The first step is to have proper doors and locks to make your home more difficult to enter and discourage amateur burglars who are just looking for a home that has easy entry. Use Grade-1 or Grade-2 locks on exterior doors that will be tough to pick or break through. A quality deadbolt will also help to reinforce the locks just in case a burglar manages to penetrate them. It’s also wise to use solid metal doors at all entrance points, whether it’s the front door, back door, or a door leading into the house from inside the garage. It’s also important that you keep your car doors locked, even if you keep one or more of your cars inside the garage, as accessing a car can lead to gaining access to the home.
Patio doors and sliding-glass doors are also potential entries that require attention. Sliding glass doors use latches, not locks, which makes them easier to open. However, inserting a wooden stick into the track is a simple and effective way to make sure the door can’t be used to gain access to the house. Door pins or track screws should also be used to prevent the sliding glass door from being lifted and removed. It also helps to keep the door, its latch, and its rollers in good condition, or else it’ll be much easier for burglars to use sliding-glass doors to gain entry to the house.
The next frontier for potential intruders is windows. Obviously, open windows, especially ones on the ground floor, are easy targets. The same can be said for windows that are can be reached by climbing a stairway, balcony, fence, or tree, as an experienced thief or desperate burglar won’t be afraid to climb something to get to an open window. Even if windows aren’t left open, they can still be vulnerable, as they operate on latches not locks, so they should be treated like sliding-glass doors and reinforced with either wooden sticks or through-the-frame pins, depending on whether they are horizontal or vertical. It’s also important that you make sure someone can’t reach through the window and either remove the blocking device or unlock an adjacent door.
Finally, be a vigilant neighbor, and hope that your neighbors do the same for you. That doesn’t mean you have to form some kind of neighborhood-watch group, although that’s not a bad idea. Become friendly with your neighbors and gain their trust, eventually exchanging keys with them so that you don’t have to leave a spare hidden under a welcome mat or other obvious places where burglars can easily find it. Once you have a good relationship with your neighbors, they’ll pay more attention to your house and be able to notice any suspicious activity, while you can do the same for their houses. Neighbors looking out for one another will make you feel safer and make your home and neighborhood a safer place.
These techniques obviously require some commitment and investment, but they’re far from extraordinary measures, and they can go a long way toward ensuring your family is safe inside your home. You don’t have to do anything outrageous or crazy to ensure home safety, just follow a few basic steps towards improving home security.