As a Locksmith and Security System installer I typically get two types of calls from homeowners.
- Provide the outdoor perimeter of your home with plenty of lighting.
- Trim back bushes and trees to limit hiding spots for a potential burglar.
- Keep the yard tidy and remove any junk or clutter.
- Cut up large boxes from major purchases instead of placing them by the trash. This is usually a tip to a burglar to target your new TV!
- Use signage like "No Trespassing", "Beware of Dog", and Alarm signs or decals to deter criminals who may be profiling your home for a crime.
- Close curtains and blinds to prevent observation into your home.
- Lock windows when leaving home for even short amounts of time.
- Purchase dowels or thumb turn window locks for windows that have a lack or a poor quality of lock mechanism.
- Consider using a window film that makes glass more difficult to break.
- Replace screens when they become damaged or are falling out of the window frame.
- Limit access to windows by locking up maintenance ladders, chairs, and tools.
- Make sure every exterior door has a deadbolt properly installed.
- Make sure the door jamb is reinforced with wood and long screws. This is usually the critical weak point when a door is pried or kicked in.
- Glass sliding doors should have a dowel placed in the frame to prevent opening. There are products available for this often referred to as "Charlie Bars".
- Consider replacing screen doors with security doors made of steel or iron.
- Replace screens on all screen doors, insure locks are functional, and you might also replace screen door glass with "Pyrex" or "Lexan" glass.
Keys and Key Control:
- Never give out a spare key to a neighbor. Place spare keys in locking boxes mounted to a door or garage. These are often called "Realtor Boxes" and they lock the key in an armored box only opened with a numerical code.
- Never leave your house keys unattended, or on the key chain when you have work done on your vehicle.
- Never leave keys in the open when shopping, socializing, or visiting friends or co-workers.
- Always carry a spare house key or car key in your wallet or pocket-book.
- Consider keying your doors alike except for one door used only by the baby sitter, cleaning staff, or delivery workers. Then if this person is let go from service you are only paying a locksmith to rekey one door rather than ALL of your exterior doors.
Other Security tips for the Home:
- All doors should have a peep-hole viewer or camera to identify visitors prior to opening the door.
- Consider adding a locking mail drop box to prevent mail theft.
- Firearms and important documents should be locked in a quality safe or lock box. The safe should be bolted down or otherwise tethered to prevent theft of the entire container during a break-in.
- Consider adding a basic burglary alarm system that communicates with an alarm monitoring Central Station.
- CCTV or surveillance cameras are becoming easier to install and more affordable. Consider adding a system as they are excellent deterrents and can often help identify an intruder when viewed after the crime.
- Review your insurance coverage with your insurance agent to make sure you are protected for all of the valuables in your home. (Alarm systems are a great way to get a discount on your home owners or renters insurance.)
- Record to video media all of your personal property; especially collectables, jewelry, firearms and other items. Keep this video media (DVD, CD, Thumb Drive, Tape, etc.) in a safe, or in a safe deposit box off site.
- Mark your property with a unique mark or name with a scratch pen to easily identify your goods if they are recovered later.
As far as the two types of callers, my opinion as a Locksmith and Security Professional is that as a "price shopper" this person is on the road to making a good decision regarding their home security. They are aware of a need and are moving forward on it, sometimes with a gentle nudge in the right direction. If a caller is a victim of a burglary, I request that they please teach what they have learned to family and friends. This information from a respected peer can make a difference, and can prepare them to take steps toward crime prevention n their home.
In closing, please consider these tips regardless if you rent or own your current home. Do not assume that the current security features of your home are satisfactory. Have a security professional evaluate your home security. Every home can benefit from a security evaluation, and the peace of mind that comes with one is worth the time and effort. Discuss home security with all of your family members and other occupants to develop a plan for upgrading security and establishing a protocol to utilize during an emergency or crime.
To set up a security evaluation of your home in Colorado please contact:
Rocky Mountain Security Group