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TOP 13 Security Tips to make your home in Pennsylvania more secure in 2019
As a homeowner or renter, one of your top priorities is to make your home safe for your family. So here are some home security tips and tricks that when implemented, will give you peace of mind.
- Be smart with your keys
The key under the mat, inside the mailbox, beneath a rock—everybody hides a house key. Problem is, burglars know your hiding places. Instead, give it to a trusted neighbor. Don’t leave car and house keys and remotes near the door or otherwise visible inside your house. Secure them inside a cabinet or a drawer to keep them hidden.
- Light up the outdoors
If you don’t have them already, buy and install outdoor lighting with infrared motion sensors and install one near each point of entry. Replace any burned-out lightbulbs and put your porch lights on timers. Find the best bulbs for outdoor uses.
- Secure air conditioning units
Unsecured window air conditioners could provide an easy entry point for a crook. Use an air conditioner bracket, sliding window lock, or corner braces.
Eliminate hiding spots. If your shrubbery is too tall, bushy, or not well spaced, you’re providing a nice hiding spot for a potential burglar. Trim and prune plantings.
- Complimentary home inspections.
Many municipal police departments offer complimentary home inspections. An officer walks through your home and recommends simple, cost-effective changes to tighten security.
- Hold a household meeting
Make home security a habit, with every member of the household—including kids—agreeing to a routine that should include such simple rules as:
- Use door and window locks. It costs nothing and takes little energy. Make it a habit to lock every door and window when leaving, after entering, and before bedtime.
- Do not open the door to uninvited or unwelcome visitors.
- Close and lock the garage door.
- Secure your home even if you’re doing work around the house and yard.
- Use your alarm system all the time, even when you take a quick trip to the store or visit next-door neighbors. (Learn about important alarm contract clauses.)
- Add Yard signs
Post security-company signs or window stickers near all entryways—whether you have a security system or not. Maybe you have signs/stickers on hand from a previous contract with a security firm, or maybe you can get some from a friend. In addition, post a few “Beware of Dog” signs in visible spots, say at the front of the house or on a gate to the backyard.
- Lock up the ladder
Don’t store a ladder outside. A burglar, perhaps posing as a handyman or contractor, could use it to gain access to a second-floor window or balcony.
- Organize a burglary
This is a fun, useful exercise to do with a trusted neighbor or friend: Allow your neighbor to roam through your house for three minutes, find as many small valuables as possible, and remove them from your house. Let the ersatz burglar demonstrate how easy it is to find valuables. Then hide them from real burglars. That might mean buying a small safe that bolts to the floor, renting an off-premises safe-deposit box, or stashing jewelry and cash in unorthodox places. You can return the favor for your neighbor.
- Install timers
When you leave for work or appointments or go on vacation, you can create a “someone’s at home” look using timers on lights and TVs. No surprise, there are lots of gadgets available. Fake TV, for instance, simulates the flickering lights of a television, and from outside, it appears that someone is watching TV.
- Check windows
Are the window locks operable? If not, get them fixed or replace them. Also consider installing aftermarket window locks, which let you open the window a few inches while still keeping it secure. Another alternative is to use inexpensive window-break alarms.
- Assess doors
Okay, so you’re probably not going to be able to install new doors by yourself over a weekend. But you can inspect your front, side, and back doors. Replace hollow (read: low-quality and easy-to-breach) doors with solid-core (made of wood or metal) or metal-clad doors.
Sliding-glass doors have a latch to close them but are often an easy point of entry for burglars. To make one more secure, place a wood dowel cut to size or an adjustable safety bar in the interior floor track, or consider adding a floor bolt.
Electric garage doors are not a common point of entry—as long as they are closed. “I can drive you down almost any street in America and find a garage door that is open and the inner door is unlocked,” McGoey says. “Homeowners have to treat all the doors like the front door and close it.”
- Replace weak locks
Locks are the weakest point on a door. Make sure you have a grade 1 or grade 2 dead-bolt lock that penetrates the door frame. It’s not necessary to get one at a specialty locksmith; these can be purchased at a big-box home store. The strike plate—the stationary piece that the bolt enters—must be heavy duty, made of solid metal or brass, with six three-inch-long screws that penetrate the door jamb and the door frame.
- Home Security System
If you decide to buy a reliable home security system – contact your local ADT Authorized dealer in Philadelphia.
More than 2.1 million burglaries were reported in the United States last year. That’s one every 15 seconds, according to the FBI, proving just how easy it is for burglars to gain entry. But before you make a big purchase on a security system, take a good hard look around your home. A few simple, low- or no-cost measures will significantly deter a would-be thief from targeting your home. “The goal in home security is to make it so that the casual burglar will be deterred,” Chris McGoey, an independent security consultant, said. “It’s impossible to make your house perfectly secure, but there are low-tech measures that will do 90 percent of the job.”