if you tend to park your vehicle in the driveway, they will know when you are away from home.
2. Make it Difficult to Break-In
In addition to looking for properties where no one is home, burglars tend to look for homes that are easy to break-in. Burglars love finding homes where windows have been left open, doors have been unlocked or a key has been placed under the front porch welcome mat. If you have already gotten in the habit of avoiding the above-mentioned practices, you are on the right track. The next step is to ensure that you have proper locks installed on your exterior doors. You might be surprised to learn that there are several choices when it comes to choosing a lock. Here are some details to help you know what to look for in a lock:
- Understand that locks are graded according to specific standards set by the American National Standards Institute. Locks can range from grade one to grade three, with one being the best in terms of integrity and function.
- Look for locks that include strike plates that have three-inch screws. These screws give increased protection against force.
- If your selected locks don’t come with strike plates, you can employ another method for reinforcing the lock. You can purchase doorjamb reinforcement kits that help increase the strength of the lock and door system.
- Avoid spring latch locks as they have several vulnerable features: 1) items other than the key can be used to relieve the pressure that keeps the spring in place and 2) forceful burglars can bang the doorknob and lock using a hammer or wrench.
- Consider installing vertical deadbolt locks which help protect against anyone manually prying open the door.
- You can also consider purchasing a double-cylinder deadbolt which requires you to lock the deadbolt with a key on the inside of your home as well as outside. However, some double-cylinder deadbolts are against building codes due to fire and safety hazards so consult a lock smith in your area for more information or give Great Valley Lockshop a call, we’re happy to help.
By following these simple tips, you will establish a safer home environment which will bring a sense of peace and security. Remember not to advertise your absence from home and ensure you have adequate locks and deadbolts installed on all exterior doors.
Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!