Is Your Home in Danger? Three Commonly Overlooked Entry Points
It’s important to guard your valuables against theft and damage by installing and maintaining a security system. But, unless you have a background as a cat burglar, it can be easy to overlook these less obvious security measures.
About six in every 10 break-ins in Canada happen in residences. Not only do these incidents endanger your personal belongings – they can result in serious injuries and a feeling of violation. In fact, about half of all home invasion incidents (47%) result in physical injuries, and in more than half (55%), the perpetrator carries a weapon.
Your home’s security is your best, and often first, line of defense. Don’t overlook these three vulnerabilities common in houses:
1. Pet Door
Pet doors can be convenient – after all, no one wants to get up multiple times every night to let the dog out. But they may also increase your risk of home invasion. Even if your pet door isn’t big enough for a burglar to enter through, if it’s too close to the locks or hinges, they may be able to breach the door.
To make sure your pet can get in and out, but no one else can, take these security measures:
Pet Door: As mentioned, you should be careful where you put this. Position the pet door in the middle of the bottom of the door, away from locks and hinges.
Collar Sensor: Install an electronic sensor that is activated by your pet’s collar so only they can use the door.
Traditional Lock: Invest in a traditional lock or slide-in protector. This will mean you’ll have to get up to let Fido out, but it will make your home that much safer.
If your alarm system includes security cameras, make sure at least one has a good view of your pet’s door so if anyone but Fido tries to use it, you’ll know.
2. Patio Door
Your sliding door likely came with its own lock. Unfortunately, that original lock will do little to deter a burglar. Most sliding door locks can be jimmied open from the outside. Some sliding doors can even be lifted right out of their tracks and removed.
Because your patio typically can’t be seen from the road, the patio door is likely to be a burglar’s entry point of choice. To eliminate that option, consider these security methods:
Reinforced Glass: Laminated or polycarbonate glazing can reinforce your glass doors so a thief can’t break the glass to access the lock. This glazing won’t change the visibility of your sliding doors, just increase their security.
Charley Bars: You can prevent a thief from opening a sliding door from the outside by installing a Charley bar. These bars span the distance between the moving door and the frame, blocking any movement. A Charley bar can fit into the tracks or at any height on the door. If installed at a medium height, these bars also serve as a visible deterrent.
Security Pins: If you’re worried a Charley bar will decrease your home’s beauty, consider a security pin instead. Professionals install security pins at the doors’ intersection to lock the frames together, which won’t show from the outside.
You may also want to consider changing the lock on the patio door. Consult with a trusted locksmith, like Davies Lock & Door, to find out which lock will give you the most peace of mind.
3. Upper Windows
Of course you should secure the windows on the ground floor of your home, but many homeowners forget about the windows above that. This oversight could give a dexterous thief the opening they need to break in.
Here are a few ways you can better-secure your second-storey windows:
Cut Back: Keeping your trees and bushes trimmed can decrease a would-be burglar’s hiding places. Make sure when you’re landscaping that you cut back any tree branches that touch your house, as an intruder could use them to access your windows.
Make It Stick: If you don’t open an upper window often, it may be in your best interest to seal it. You can do this by having a professional screw the window into its frame. For a less permanent solution, fill in the installation gap with a piece of wood to prevent intruders from lifting the window.
Double Up: Consider adding a second lock to each upper window. Like sliding doors, many original window locks are too flimsy to offer real protection.
Set Up a System: Expand your security system to include motion detectors outside each of your windows or arm the window with an alarm that goes off when the window is opened.
If you decide to replace any of your windows or window glass, choose a security-focused option with glazed or polycarbonate glass to prevent shattering. You can also purchase window film to tint your windows for privacy and reinforce them against breakage.
For more ideas on how to fill in the gaps in your security system, consult with a qualified locksmith at Davies Lock & Door. He or she will be able to evaluate the strength of your locks and system and give suggestions for improvement. Take care of these three vulnerabilities today to protect your family from the trauma of home invasion.