Let’s explore how to harden your home against criminals in an uncertain world. They steal much more than your ‘stuff’! They steal your sense of security in your own home…leaving you feeling violated! 80% of burglars access homes through doors and windows, so let’s secure them…today!
- How to Harden Your Home Against Criminals with Easy, Common-Sense Steps
- How to Harden Your Front Door
- How Easy is Lock Bumping?
- Garage Door Safety
- Window Security Film
- Window Safety
- Motion Detector Lights and Outside Security
- More Ways to Harden Your Home Against Criminals
- What About a Safe Room to Harden Your Home Against Criminals?
How to Harden Your Home Against Criminals with Easy, Common-Sense Steps
With our world becoming more uncertain every day, it pays to know How to Harden Your Home against home invasions. We see riots in large cities, but what about our towns? What about where we live? What about protecting our families?
The fact is that many people spend a lot of money on alarm systems…and they are useful to notify the police when there is an intruder. BUT – that alarm doesn’t sound UNTIL SOMEONE IS ALREADY IN YOUR HOME! It could take the police more time than you have before they get there. The situation could easily be over and done with before any help arrives. I believe the best solution is to prevent criminals from getting into your home in the first place!
With statistics showing that over 80% of invasions come in through the doors and windows, wouldn’t it be a smart thing to learn how to harden your home in these areas? *Note – It’s alarming that 60% of rapes occur during a home invasion!
How to Harden Your Front Door
In most of the homes that I see, the door, hardware, knobs, and locks are original to the house. This means that they have never been changed or upgraded.
Almost all builders install ‘builder grade’ hardware that couldn’t be called secure by any stretch of the imagination.
There are only small 3/4″ screws holding the hardware in place and door locks that can easily be picked or bumped in seconds by any amateur burglar. Basically, this means that screws less than 1″ long and a flimsy piece of wood trim is all that is standing between your family and an intruder.
It’s so important to take the time and effort to secure all your exterior doors. You can do it yourself or have a handyman do it…but just be sure that it is done! At the very least, you need to remove the short screws in the strike plate and replace them with 3 1/2″ screws that will go into the door frame itself. Then you should do the same with the door hinges on the other side of the door. Your exterior doors should all be constructed of solid wood or steel. And if you have a pedestrian door in the garage, be sure to harden it as well.
Never open your door to strangers! Install a peephole so you can see who is there, but remember that they can look inside your home through that same peephole. You can buy a peephole that has a cover for additional safety.
How Easy is Lock Bumping?
Easier than easy! And there are even lessons on the internet about how to do it! You’ve got to outsmart the criminal! The fact is that almost any lock can be ‘bumped’ or picked. So, no matter how much you have ‘hardened’ your door hardware, the burglar could still just bump the lock and come on in. The best thing I’ve found to combat this problem is the Door Bull, and it can be used in addition to the hardened hardware. So, no matter if the lock is opened, they still can’t open the door.
One huge consideration is that many insurance companies don’t pay for burglaries that happen without forced entry. When a bump key is used, no forced entry can be proven because they open the door and walk right in. The average loss for burglary is $2,800, and that can be huge when your insurance doesn’t pay!
We sell these units and have them in stock. Call 615-428-8500 to order.
Garage Door Safety
Do you think that you’re safe when your garage door is closed? Think again! Garage door safety is of utmost importance! All it takes is a coat hanger… and a criminal can be inside your garage door in seconds. Once they’re inside, they can close the garage door and do whatever they want…with no one being able to see them. It’s a simple thing to remove the little handle on the manual door release, thereby preventing this from happening. It just takes a few minutes of thought to harden your home against criminals, and many times…very little money!
Window Security Film
We all love those large windows that let in a lot of natural light. But, those same windows can easily be broken with a simple kick or a rock. A criminal can be inside your home within seconds, so once again, let’s outsmart him. Security film is easy to install and it’s clear so you don’t even see it. Walk around your house and make note of any windows that could easily provide access to a burglar. You should install an 8-mil safety film on any window that a burglar could crawl into. Pay special attention to any doors with glass panes. It’s easy to break out one of them, reach inside and unlock the door to gain access. Don’t forget to check your pedestrian door in the garage. Most of these doors have glass panes and need to be hardened. Take a look at the strength of security window film…
Patio doors are also vulnerable to a home invasion. It’s important to make a habit of placing some sort of bar in the bottom groove to prevent the door from sliding open at night. This could be as simple as a broom handle, but make sure it fits.
Checklist for window safety:
- Do you have good locks? Do you keep them locked?
- Do you have a vertical bar inside the frame to prevent the window from being opened?
- Have you considered planting thorny bushes under your vulnerable windows? Thieves and burglars don’t like to be stuck with thorns while trying to work.
- Have you installed security window film?
- Do you have blinds or shades that you can close at night to prevent someone from looking inside?
- If you live in an especially high crime area, you might consider putting decorative bars on your windows. But, I saw a video where a burglar was able to crawl through bars that were 7″ apart. So, don’t think this is foolproof.
Actually, nothing is foolproof. These measures are simply ways to slow down the burglar or make it so hard to get into your house that he gives it up and moves on to somewhere else. These ideas can give you precious moments to get your family to safety or prepare yourself to protect your loved ones.
Motion Detector Lights and Outside Security
- It’s a good idea to install motion detector lights outside your doors. I recommend using solar lights that you can depend on in case the power is out. This can easily happen in the event of a natural disaster, and you will want to be able to see looters or rioters that want to take advantage of the situation.
- Other outside security could be cameras – either real or fake depending on your budget. The fake ones can look so real that a burglar can’t tell the difference. Cameras that you can monitor inside the house are great to have.
- Be sure to lock all exterior buildings to prevent someone from hiding inside them, or to grab your own tools to break into your house.
- Don’t leave any ladders lying around that a criminal could use.
- A guard dog is great to have, but they can be poisoned or removed if someone is determined to get into your house. A barking dog inside the house might be a better idea?
- It’s always a good idea not to look affluent! Don’t leave boxes for big-screen TVs or other electronics out for the trash man, because that only tells criminals that these new items are now inside your house.
- You might put up stickers that tell people you have an alarm system (whether you do or not). Maybe a NRA sticker??
- Basically, don’t draw attention to your home!
More Ways to Harden Your Home Against Criminals
You’ll have to decide about whether you want to be armed. It depends on your state laws – and whether you have children in the house. It also depends on your being trained in the use of weapons. But, they can save your life in a crisis!
Other things you might use could be bear or wasp spray.
You’ll have to be careful with these because they can be used against you if the criminal can take them away. So, use your own judgment.
What About a Safe Room to Harden Your Home Against Criminals?
It would be very expensive to build a true safe room, but you could easily have a designated room in your home to use in case of an emergency. It could be the master bedroom or any room that would be easily accessible by your family members. If I were creating such a safe space in my home, I would replace the hollow door with a solid door…and put the same door hardening equipment that was used on the exterior doors. Make sure you have a working cell phone in that space so you can call 911 and let them know where you are in the house.
Again, all of these measures will not guarantee that a criminal won’t finally get into your home – but it will buy you those precious seconds to get to safety or call the police (if we still have a police force)!
I invite you to share ‘How to Harden Your Home Against Criminals’ with your friends and family members! Please call with any questions you have – 615-428-8500.