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How To Safeguard Your Home From A Home Invasion

No matter where you live, a home invasion can occur anytime and anyplace. In one of my other articles, I wrote about one my family experienced. This is especially true during civil emergencies or if there is a collapse in society. During these times, there will be mean break-ins, robberies, hostage taking, rapes, and murders.

In this article, I will provide you with several do it yourself (DIY) tactics that you can use and apply BEFORE there ever is a true civil emergency.

Keep your family and belongings safe from criminals.

Unfortunately, if you are away from your home, you don’t have much control over what happens to your property. To have some control, you can upgrade your home security as I have. I have cameras around my home, sensors on all my doors and windows, and motion sensors inside my home in case intruders still get in. I turn my security on at night when I am home to help reduce the chance of serious crimes occurring. Use a combination of professional and DIY measures, choosing the best you can afford in each instance.

Weak Point # 1: Garage Doors and Windows

Several years back, robbers went through my entire neighborhood and broke into every car on my cul-de-sac. They broke into my car and truck that were parked in my driveway. This is what prompted me and my neighbors to invest in cameras.

If you have not taken measures to secure them, your driveway and garage are potential weak points in your current home security system. I now have sensors on my garage doors to alert me when they are opened. You can even buy an inexpensive driveway patrol alarm for less than $30. Installation is fast and simple, and the monitor alerts you when an intruder sees your empty driveway as an invitation to break in.

If you have a garage, you can also have a professional garage door contractor install upgraded security measures. I have plain, lightweight garage doors, but there are more secure versions. You can discuss your current door with a contractor to figure out ways it can be improved or replaced for your benefit.

If someone gets into your garage, not only are all of your items in the garage vulnerable, but the intruder can also get access to your home door without anyone seeing them. If your car is not secured in your garage: the windows should be up and doors locked.

To secure my car, I use a steering wheel locking device (you can purchase for as little as $20), which will help you to protect your car. Otherwise, a criminally-minded person may prey upon your vehicle and target your home, believing it an easy target too.

Important note: If you park your car in your driveway, you should NEVER leave an automatic garage door opener in any of your vehicles. The intruder can simply break into your car and use the opener to enter your garage door.

Also, you should not leave your garage door opener in your car while you are at work or shopping. It should always be with you because a criminal might be following you for a chance to steal your opener and then break into your home while you are away.

All of your exterior doors should be as secure as you can afford. In addition to the front and garage doors, any side doors, the back door and basement door should be upgraded if necessary. I have a door leading to my basement, and I have bars on that door. I have a sliding glass door on the rear of my house, and I have a sensor, a door lock, a locking bar, and a bar in the tracks on the floor.

While doors with windows may be attractive, they are easy for criminals to break to reach in and unlock the door. To secure your door, the best material to use is steel, but it is expensive. A police buddy of mine just had one installed for about $3000. Solid hardwood doors are a good alternative. You should NEVER use a hollow door for your external doors. Also, you should inspect the frames and replace any weak materials.

If you cannot afford to have alarms installed right now, I have a little trick for you: you can add a small set of chimes to your curtain rod if you have a small window on your door. You could even hang a small bell onto your door handle. Install anything that will make noise to alert you if someone is trying to get in through your door.

Here is another neat little trick you can use: you can install floor mats with silent alarms as your welcome mat or just inside your door. These mats have a silent alarm that will alert you when someone steps on it. These mats are actually intended for alerting caregivers when their patient is getting up. However, this is a great way to be alerted in case someone has gotten into your home without you knowing.

Weak Point # 2: Door Locks

The locks on your door are just as important than your garage and windows. At the very least, I recommend you use a deadbolt on each of your exterior doors. My first choice is deadbolts with a keyhole on both sides of the lock, especially if there is a window on your door or near it where someone can break the window, reach in, and turn the lock.

If you can afford it, purchase a high-tech locking device. I have a lock that I can engage from my alarm panel or from anywhere with my smartphone. It also has coded entry. I can change my code whenever I wish, especially if one of my daughters loses her key, or better yet, they can get in with the code and not even carry their key. My alert system notifies me when activated, so I know instantly if my home is unexpectedly accessed. The system was an addition to my cameras and monitoring and can be a bit expensive, but I think it is well worth it.

Another trick is you could turn your door around so that it opens outward instead of inward which can help prevent an intruder from kicking it in. If you do this, be sure that you use security screws that have a special head on them. A special tool will come with these screws so that the common screwdriver or tool will not be able to get these types of screws out.

If you have sliding glass doors as I do, use a wooden dowel or metal rod half the length of the unit. When the doors are closed, place it in the groove so that the door cannot slide open again. You can use this same inexpensive trick to protect side-sliding windows better too.

Caution About Door Lock Brands:

When I attended the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center for a two-week advanced security course, they taught me a lot about locks, among other things. One of the worse locks, which I see on many people’s homes is the “Kwikset” lock. These locks are one of the easiest brands of locks to pick. If you have Kwikset locks on your home currently, I would highly recommend that you changed them out as they are easy targets for crooks who have learned how to pick a lock (it’s not a hard skill to learn, unfortunately). Some of the best locks you can buy are Schlage, Medeco, Baldwin, and Flacon.

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