Today – Affordable Home Security Upgrades.
According to the ONS, a burglary attempt on a private residence occurs an average of once every forty-five seconds. Since burglaries are a fact of life, it bears to reason that one should take some simple preventative measures to reduce the likelihood of being negatively impacted. But how do you do this without going overboard, blowing your budget and making your residence look like a maximum security prison? Not to worry; affordable tips are on the way that you can easily incorporate alongside routine maintenance.
Affordable Home Security Upgrades – top tips
Secure Your Exterior
Upgrade Your Front Door
Who would have thought it? The majority of break-ins happen straight through the front door. Fortunately, you don’t have to replace your whole door to improve its ability to resist being broken through.
When a door is kicked in, the breaking point is typically around the locking hardware. In most cases, a bolt can be broken through the relatively soft wooden jamb that surrounds it, leaving the locking mechanism rendered useless. The metal fitting that surrounds the bolt is known as the “strike plate.” Since this is the first thing that breaks, it is a great place to start upgrading your house.
Upgrading your strike plate is a relatively easy job – just unscrew the old one and replace it with a more durable, “security strike plate” that is made of thicker metal. The difference will be hardly noticeable until it is needed.
While you’re at it, you should use longer screws to fasten the strike plate in place. Look for screws that are seven or more centimeters in length (the ones you have now are likely two and a half cm or less in length). Between more durable materials and longer screws, breaking your front door should be significantly more difficult. While residential doors are far from indestructible, the key here is deterrence. If it takes more time to get through, it will increase the likelihood of a potential burglar giving up as well as increase time for you or family members to become aware.
Curb any signs that you are away
Unkempt lawn, newspapers and mail stacked up, no car in the driveway – sound familiar? If it does, it’s probably how your home looked the last time you came back from vacation. If you want to prevent burglaries, whether on vacation or not, you should head conditions like this off before they get too far. Burglars know to look for these signs. It indicates that your house is low-hanging fruit. Worst of all, if it turns out that you were home the whole time, the burglar may think you’re a bit of a slob.
Set up window stops
Window stops are a relatively easy and unobtrusive measure you can take that are deceptively effective. A window stop keeps a window from opening past a certain point. Since windows, by nature, tend to be easy to break. Short of replacing them with plexiglass, there isn’t a whole lot you can do about the glass itself. However, you can make the frame extremely difficult to breach by using window stops.
Improve Visibility with Lighting
Motion-activated lights are an easy way to up your house’s security without breaking the bank. They are a great investment as they double as an every day (or night) convenience when coming and going while providing deterrent for burglars. When movement occurs outside your home, it will be plain to observers outside as well as anyone inside who can see the light through their windows. Most motion-sensing lights are easy to set up and don’t need much in the way of technical knowhow.
Add Security System Signs and Stickers to Your Main Entry Points (Even if You Don’t Have One)
It’s the oldest trick in the book. And while it doesn’t beat having an actual security system, this is about saving money, right? When it comes to maximizing how far your bank account goes, this trick should be at the top of your list. Anyone who is considering breaking in is going to have to weigh the risk involved. Why not up the ante a little bit with a sticker? It doesn’t get much simpler than this one.
Work on that spare key situation
Have you ever kept a spare key on top of your door jamb or underneath the mat? Admit it. As sophisticated as it was to put it in the middle of the mat, believe or not burglars are well aware of these very common approaches. If you want to hide your key in a good spot (which you should) you should think outside of the box. The one thing most hiding spots have in common is that they are close to the door itself. Think different. What’s the furthest place you can hide the key that is within reason. Still need some inspiration? How about nailed to a tree on the inside of a hollow? Too outside the box? Try inside the slats of vinyl siding, underneath the doghouse, and the like.
Upgrade Your Gates Without Replacing Them
You might think that gates and fences don’t do much for security – after all, you can just hop over them right? But one benefit you may not have thought about is that the distance that they create between your house’s entrances and the sidewalk or streets creates a useful psychological effect. If someone hops over the fence to look through windows, their milling around is going to look extremely suspicious to any onlookers. You can compound this effect by having shrubbery in areas around windows and doors. If someone is in a fenced-off area and stepping over shrubs it much more likely to raise attention.
But how do you keep someone from hopping over a fence to begin with? Hopefully an unsightly utilitarian fence isn’t quite necessary where you live. The good news is you can easily increase the utility of your existing fencing or gating by simply opting for anti-climb paint.
Anti-climb paint works by coming off on anyone who touches the paint and covering them, making it extremely difficult to blend in after climbing over. For this reason, you should use this type of paint very selectively. Reserve it for areas where someone definitely shouldn’t be monkeying around. If someone begins to try to climb over, they’ll be met with a messy surprise that will hopefully make them second guess their adventure.
Secure Your Home’s Interior
Inventory your most valuable possessions
If the worst has already happened and you’ve lost valuables, now is not the time to start your inventory. Do the smart thing and think ahead. Taking an inventory costs nothing and could come in handy down the road. In order to manage time, think of your most valuable belongings and work down from there, stopping whenever it gets to the point that it doesn’t feel worth your time (you don’t have to inventory your cereal collection). What belongings should you inventory? Think jewelry, electronics, instruments, antiques and anything else you can put a price tag on.
Install Sash Jammers
Sash jammers are simple and affordable little devices that add extra security to your doors and windows.
They work by latching onto the frame of a window or door and stopping it from being opened without a key. They can be especially useful for sliding doors or french doors that have limited protection from traditional locking mechanisms.
When looking for a sash jammer, make sure it is heavy duty and durable enough to do its job. Installation is easy – you just need a driver and some screws and you are good to go. Be sure to also pick up a few packers in case you need more space between the sash jammer’s latch and the doorframe itself to prevent the latch from scraping against the frame.
Set up cameras
A few years back, having a camera system in and around your house would likely have seemed a daunting task and would be something you’d expect to see outside of a commercial facility rather than around the neighbourhood. But times are changing quickly. It’s easier than ever now to have cameras set up in your house that not only record feeds for later reference, but can easily be accessed from your smartphone or laptop when you’re away from home.
When setting up CCTV cameras, look to point them into front doorways, etc. instead of in every room of your house. Having them pointing everywhere poses a serious privacy risk that could actually increase your odds of being burgled if someone is able to hack into the wireless connection and use them to determine when no one is around. Or they might just find catch you singing the theme song to your favorite show. Either way, stick to keeping your cameras focused on points of entry.
Cage the letterbox
Letterboxes are a key weak point in your exterior. A clever burglar can use cheaply improvised tools to open a door from the inside, fish for keys, or simply case the inside by peering through. Fortunately, the fix is as easy as adding a letterbox cage.
Letterbox cages work by catching your mail as it comes in through the door. This has the additional your mail safe from pets, moisture and the other dangers associated with living on the floor inches from the foot of your door. They also will make it extremely difficult to fish for the door locks from outside.
Rip up or shred mail and other identifying documents before throwing it out.
One of the easiest things a thief can do is open up your bins and pick up mail. While losing your junk mail may seem like the last thing you’re worried about, this can actually be used for identity theft purposes. The solution is simple and free – tear up or shred your mail when you discard it.
I do hope you ahev found this post on Affordable Home Security Upgrades to be useful