Good information to help keep your home and data secure. I tell every seller that before they put their home on the market they need to make sure any personal papers are secure so a propsective buyer can't pick up anything they shouldn't. You just never know.
In today’s world we could all use a little more piece of mind. Here are some great tips on making your home a lot more difficult for burglars to break into.
- Install a Peephole - some front doors for homes today come from the factory with a peephole already installed but there are many that do not. You should never open your door to a stranger. Installing a peephole is simple and inexpensive. If you ignore the other 9 tips on this page, this is the one thing that you should do. Remember, if you open the door to the wrong person you are when they are there. It’s not just your TV anymore; it’s about your personal safety.
- Replace Your Standard Mailbox with a Security Mailbox – the information in your mailbox can be just as damaging to your privacy as what’s inside your home. Checks, credit cards, and most importantly your private information is accessible to everyone before it makes its way inside. You can easily prevent someone from having access to your personal information by simply upgrading your mailbox.
- Install a Second Patio Door Lock – patio door locks are very simple to open from the outside and burglars are fully aware of this fact. You can install a second lock for your sliding door for about $25 and it’s a much better design that the standard factory lock that you find on most patio doors. A great security measure for very little cost.
- Use Heavy Duty Strike Plates -did you know that the weakest part of a door is usually the frame and not the door itself? If you already have a heavy duty deadbolt with long screws in the strike plate you’re fine. To check simply remove the strike plate to examine it. It should be made of heavy duty steel and the screws should be at least 3 inches long that secure it to the door jamb. If needed, you can buy reinforcing hardware for $5 - $10 at any home improvement store. This will make the door a lot more difficult to open with force.
- Buy a Safe – placing your valuables in a safe is your last line of defense is the wrong person does find their way into your home. Make sure that you buy a safe that is designed to be mounted directly to the floor or wall. It’s not doing you much good if a burglar can simply take it with them. Remember, important papers are just as valuable as jewelry and money so use the safe wisely.
- Lights are Your Best Friend – there is no better deterrent at night than a well lit yard. Outdoor motion lights are the perfect solution and are very inexpensive. Some even feature a built-in back up battery in the event of a power failure or a built in solar panel eliminating the need to install additional power outlets. Whichever you choose be sure to install as many as you need to ensure good “coverage” at night.
- Reinforce Weak and Flimsy Garage Door Panels – if you have an older wooden garage door you have probably noticed how simple it would be to kick out one of the plywood panels and gain access to your garage. It’s a simple matter to reinforce these panels with an additional ½ inch thick piece of plywood and reinforce it with 2 X 4’s. Your garage door will be a lot stronger then and very difficult to break into.
- Install a Security System – if you have the budget I would suggest a professionally installed burglar alarm but even an inexpensive DIY system is better than nothing. Almost anyone can install a simple wireless alarm system in just one day. Also, you might be entitled to a discount on your home owner’s insurance with this type of additional protection.
- A Shredder is a Good Idea – as you already know, identity theft is on the rise and a paper shredder is an effective tool to keep someone from having access to your private information. Keep in mind that identity thieves DO go through people’s trash to find useful information. Make sure they don’t find out anything that can harm you.
- Install a SIMLock – many home invasions begin with the simple task of picking the lock on one of your entry doors. Even a dead bolt can be opened by a thief with only minimal skills. Thankfully there is a new device called a SIMLock that installs in seconds and can prevent your dead bolt from being opened from the outside when you use it. It’s a $10 item that can save you a lot of grief. You can check it out at thesimlock.com.
Valorie L Ford
Real People*Real Lives*Real Estate
Military Relocation Specialist serving military families relocating to and from the Pentagon, Fort Belvoir, Quantico MCB and all of the Military District of Washington installations.
Licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia