With approximately 1 in 36 homes burglarized or invaded each year, no family is completely safe. Where you live, the state of the economy, and whether a natural or manmade disaster has caused a power grid failure are just some of the things that can increase the chances that criminals will approach your home.
Here are four easy things you can do to increase security in and around your home without relying solely on outside infrastructure such as home security agencies or police.
Replace Hollow Doors in Strategic Locations
Hollow doors are very easy to kick in, knock down, or chop through. Most homes feature hollow doors on the interior and solid doors at the front and back of the house, but it’s a good idea to make sure your exterior doors are heavy-duty and have multiple locking mechanisms.
Since many burglaries occur through the garage, the door between the home and garage should also be hefty. You might even consider installing heavier doors with locking mechanisms in strategic parts of the inner home; if someone does break in while family members are home, these doors can provide temporary protection, slowing the criminals down while family waits for help.
Make Use of Lighting
Light all entrances to the home with timed or motion-detection lights. Dark spaces provide intruders with a safe place to wait or hide while watching your home or forcing entry.
Place exterior lights on backup power sources, such as a generator or battery, to light your yard and entryways even during a blackout. Most burglars will not approach a well-lit, cleanly kept home, especially if it appears someone is home.
Provide Yourself with Line of Sight
Place peepholes in doors or make use of strategic windows so you can see who is approaching before you open the door. In many cases, criminals simply knock, wait for someone to answer, and then push into the home.
Teach everyone in the home to look before opening the door, and create rules for tweens and teens governing when they can open the door–especially if they are home alone. Make a list of trusted friends and family and tell younger household members to only open the door for those individuals, even if they think they recognize who is knocking.
Purchase paned windows to reduce the chance of burglars breaking glass and climbing into the home. Since many window latches can be jimmied or forced, back up window locks with pins or bars, particularly on the first floor. Select backup security devices that can be easily removed from the inside, even by younger members of your home, in case of fire.
For more information on protecting your home, check out the presentation at.My Family Survival.