You have secured your home in all the ways you can think of, but there are other mistakes you may not have thought that are compromising your security. Here are some common problems and how to deal with them.
It is important to you that you protect your home and your loved ones, but the problem is how complicated that protection seems. You are literally pegged down with hundreds of security systems in the market, and it may get confusing. When you settle on one, it may be cheap or expensive, but you soon notice that it is inadequate on its own because of additional inefficiencies in the current system.
In fact, many of the home security systems today are easily compromised, no matter how expensive they are, according to American home shield review. This is discouraging news, but here are some weaknesses you may not have thought of that are contributing to the mess.
- 1 Using inexpensive lock hardware on your exterior doors
- 2 Poor reinforcing of door frames
- 3 Having exposed hinges in out-swinging doors
- 4 The locking hardware you use on your sliding doors and windows is poor
- 5 Using unprotected glass in vulnerable places
- 6 Having unlocked windows or doors
- 7 Final thoughts
Using inexpensive lock hardware on your exterior doors
In many cases, builders will resort to using cheap or poor quality locking hardware when they are building a home, even in a home that costs millions of dollars.
The problem with using poor quality or cheap hardware is the structural quality – making it easy for intruders to break it open or compromise it and enter your house. Many cheap locks tend to use the traditional pin tumbler locks that intruders can easily open.
The solution would be replacing the locksets you have with heavy-duty lock hardware sourced from reputable manufacturers. This includes using high-security lock cylinders to reduce the chances of someone picking your door, or even the unauthorized duplication of keys. The exterior doors of your home should additionally have high-security deadbolt locks and high-security cylinders.
Poor reinforcing of door frames
When your door frame has insufficient support, it is easy for a burglar to kick the door down. In most cases, the latch or bolt will enter a wooden frame, which gives ¼ inches or less of strength for the latch or door bolt. That makes it easy for an intruder to kick down the door as long as they use sufficient force.
The solution is simple though – install heavy-duty strike plates on your exterior doors. In fact, go for the long strike plates due to their greater surface area, which means you need more mounting screws to fasten them. Additionally, make sure the screws you use are the long type that extends into the wall stud next to the door, instead of into the door frame only.
Having exposed hinges in out-swinging doors
Some homes have doors that swing outwards, and most cases you find the hinges are outside of the door. That makes it very easy for intruders to enter – they only need to remove the hinge pins, and then it becomes easy to remove the door from its frame.
When you have an out-swinging door, make sure you install security studs to the hinges. These will work by stopping the removal of the door, regardless of whether the hinge pins are removed or not. You can buy them from hardware stores, or make them at home.
The locking hardware you use on your sliding doors and windows is poor
You may not be aware of it, but the standard lock hardware that is used in many homes on windows and doors is of poor quality. That makes your windows and sliding doors a very easy target for break-ins because they can be forced open or removed from their tracks.
You can prevent this by giving additional locking devices on your windows and sliding doors. The good news is that you can get these from local hardware stores and online, and they are of different types so you get to pick what works best.
Using unprotected glass in vulnerable places
Nearly all homes and buildings will have exterior glass. Meanwhile, some homes have a few exterior windows and doors, while in others the glass comprises a significant part of the exterior wall.
Keep in mind that certain glass is a potential target for allowing break-ins, even though all glass is vulnerable. One of these include glass windows that are located at grade levels in hidden locations – burglars can easily break them and enter your house without anyone noticing. In addition, the other would be glass panes that are next to or within a door, such as the style in many old American homes. These allow the burglar to break them, then reach inside and unlock the door.
The other risk is glass windows that you find in window wells and are below grade. They allow intruders to crawl into the well, break the window, and enter without anyone noticing.
The solution would be installing a security window film, especially ion windows that are insensitive or vulnerable places. The window film protects your glass by keeping the glass shards together, and this will increase the difficulty of entering the window.
Having unlocked windows or doors
It should be common sense to lock your doors and windows, especially exterior ones, but this is not the case. In fact, it gets even more surprising to find that many people leave them unlocked, even when they are away.
Many times, the homeowner will tend to leave windows unlocked, especially in upper rooms, because they assume the height from the ground prevents outsiders from entering. The reality is however different – most burglars do not have a problem accessing these upper rooms, even if they are three, four or five floors above the ground. Some homeowners make it even easier because they leave an unsecured ladder in an accessible area on the property.
You need to take precautions about your safety, even when you are away. Close and lock all your windows and possible access points even at night and when you are away. In the event you need certain windows open for purposes of ventilation, make an effort to install alarm window screens that are connected to the intrusion alarm system of the house. These will activate when the screen is removed or cut and will add security.
Increasing your security begins with the measures you take as a homeowner. These are common mistakes you may be making but had no idea they were compromising your security. Even though there is no system that is 100% foolproof, at least these tips will do their part in increasing the safety of your property.