Protecting your home and family from intruders is a necessity, and the good news is that there are plenty of cost-effective and easy do-it-yourself home security tips and improvements that don’t take an engineering degree to pull off. With winter fast approaching, now is the perfect time to make sure your home is shored up and safe. Many home security measures involve the outside of your home, so it is a good idea to get moving on these projects this fall before that chill in the air turns into little white flakes.
It takes more than the standard latch that came with your windows to keep your family and home safe. The right combination of window stops and durable locks can make all the difference when it comes to making sure an intruder can’t get in. There are several locks for sliding windows that are designed to keep thieves from lifting a window out of its track, but even a strategically placed screw, driven horizontally through the track, will do the trick. For double-hung windows, consider installing a locking pin that prevents intruders from lifting the sash of the window. And if you desire the added assurance of a grill, security gate or security shutters installed on the outside of your home, you want to be sure to get that work completed before snow flies – or you may find your work hindered by collected snow and/or ice.
Garages are an entry point that many homeowners overlook when considering the safety and security of their home, but it only takes a few simple steps to make sure your garage is secure. Prevent access to the garage through its windows by making your own window bars from a few lengths of steel pipe, and to keep burglars from “window shopping,” cover garage windows with shades or a translucent film that obscures vision while still allowing for light. Garages are a great place to install motion detector lights and it’s easy to replace the current light fixtures outside your garage with lights that have a built-in motion detector, or install a stand-alone detector to your current lights. And don’t overlook the service door that allows access from the garage to your home. If the garage is compromised, your next line of defense is this often-overlooked door. You can prevent an intruder from kicking in the lock and splitting the door by adding a metal lock reinforcer and a durable dead bolt.
Letting potential burglars know that your home is protected by a security system can be enough to frighten them off and move along – even if you don’t actually have a security system. Adding a sign to your yard and stickers to your windows has been shown to be just as effective when it comes to spooking off the bad guys. Make sure not to overlook the back and sides of your home, where criminals are often more likely to attempt access. To ensure that signs and stickers stay put, make sure to get them in place before the weather turns. Wet and cold can make it difficult to properly insert yard signs into the ground and apply stickers to the glass surface of your windows.
Sliding glass doors are a criminal favorite thanks to how easy they can be to open. But it only takes a few simple modifications to foil any nefarious plans to gain entry to your home through the sliding glass door. One of the easiest things to do is add a secondary door lock like a security latch, slide bolt or a metal hinge bar. All are easy to find at any hardware store and are designed to for simple installation. A quick way to prevent your door from being lifted off its track is to install screws at both ends of the upper track, keeping the door from being able to clear the track and be removed. And, you can always go old-school by securing the door with a sturdy rod or pipe inserted into the track to keep the door from sliding open. You may also want to consider applying security film to the exterior of the glass, which will keep the glass intact if someone tries to break it. This film needs to be applied under the right conditions, so a crisp fall day is perfect for adding this measure of DIY home security to make sure you and yours stay safe through the cold, winter months.
Paying attention to the lighting in your front and back yards is important to maintaining the security of your home. Most intruders don’t want to pry their way into your house under a bright light. There are a variety of security lights to consider, from lights with timers to those with motion sensors. If you do go with a timer, make sure to choose one that allows for a random pattern – by not having lights that come on in a predictable routine, the bad guys will be less likely to predict when you are not home. Most security lights are easy to install, and there are several instructional videos on the internet or you can ask for an installation tutorial at your local hardware store or Home Depot. If you want to protect the environment, as well as your family, there are also low-voltage and solar security lighting options available.
What other home security do you think is essential to get done before the snow flies?