Home Security Tips

A home with some lights on

Home security is made up of many different elements. It requires all of these elements to work together in order to avoid being a victim of one of the 2.5 million burglaries that take place each year. After all, you can have the most secure windows in the world and still allow a break-in if your doors aren’t secure. 

These elements include securing all of the doors of your home and practicing a mix of common safety methods. Knowing these tips can be your first step toward proper home security. 

Home Security Tips for Doors

Remember, the burglar will simply bypass your home if it requires too much effort or requires more skill and tools than they possess. Most burglars enter via the front, back, or garage doors. Experienced burglars know that the garage door is usually the weakest point of entry, followed by the back door. The garage and back doors also provide the most coverage. After gaining access to your garage, burglars will look inside your car for keys and other valuables, so it’s a good idea to keep it locked, even when parked inside your garage.

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Choosing Locks and Doors

Use high-quality Grade-1 or Grade-2 locks on exterior doors to resist twisting, prying, and lock-picking attempts. A quality deadbolt lock will have a beveled casing to inhibit the use of channel-lock pliers used to shear off lock cylinder pins. A quality door knob-in-lock set will have a ‘dead latch’ mechanism to prevent slipping the lock with a shim or credit card.

  • Use a solid core or metal door for all entrance points
  • Use a quality, heavy-duty deadbolt lock with a one-inch throw bolt
  • Use a quality, heavy-duty, knob-in-lock set with a dead-latch mechanism
  • Use a heavy-duty, four-screw strike plate with 3-inch screws to penetrate into a wooden door frame
  • Use a wide-angle 160° peephole mounted no higher than 58 inches

Make Your Door More Secure

The most common way used to force entry through a door with a wooden jamb is to simply kick it open. The weakest point is almost always the lock strike plate that holds the latch or locks bolt in place, followed by a glass paneled door. The average door strike plate is secured only by the soft-wood doorjamb molding. These lightweight moldings are often tacked onto the door frame and can be torn away with a firm kick. Because of this construction flaw, it makes sense to upgrade to a four-screw, heavy-duty, high-security strike plate. They are available in most quality hardware stores and home improvement centers and are definitely worth the extra expense.
Install this heavy-duty strike plate using 3-inch wood screws to cut deep into the door frame stud. Use these longer screws in the knob lock strike plate as well, and use at least one long screw in each door hinge. This one step alone will deter or prevent most through-the-door forced entries. You and your family can sleep more safely in the future.

An open door with a key in the lock

Sliding-Glass Patio Doors

Sliding glass doors are secured by latches, not locks. They are vulnerable to being forced open from the outside because of these inherently defective latch mechanisms. This can be easily prevented by inserting a wooden dowel or stick into the track, thus preventing or limiting movement. Other blocking devices available are metal fold-down blocking devices called “Charley bars” and various track-blockers that can be screwed down.

The blocking devices described above solve half the equation. Older sliding glass doors can be lifted up and off their track and thereby defeat the latch mechanism. To prevent lifting, you need to keep the door rollers in good condition and properly adjusted. You can also install anti-lift devices, such as a pin that extends through both the sliding and fixed portion of the door. There are also numerous locking and blocking devices available in any good-quality hardware store that will prevent a sliding door from being lifted or forced horizontally. Place highly visible decals on the glass door near the latch mechanism that indicates that an alarm system or block watch/operation identification is in place. Burglars dislike alarm systems.

  • Use a secondary blocking device on all sliding glass doors
  • Keep the latch mechanism in good condition and properly adjusted
  • Keep sliding door rollers in good condition and properly adjusted
  • Use anti-lift devices such as through-the-door pins or upper-track screws
  • Use highly visible alarm decals

Wondering if a home security system could be right for you? Learn more about our home security systems and how they can help protect your home and family.

General Home Security Tips

Properly securing your home’s doors allows you to get a significant leg up on any potential security issues. However, security doesn’t end with entry points. It extends to the general practices you use around your home. 

This means that practicing general home security measures will keep your home safer overall. 

Understand the Area’s Security History

Every area faces its own unique set of problems. Some areas are prone to break-ins, some experience frequent package theft, and others have minimal issues. Talking to the local police department, which you can find the details for online, and other members of the neighborhood can help you identify these issues and, thus, know what to look out for. 

Identify Potential Entrance Points

Doors aren’t the only ways criminals can enter your home. You also need to be aware of windows and any other points where the interior of your home can be accessed. Identify all of these and make sure they have locks and that these locks are being used. Most criminals break into homes through unlocked entry points like these, so securing them is vital.  

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Make Effective Use of Lighting

When a home has its lights on, criminals think it is occupied and tend to avoid breaking in. You can take advantage of this by using home automation to control your lights so that even when you’re gone, the lights will keep away criminals. You can also use exterior lights to illuminate criminals as they approach the home. If you do this, use lights that detect motion, as they will flip on as soon as a criminal is near. 

Don’t Make Yourself a Target 

Criminals want to break into homes where there are plenty of valuables. Having large, curtainless windows that expose your flatscreen TV and other valuables to the outside is one way they know your home is a good target. Another way they discover this is by looking through your trash and finding the boxes for expensive electronics. Avoid showcasing these valuables to make your home less interesting to criminals. 

Worried about how to secure your home maybe? Contact TriStar Security for your no-obligation personal security assessment today.

Look Into a Security Consultation

The most effective way to make sure you aren’t missing any gaps in your home’s security is with a security consultation. This will look at your home, identify vulnerabilities, and develop solutions. This is a great option because it uses the advice and knowledge of professionals. 

A modern home with lights on near the doors

Keeping Your Home Secure

Home security doesn’t happen automatically. It takes time and planning to get things to go the right way. You can follow along with these home security tips and work with a security company to keep your home safe. 

TriStar Commercial is an independent Austin security company that has experience with all types of security systems. They can provide you with the highest quality and lowest price systems that fit your individual needs. Give us a call at 512-733-0944 or fill out the contact form for a no-obligation personal security assessment for your home.

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