Home Improvement and Security: Protecting Homes from Burglary

Safety is a prime concern of every homeowner. The reported incidents of break-ins have increased due to worsening economic conditions. Thieves and burglars are using state of the art technology to enter a house. Aside from sophisticated equipment, these criminals are using smarter techniques to avoid detection and bypass security. These attacks have caused anxiety and stress for many families.

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Straight Facts about Burglaries

Contrary to what people know, most burglaries happen at daytime. Thieves take advantage when the house is empty after the owners left for work or school. People are very complacent during daytime thinking that no one in their right mind would do a crime in broad daylight. Thieves benefit from this misconception.

A house is also not randomly targeted. There is a selection process where the thief inspects and studies a house’s layout and security before doing a break-in. They observe the daily activities of the household and their neighbors to decide the best time to enter the property.

The usual items targeted during a burglary are cash, jewelry, guns, watches, laptop computers, and electronic gadgets. These items are easy to carry out of the house.

Recent break-ins involved the use of ordinary household tools such as crowbars, pliers, lock picks, screwdrivers and hammers. When any of these is used, it is not obvious that someone is forcibly opening your locks even during daytime.

How a House Becomes a Target

A house can be selected as a target if a thief sees many of these signs:

  • Tall hedges – Thieves use tall and untrimmed hedges as cover during a break-in
  • Small toys in the backyard – The presence of small toys scattered in the backyard or garage informs a burglar that vulnerable targets live inside the house.
  • Poorly lit garage and back doors – Garage and back doors are an ideal point of entry for thieves especially when it is not sufficiently lit. This invites night break-ins.
  • Stuffed mailboxes – Stuffed letters and piled boxes indicate that a homeowner is in a vacation for a long time.

Increasing a House’s Security

There are ways to minimize the risk of a break-in. It starts with installing a strong security system around the house. It also includes reinforcing potential entry points such as windows and doors. Here are some home improvement tips to increase home security.

Doors and Locks. Exterior doors should use Grade-1 or Grade-2 locks to resist twisting, prying, and lock-picking. A quality deadbolt lock prevents any channel-lock pliers from shearing off lock cylinder pins. A sturdy door knob-in-lock uses a dead latch mechanism that prevents thin materials from slipping the lock. Always use a solid core or metal door for all entry points.

Sliding Glass Doors. Sliding glass doors are vulnerable to a break-in if the latch mechanism is tampered or faulty. Inserting wooden dowels or charley bars can prevent a forceful entry. A slide can also be lifted from its track. The rollers should always be properly adjusted and in good condition.

Windows. Most spontaneous break-ins happened after a thief spotted an open or unlocked window. Thieves can use stairways, trees, fences, roofs, and balconies to reach upper floor windows. Windows should always be closed especially if there are no people inside the room. They should also be equipped with secondary blocking devices to avoid tampering.

Home security is a must for every homeowner. The safety of the household should always be prioritized.

Erin Emanuel