Home Improvements for Home Security

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Home invasions are one of the many commonly occurring crimes in this day and age. They happen at times when we are home or away thanks to brazen criminals with no limits to the actions they are willing to take. This leaves us homeowners holding the bag, unless we take actions to put a stop to home invasions and theft before they happen.

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The first step in avoiding a break-in is to make your home a hard target. If your house is awash in darkness with plenty of shadows, it will be easier for someone to sneak up and get inside undetected. On the other hand, if you have motion lights that come on when someone approaches, a deterrent is now present. Another good way to discourage criminals is by keeping bushes and hedges trimmed so there are fewer places to hide around your home. If you do plant bushes, consider something like holly that has sharp points in which no one will want to be immersed.

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It is important to remember that while many forcible break-ins do occur, a break-in doesn't even have to be forcible to be successful. If you have a hide-a-key, for example, that is an easy access point for people with ill intent. While hide-a-key boxes are meant to fool people into thinking they are just another rock or a cute frog sitting in your garden, it is all too often glaringly obvious what those items are. If you must hide a key outside of your home, forgo the traditional locations (under the mat, above the door frame, etc.) and definitely avoid an obvious hide-a-key box.

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When it does come to forcible entry, there are many steps you can take to better secure your home. Securing windows with sturdy locks and keeping them closed when you are away from home is a good starting point, as is adding obstacles to sliding door tracks to prevent forced openings. On the outside of your home, spring for high quality deadbolts, some of which even offer programmable keypads that can be opened with a combination which eradicates the need for a hidden key. On door jambs, reinforce strike plates with heavy duty plates secured by long screws. Even the addition of a peep hole can be helpful; not only will it help you avoid opening the door to a stranger, but the person on the other side of the door will know you can see and possibly identify them later.

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As you take measures to secure your house, don't forget to consider every possible entry way. You may think your garage is secure and thus not take precautions to strengthen the door between your garage and home interior. Then, if someone forgets to close the garage door one night, a burglar will have that much easier access to your home because the door between the two was left in a weakened state.

To take things up another notch, installing a home alarm and surveillance cameras are option you can utilize. Alarms will enable a quick response by authorities and surveillance cameras will record the image and actions of someone breaking into your home. These options may not always come cheap, but peace of mind and the safety of your family is priceless.

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Some other good protective measures include:

  • Leaving a source of sound, such as a radio, playing while you are away.
  • Always secure windows and doors before you leave your home.
  • Close blinds and curtains so no one is able to see inside to know if the home is empty or not.
  • Consider installing timers to turn lamps on and off.
  • If you go out of town, have a neighbor pick up your mail/newspapers and do not leave a message on your machine stating that you are absent from your home.

What it all comes down to is that breaking into your home will be as easy or difficult as you make it. The steps you take towards home security are obstacles standing in the way of those who wish to make their way inside, and the more obstacles you present, the better off you will be.

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