Home security is a billion dollar booming business that’s built off your fears. And rightfully so, the world is an unpredictable and sometimes volatile place depending on where you live. Previously, we talked about things to look at when buying a home. In this post I want to focus on some simple upgrades you can do to your new or current home to better secure it from intruders. I’m going to ignore the common things like getting a security system, dog, and a gun and focus on some lesser known options you can look at for improved security. That said, never underestimate a good dog and security system, they are often enough to dissuade most would-be thieves.
Replace the door lock hardware. I don’t just mean replacing the locks when you buy a new house, but the striker plate on the locks. Most will come with ¼” screws which will in fact secure the strike plates to the door frame, but it doesn’t offer a lot of protection when someone goes to kick in your door. I would opt for a longer wood screw, at least 1” long to fully grab the frame.
When we talk about door locks I have to stress the importance of deadbolts. If your door only has a knob entry it really isn’t secure. Burglars can get past that style of lock with ease. Deadbolts are a much sturdier way to secure a door when properly installed.
If you have a sliding door you should add security pin or some other blocking technique to keep the door closed if the lock fails. An easy and cheap option is a length of wood cut to fit the distance from the frame to the door while its closed. This only costs a couple bucks and most stores can cut it for you there. Throw a little stain or paint on it and they blend right in while giving you some added security. You can also implement the same techniques on ground floor windows making them harder to open.
Locks and blocking mechanisms are terrific tools of the trade, but they are only as good as the door they are in. If you have hollow exterior doors they can be overcome fairly easily with brute force. I would suggest a solid core door, they cost more but offer a much better level of protection. I would also add a solid door to wherever in your house you would want to setup as a safe room in the event intruders penetrate your home.
You can buy security system signs to post outside your house or on the windows, these are fairly cheap and can dissuade people from breaking in.
If you do get a dog to help alert you to unwanted guests, and EVERY door bell on the tv, avoid doggy doors. Doggy doors can make a great way in for the slender thief as well as degrade the overall strength of the door.
These are just a couple of ideas I’d recommend that many people overlook. The possibilities are endless on different ways to secure your castle. However, they can all be defeated if you don’t actually lock your doors, arm the system, etc. Take the time to get into the routine. When in doubt, most local police stations or several security companies will also do free security assessments for your home to help you better secure your home.