Increasing Home Security Means More Than Just A Security Alarm
How would you rob your own home? When law enforcement officers want to catch criminals they have to think like criminals. If you want to keep criminals out of your home you need to do the same and conduct a vulnerability assessment of your home. Essentially all this entails is going through and planning how you would rob your own home. Through the process of doing this you will or should identify the most critical vulnerabilities that a crook is likely to exploit. Then you can take corrective actions to make it more difficult for a criminal to target your residence.
Here are some easy items that you can do yourself to beef up your home security.
Home Security: Exterior
Lighting. Utilize a combination of ground / landscape lighting as well as dusk to dawn lights and flood lights. Secondary Motion detecting lights are good to add as well. Note: Solar landscaping lights also work well as an emergency area light inside the home if the power goes out.
Infrared driveway alarms, for those with suitable driveways.
Eliminate trees and shrubs that may provide unseen entry and egress from your property (at least in the areas close to your home).
Plant nasty mean and thorny shrubs or bushes around windows or in areas that a crook may use to approach your home with the cover of darkness.
Use a good concealment device to hide a spare key well away from the entry area.
Always leave at least one vehicle parked in the driveway (if possible) when you are not home.
Make sure your remote control garage door opener is stored out of sight in your vehicle. Leaving it visible on the middle console gives a crook an easy way to get in your home. In times of hightened security just bring the garage door opener in the home at night.
Have a real or fake home security cameras covering the main entrances. This logitech camera uses the home electrical wiring as its network and records the images directly to my computer hard drive. Here is a link for the newer version http://www.logitech.com/en-us/webcam-communications/video-security-systems/master-systems/devices/7252
Get an outside dog. Consider obedience training.
Home Security: Interior
Get an inside dog. Consider potty training
Dead bolts on all external doors, including the door coming in from the garage.
If possible make sure the exterior doors are steel cased doors or solid hardwood.
Cut a broomstick to fit in the door track of a sliding glass door. Also have a pin lock installed in it as well. Here is an article on how to install a pin lock on your sliding glass door http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/how-to-add-a-lock-to-a-sliding-glass-door/index.html
Place a small bell just over the doorway so it rings when the door is opened. Much like many business do to let the owner know they have a customer. A little bell ringing may not sound like much, but it might be enough to wake you or your dog. And it may be enough to scare an uncertain thief off because they might think they were busted. Note: This is also good if you have young children and you want to be able to hear if they open the door to go outside and play without you knowing about it.
During times of heightened security place a audio/video baby monitor close to the most likely entrance, or at two or more entrances. These monitors have excellent sound sensitivity and can be found online used for very reasonable prices. If you are using more than one receiver make sure you put the one for the front door by one person and the one for the back door by the other person. Otherwise if you have them both next to you it may be hard to tell which entrance the disturbance is at, which may slow down your reaction time.
Keep your vehicle keyless entry key fob next to your bed, so that you can activate the cars alarm/horn if someone enters the home.
It almost goes without saying but an ultrabright led flash light on a night stand next to your weapon of choice is also very handy for home security. I also keep a nice small child sized aluminum baseball bat handy as well. For a great selection of super high quality flashlights checkout http://www.goinggear.com
A good loud whistle or sports air horn is also a good way to scare the crap out of the would be thief who is trying to gank your new led tv. And it serves the double purpose of waking other family members so that they can either be alert to assist or to move to a preplanned hiding area or safe room (age dependent of course).
Lower your phone’s ringer / answering machine volume. Burglars can easily find your phone number online or by digging through your trash. Then they just call it while standing close to the door and wait to hear if it gets picked up by the machine. If the volume is lowered so it can’t be heard outside the door, then it is one less tool they may use against you.
Leave a radio and the lights on, both inside and outside on when you leave. Most homes broken into are dark homes with poor lighting and many are not even locked at all.
Install peep holes in solid exterior doors.
Close drapes nightly and to the street side during the day, so that thieves can’t easily see in your home.
If you have pains of glass that run along your doors vertical edges, install a deadlock that can only be opened from the inside with a key.
Full blown security alarm systems are fine, if you can afford them, but Radio Shack and other companies also have several other intrusion alarms that can be effective as well. Here is a portable one from Radio Shack http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2102584
What Sort Of DIY Improvements Have You Made To Increase Your Home Security?
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