Simple Steps to Fortify Your Home and Deter Break-Ins

Secure Your Home with the Help of Toronto Locksmiths

Your home is the place you should feel the safest, most comfortable and most relaxed. Your home should be your haven, which is why the thought of someone breaking into your house is so disturbing.

Some break-ins simply can't be prevented—some thieves are determined to get the job done. However, in most situations, you have much more control over your home's safety than you may think.

Use this blog to learn about how homeowners unintentionally encourage burglaries, and simple steps you can take to discourage them instead.

What Burglars Look For

You have heard that burglars will often "case the joint" before targeting your home for a break-in. They will usually check your home for any weak spots that set it apart as an easy target before they commit a crime. Criminals will often look for the following things:

  • Newspapers piled up in the driveway, which might indicate you are on vacation
  • Glass panes on the front door, which can be easily broken or give a thief a good view of your entryway
  • Open windows on the ground floor, or near tree branches on the second floor, especially during the summer

How to Protect Your Home

Stand outside your home and examine it from a potential burglar's perspective. What are some weaknesses in your home defense? Spot the problems, then rectify them with the following actions:

Lock Your Doors and Windows
The most important thing you can do to ensure your home's safety is to invest in high-quality locks—then put them to good use by remembering to lock all your doors and windows. According to the American Federal Bureau of Investigation, criminals simply opened an unlocked door and walked inside in 27.8% of burglaries (over 670,000 total crimes) in 2006.

Most burglaries occur during the day, when homeowners are at work. When you are away, always lock the windows and doors. Make sure your outside doors have deadbolts, and turn them before you leave. All of your doors should have locks on them, including sliding doors and glass doors, which can be easy targets for burglars unless they are properly secured.

If you ever have a problem with a lock, or if you discover that one of your windows or doors lacks a functioning lock, call your local locksmith at Davies Lock & Door. Davies can replace or repair the lock and return your home to optimum safety in no time.

Upgrade Your Door
Choose solid metal doors or solid wood doors with metal sheathing as your exterior doors. Combined with a firm metal frame, your door becomes much more difficult to kick in or remove.

If your door has glass panes, the glass should be at least one metre away from the knob. This puts them far enough away from the knob that a burglar couldn't break the glass, then reach through to turn the lock.

Post Security Signs
If you have an alarm system, post a sign in the front yard to advertise the fact. This is more likely to deter potential burglars.

Trim Shrubbery
Overgrown shrubs and hedges give burglars a place to hide as they move towards your home. Maintain your shrubs and hedges, and make sure they don't block the view of your house from the street. As an extra deterrent, consider planting thornier shrubs or bushes underneath your windows.

Also trim back tree branches that seem too close to the house. Some burglars will climb trees and use branches to access the second floor.

Prepare before Vacations
Contact the post office to stop your mail and newspapers while you are away. Set a timer to turn lights on and off periodically; this will make your home look lived in. If possible, do the same with the TV, since noise is more likely to deter burglars than lights. Install an indoor side-mounted lock to secure the garage doors.

Although it's tempting to talk about your vacation plans online, don't post anything about your vacation in a public space. Criminals will use the information they find online about your impending absence to their advantage.

Keep Expensive Items Out of Sight
Draw the curtains or blinds before you leave to shield items like computers or TVs from the street view. If you purchase a large, expensive item, dispose of the boxes discreetly—don't leave them next to the recycling bin. Instead, crush them down and make sure they fit completely in the bin.

Stay Safe and Secure
Taking these simple steps—most importantly, installing and using high-quality locks—will give you greater peace of mind about your home's security. Apply these preventative measures today and let go of your home break-in worries. Contact Davies Lock & Door Services in Toronto today for all locksmith needs to keep your home secure.