When it comes to your homes security, the best solution is a layered effect. What this means is that only one level of security is not enough. You will want to have multiple layers of security to properly protect you home and assets. You need to make sure that you not only have good locks on your entry points into your home, you may want to have a burglar alarm or surveillance system as well. Having a dual system will help to prevent break ins, but won’t necessarily stop them if you have weak points in your home. According to the 2010 FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, 60.5% of burglaries are forcible entry, 33.2% of burglaries are unlawful entries, and 6.3% of burglaries are forcible entry attempts.
Let’s break those stats down, when it says that 60.5% of burglaries are forcible entries, that means that the perpetrator had to pry, break, or penetrate an opening to gain access into a structure. The 33.2% of burglaries are unlawful entries, which mean that someone just walked into or entered a structure without added effort. The last 6.3% are attempted forcible entries, which means that something prevented a perpetrator from completing their burglary. Now that we know what the stats are let’s take a look at ways to prevent these burglaries from happening.
The best way to prevent forcible entries is to have strong locks on all of the entry points into your home. So on your front door, it is a good idea to have 2 deadbolts one that is a double cylinder deadbolt that is keyed on both sides and another double cylinder deadbolt that is only keyed to the outside. This will make it more difficult for a criminal to get into the house. It is typically easier to get through one deadbolt, having 2 just makes it more unappealing to try and enter a structure.
For the window openings I suggest having a couple of additional window locks that you mount on the window track to prevent the window from opening up far enough to use as an entry point. Having these locks will prevent a criminal from getting into the house, if they are able to get past the first set of locks these will keep the opening small enough to not be used to penetrate the structure. With sliding glass doors you are going to need more locks than the standard door locks, the ones that I have found to work well are the ones that have a pin that is slide into both doors to make them act as one. This makes it difficult for the criminal to lift the door off the track to unlock it.
A major weakness that most people don’t think about is their garage door. What some criminals are doing is reaching some sort of object between the top of the door and the wall, and unlatching the door release on the track. This allows easy access into the structure and can typically be done within seconds. A way to prevent this type of break-in is to use the locks on the door itself. On some garage door models, you can place a pin into prevent the release from being opened.
Outside of this, if you put a deadbolt on the door leading into your house it will add another layer of protection. Another thing you have to worry about is leaving the garage door opener in a car that sits outside, a criminal can break into the vehicle and then gain access to the inside of your home. Outside of putting locks on your windows you may want to have low growing thorny bushes under all of your windows to help deter a criminal from trying to enter your home through a window.
The best ways to prevent unlawful entries may seem like common sense, but not everyone practices common sense. You want to make sure that your garage doors are always shut, because criminals will just walk into your home without any effort. Make sure to keep your doors and windows locked and shut. If you live in an area where you like to have your windows and doors open for fresh air make sure to have a layer of protection to prevent someone from just walking in through one of these openings. A criminal’s favorite time to strike is when the weather is nice and people have let their guard down.
Small changes in behavior can make huge differences in your security. Try and vary your routine to keep from being predictable. Have lights on timers that vary when they come on and go off to keep people from knowing if someone is at home or not. If you are going on vacation, leave a car in the driveway to keep people unsure if your there, make sure to remove the garage door opener. Layer your home for protection, have good locks on all entry points, have an alarm system, and also have a camera system. All of these will combine to make a very unfeasible target.