Your home is more than your most valued asset – it’s the psychological safe haven for you and your family. When an intrusion or break-in occurs, that illusion of security is shattered and often irreparable. There are several methods to increasing your home’s security and while these have been covered extensively, it’s wise to consider a home security analysis from a professional locksmith and safety specialist. Here are 10 factors to test the security of your home:
1. Check Your Locks
Not all locks are made the same. There are three basic grades for locks: Grade 1, Grade 2, and Grade 3. Grade 3 locks are among the most common and only provide minimal security precautions, whereas Grade 1 locks, while more expensive, offer sophisticated protection against manipulation and door strikes. If you’re unsure of the quality of your lock, find the make and model information on the casing and search for the manufacturer. Upgrading your locks to higher grades will demonstrate to the sophisticated thief that you’re serious about home security and ward off any amateurs expecting a flimsy lock.
2. Where are the Spares?
Placing your spare key under the doormat or nearby potted plant is basically an invitation to home invaders. Instead, secure your spare key in a combination lockbox secured to a metal bar or fixture near your home. This keeps your spare key within easy access to homeowners and prevent burglars from stumbling across your spare key.
3. Reinforced Windows and Sliding Doors
If you’ve got sliding doors and windows in your home, you’re at higher risk for a break-in. Locks for sliding doors and windows are notoriously easy to crack, but sometimes the simplest remedies are the best ones. A solid metal bar or wooden dowel placed in the window’s or door’s runner will keep a physical barrier between your home and the thief, even if they do manage to force open your lock.
4. Check the Perimeter
Thieves love untrimmed hedges and tall fences for exactly the same reason you do: neighbors’ views of your home are obscured. If you do have tall fences and thick hedges or shrubs around your property, consider installing some perimeter lighting as a compromise. Both you and your neighbors will have a better chance of spotting would-be intruders before they can enter your property.
5. Burglar-Proof Your Home
Home security alarms only go so far. While these are a great deterrent to an unskilled thief, experts will be able to trick your alarm with a little time and patience. Don’t give it to them. Make your home a tough enough nut to crack and a patient thief will move onto the next target. By staying vigilant and making a few smart decisions before leaving your home for an extended period of time, you can prevent opportunistic thieves from breaking into your home. First, ensure your mail delivery isn’t suspended, but attended to by a neighbor on a daily basis. Your landscaping should be kept up with on a weekly basis, but going the extra mile and lowering your telephone’s ringer volume, installing timed lights and automatic curtain mechanisms, and staying mum on social media until you’ve returned home will keep even the most expert thief guessing.
6. Test Your Door
Your front door should be the sturdiest door in your home, but burglars also look for weak entry points. A mail slot or Grade 3 lock are prizes for experienced thieves, as the structural integrity of the door is compromised with a mail slot and Grade 3 locks can be broken with a swift kick to the strike plate. If your door or door frame isn’t up to snuff, it’s time to opt for a reinforced entryway.
7. Rethink Your Security System
While there are dozens of companies offering home security solutions, knowing a few security essentials will help you choose which provider you’d prefer. An experienced thief will locate your keypad and attempt to visually steal your passcode to make entry easy, so installing your keypad in a concealed location (such as a coat closet or behind a support beam) can be a great precautionary measure. Furthermore, finding a company that offers unified fire and flood protection systems will ensure a cohesive security environment in your home, adding to your overall sense of security.
8. What Are Your Deterrents?
Walk around your home and ask yourself the following question: what would prevent me from breaking into this home? Find your home’s weaknesses before a burglar can and fix them. Weak window panes, lack of security systems, and absent homeowners are all perks in a thief’s eyes, so if your home has any visible shortcomings, it’s time to upgrade. Reinforce your doors, windows, and locks to show a would-be intruder that you’re serious about your home’s security.
9. Only Use a Trusted Locksmith
As with any professional service, it’s critical that you select a locksmith with integrity and experience, but also one that’s licensed and bonded. Whether you require 24/7 emergency service or a comprehensive home security analysis, Hawk Locksmith has the professional technicians and state-of-the-art tools and equipment you need to keep your home and your family safe from harm.
To schedule a re-key, security assessment, or lock replacement, contact Hawk Locksmith by using the contact form or calling our Seattle office at 206-725-1200 today!
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