Burglars break into a home every 15.4 seconds according to the FBI. It’s the most common threat to your home’s security. With some minor changes, you can protect your home from break-ins.
Burglars want to get into a house quickly and quietly, so if you make your home difficult to break into, they’ll usually move on. Here are eight easy ways to make yourself less of a target and beef up the security on your home.
1. Lock all windows and doors. This one may seem silly, but many burglars get into homes because the owner forgot to lock their windows or doors. And don’t just keep your windows and doors locked when you’re gone-lock them at night when you’re asleep too.
Some windows come with special interlocking mechanisms designed to prevent burglars from slipping credit cards or similar items in and unlatching the lock. If you have a window with this interlock system, make sure the windows are aligned properly, or the lock won’t protect you adequately.
2. Hide spare keys in less obvious places. Maybe you keep a spare key under the welcome mat. On top of the doorframe. In the garage under a paint can. In a stone turtle in your garden.
Burglars know to look for spare keys in these places. Find somewhere more hidden and less obvious to keep your spare key.
3. Beware of open windows. Don’t windows open while you’re not at home. A burglar can easily get in. If you leave windows open at night, only open them about six inches, and make sure they can’t be opened further from the outside. And never leave windows near doors open, or the burglar could reach in and unlock the door.
4. Reinforce any glass near or in a door. A window near a door is a prime target for burglars. A burglar could break the glass, then reach in and unlock the door. If you have a choice, don’t put windows within one foot of a door. If you already have windows near the door, or have glass in or around your door, make sure the glass is tempered safety glass. This glass is four times stronger than regular glass, so a burglar won’t be able to break it easily.
5. Get a quality, 1″ deadbolt. Basic locks can easily be picked or bypassed. Deadbolts, on the other hand, extend from the door into the doorframe, creating a strong lock that’s tough to beat. Multi-point locking systems, with several deadbolts spread up and down the door, provide even greater security.
6. Protect your entry doors from kick-ins. The most common method of forced entry is to . Many doors are easy to kick in, even if they have a deadbolt. That’s because the area around the lock is reinforced with wood. When a burglar kicks at the lock, the lock often rips straight through the wood around the lock.
To better protect your door, get a 20-gauge metal plate to reinforce the lock area. A deadbolt with a lock area reinforced by metal, is virtually impervious to kick in attempts.
7. Reinforce your patio door. Most patio doors have latches, not locks. Burglars can force latches open from the outside. A simple way to enhance the security of your patio door is to put a wooden block or rod in the track, preventing the door from being opened from the outside.
Burglars can also just lift the patio door off the track. Since patio doors are on rollers, they aren’t actually secured to the track. To prevent this, make sure your rollers are working smoothly and your door isn’t wobbly, as this indicates a burglar could easily pick the door up.
The best way to protect your sliding patio door is with an auxiliary foot lock. Foot locks have metal rods that extend into the metal track, creating a deadbolt for your patio door. This prevents the door from being opened even if the latch isn’t in place, and it stops the door from being lifted.
8. Get a timer for your lights. Burglars often case neighborhoods, looking for homes where the lights are out night after night. This tells the burglar that the owners are out of town or on a trip, and that house.
Don’t paint a target on your house. Get a light switch timer. These are available at most home improvement stores. They turn your lights on and off at a time you set. So you’ll look like you’re home even when you aren’t.How to Stop Home Break-Ins â€“ Eight Simple Tips to Prevent Burglary and Enhance Security