Winter festivities are about time with family and friends, happiness and laughter, but there are sinister people out there who are looking to prey on homeowners during this time. One reason for doing so is because a lot of homeowners are either distracted with their holiday fun or make trips out of town to spend time with family members. Ensuring that your home is secure for the winter festivities, you should take certain precautions to prevent your home from being burglarized by less-than-festive folks. Here are a couple of ideas on how you can do just that.
Upgrade the Doors & Locks
The entry into your home by burglars is right through your doors. By making it more difficult for them to get inside, you will have an advantage of protecting your home. The best way to do that is to have your doors and locks upgraded. If you have old locks, they may be easy to break or pick by a thief. Another way is to kick down your door, but with strong hinges, this will be made impossible. The latch locks that are installed in most homes are inexpensive and easy to break into. You can instead upgrade your locks to deadbolt locks or better, double deadbolt locks, which require a key to get in and out of the home.
When shopping around for new locks, you should look for deadbolts that have a throw, which is a metal finger that pokes out when locked. This goes into the door frame, instead of just around the wooden casing that doors have. You can then focus on the screws that are used for the hinges and door jamb, which are usually only one inch long. You can instead upgrade this with a longer strike plate that is between 10 and 12 inches, and use 3 inch screws to hold them in place. These screws will go through the two by four frames around your door, making the door sturdier.
Upgrade Your Windows & Sliding Doors
The windows, sliding doors and patio doors offer easy entry into your home as well. Just by lifting the door out of the frame is all that’s needed to get inside. A way to combat this is to drive a few screws into the top track of the door and window when it is in the closed position. Just don’t drive the screws all the way in, the head should be left exposed about ¼ inch. This makes it difficult for a burglar to lift the bottom of the frame when the door is closed. When you need to use or clean the door, just slide it open and lift the door out of the frame where the screws aren’t protruding.
As for the sliding doors, all you have to do is use a solid stick of wood or a metal rod to keep the door from sliding open. Some people use a dowel that is round, making it difficult to be dislodged by someone that’s outside. You can paint the dowel to be the same color, so that it isn’t noticed by someone casing your home. There is also break-resistant glass that you can have installed, so that bold burglars don’t try to throw something at it to get inside
When it comes to the windows, there are different ways you can have them secured. For example, for double hung windows that slide up and down, to prevent burglars from sliding them up, you can simply install a metal pin or use a screw. Then for casement and awning windows, you can install locks that can either prevent the handle from being turned or that holds the window steady in the frame, so that it cannot be moved. Don’t forget about your basement windows, which are an easy target for burglars. You can have break-resistant glass installed, along with locks and/or pins. Decorative bars can also be purchased that match the frame of the windows, so that it doesn’t look tacky. Shatter-proof glass can be used for the lower levels of your home as well.
If you have older model windows, you should definitely have it upgraded with ones that are sturdier and harder to break into. It’s best to have the installation done by a licensed professional to ensure that it is done correctly.
Design Your Landscape to Ward Off Burglary Attempts
The way you design your landscape plays a big part in the security of your home. Some people would overlook the idea of using shrubbery as a tool to ward off burglars, but this has proven effective when implemented the right way. For instance, shrubs that are big and prickly can be planted in front of all the lower level windows, making it very hard for burglars to get inside. You should also trim the branches of the trees, so that burglars can’t climb on top and reach an upper-level window or patio.
Lighting is a great tool for exposing your property and trespassers who dare step onto it at night. You can get bright flood lights set up strategically around your home. For instance, you can have them placed in the front and back near the doorways and along the sides of the home, where the windows are located. Motion sensors can also be used to help save money on energy and to expose whoever just walked across it.
There are a variety of other ways that you can safeguard your home from burglaries, such as suspending subscriptions with magazines and newspapers while you’re away from home, so that they don’t pile up at your front door, indicating to burglars that no one is home to collect them. You could also have a trusted friend or neighbor collect your mail for you as well. It’s also a good idea to leave a porch light on while you’re gone, and have timers set up for your lights, television and/or radio to turn on and off, so that it appears to be someone at home, when there isn’t.
To get help with installing the right locks, doors and windows for your home’s security, contact the licensed experts at CA Green Remodeling today!