You lock the front door at night, you keep the downstairs windows locked securely when you are out of the house, and you get lured into the idea that your home is completely safe from break-ins. Unfortunately, if you are missing some commonly forgotten access points to your home, you might be unintentionally inviting burglars into your home.
1. Check the Back
Often, homeowners focus their security on the front of the home, which can leave the rear of their home unprotected. While front doors may have multiple locks and the windows facing the street may be secure, back doors and windows can be neglected. For homeowners with enclosed yards, it is understandable to get lulled into a sense of safety by high privacy fences, bushes or walls. Unfortunately, most of these can be climbed or avoided in some way.
Be certain that your house is thoroughly protected, regardless if a door or window is on the front, back or side. Have sturdy locks that are difficult to pick on all your doors, if you have a sliding door, consider a bar lock for extra assurance, and be certain your windows latch properly.
2. Guard your Garage
If you have an attached garage, then you need to treat that garage with the same level of scrutiny as you would the rest of your home. One of the first steps is always locking the door that connects your garage to the inside of your house. And though this door will not be exposed to the elements, you should still ensure this door is as sturdy as the one at the front of your house. This will be an added deterrent if someone does manage to breach your garage.
Next, make sure your garage door is keeping your burglar out. The first step is shutting your garage door, which many homeowners forget to do. Next, you need to be sure your remote control is doing its job. The very earliest models all opened with the same code, which meant a generic garage door remote could open every garage on the block. That is why homeowners can now set their own codes; unfortunately, if you leave the door set to open on the default setting, you have no more security than you would have had with the old system. Make sure not to leave your remote in your car, as a car theft could soon become a home break-in if a would-be burglar gains access to your remote.
There are added prevention steps you can take to guard your home and car from intruders. If you are going to be gone from your home for some time, lock your outer door with padlocks or C-clamps. If your garage and/or garage doors have windows, frost or cover them to keep burglars from knowing when you are not at home.
3. Focus on More than the First Floor
The lowest floor in your home is the easiest place to enter, but it is not the only way of entering for an opportunistic burglars. Be sure to lock all windows in your home, whether they are on the first or upper floor of your home. Be especially cautious with windows that overlook a lower-level roof, since those windows will be more likely targets. If you own a ladder, be sure it is locked up; do not make the job easier on your would-be burglar.
Do not forget your basement, either. Though some basement windows are too small or open awkwardly for use in a break-in, that isn’t true for all styles, so be certain they are locked and that the windows are not loose in their frames, as can happen in older homes. Do the same inspection for your basement door. It should be as much of a deterrent against break-ins as your front door.
Keep these problem areas in mind when you go through the rooms of your home. Make sure everyone in the home is locking the doors and windows, do occasional checks of the points of access to your home to be sure they will not give way under force, and replace deteriorating windows or doors, and their frames. If you maintain a proactive approach to your home safety, you can make your home a harder target for break-ins.