October 27, 2016

8 Ways to Protect Your Home or Apartment from Threat

8 Ways to Protect Your Home or Apartment from Threat is a Guest Post by Tracy Meyers*

It’s always important to be active in your own home security. There are plenty of ways we protect ourselves from the damages we incur after a tragedy, such as renter’s insurance or home insurance for fire or break in. Hiring a security company is another great way to be proactive and put your money where your mouth is when it comes to home safety. But not every security measure can be covered through a home security provider or backed up by an insurance provider. There are some things that we, as homeowners and renters, need to be doing on our own to protect our property, prevent theft, and ward off break-ins. Not only will this make you and your family more secure, but you will also have the peace of mind that comes without doing it yourself and knowing it’s been done right.

Here are some of the top ways to secure your domicile beyond the middle man:

1.  Install window locks.

Window locks are extremely important, yet many of us settle for the same shabby locks that have been on the windows for years. There are many different variations on interior window locks, so head to a home improvement store and ask about which types would be best for your windows. Take some photos of every window in your home beforehand.

2. Close blinds and curtains.

Never leave the house without fully closing your blinds and your curtains. It’s best to have both, so criminals are not tempted to peek through the slats on blinds or look for silhouettes or shadows through curtains. Get blinds that will close fully and curtains that are thick. The more a criminal can see inside your home, the more information they will be able to ascertain about how to break in.

3. Request security light installation.

If you own your home, install your own security lights. You may need to hire an electrician to wire them. Timed lights work well, as do movement sensors. If you rent, contact your landlord about installing more lights. Go so far as to suggest the exact brand and model of light you want installed. Offer to pay for part of the installation to get the best quality lighting.

4. Block sliding doors.

Sliding doors can be one of the biggest security breaches, and many homeowners forget about them. The tiny locks on sliding doors can be easily picked. The best thing to do is place a long piece of wood or a metal rod inside in the area where the door slides to block the door from opening.

5. Install deadbolts in all entrances.

Install deadbolts in every entrance to your home, including back doors and garage doors. This is an extra level of protection, and these locks are much less difficult to pick or break.

6. Keep a light on.

Never leave the house without some lights on. When you’re out of the house, you should never make it seem like your home is deserted. It should seem as though, even if it’s clear no one’s home, someone will be returning shortly. In fact, timed lights inside your home are a great way to make sure it always seems as though someone is home.

7. Never let your front door or exteriors look shabby.

Criminals will assess every part of your home before attempting a break in, even if the break in is spur-of-the-moment. If your front door and yard are in pristine condition, it will send a signal that your home may not be easy to break into. Keep your front door freshly painted and the locks rust-free. Keep any bushes or trees trimmed, the lawn maintained, and the driveway and sidewalk free from cracks. If you rent, get on your landlord about these things.

8. Buy front door alarms for nighttime.

There are many versions of travel door alarms that work well in a pinch. Connecting an alarm to your front door that will go off if the door is opened is a good line of defense. The same goes for the windows. If you do not have a home security provider or want extra protection, having some portable security items around is a good thing.

*Tracy Meyers is a regular contributor for www.homeinsurance.org among other home and insurance-related blogs and websites. She prides herself in writing for today’s audience and providing the most accurate and up-to-date information available.


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June Sales

4 Comments on 8 Ways to Protect Your Home or Apartment from Threat

  1. For sliding doors, I recommend the sliding door bar locks. They screw to the door & the frame, then can quickly be lifted out of the way from the inside. The ‘piece of wood in the track’, is easy enough to move out of the way with a slim jim. This won’t budge. But at the same time gives you a way out in an emergency. This works MUCH better than the locks that come with them. In fact I installed these instead of even bothering with the stock locks.

    Blinds & curtains are one of the best things you can do, if they can’t see what’s inside, they have less reason to break in. Same is true if you have a garage, don’t leave the door open, it attracts a LOT of lookers.

    Another cheap fix are the little door/window alarms. They work great to make noise and in most cases, that’s your best bet.

    IF you are concerned also look at the Door Jamb Armor products. MOST doors can easily be kicked in, the lock doesn’t fail, the flimsy wood around it does.


    Stay safe & Take care,

  2. A.) Buy a dog! (One that barks.) The bigger and deeper the dog’s voice, the better. But, even yappy little ankle-biters are better than nothing. They can “alert” you to strangers approaching your home, before those strangers even put a hand on the doorknob or window.

    We had a German Shepard as a kid when we lived in an apartment. A would-be criminal tailgated another tenant through the (secure/busser) main entry door of the building. He then came up the staircase, and kicked-in the door of our apartment (single, attractive mother.) Naturally, this woke-up our Shepard, who began barking and launched into full-fledged “attack mode.” The screams of the man woke the rest of us up, as he attempted to flea the scene. Unfortunately for him, the main buzzer door was too difficult for him to open and he began Shepard-meat while our mother called the police (pre-9-1-1 days, so it took her awhile to find the number, and call the cops — and then, for the cops to show up on the scene.) I was young, and don’t recall the final details/outcome. But, I know that there was a LOT of blood by the front door the next morning (and our Shepard didn’t have a scratch on him!)

    B.) Nowadays, there are EXCELLENT security films and screens for doors and windows. These things are nearly bullet-proof (literally.) They are made for security/hurricane protection. It takes a LOT of DEDICATED/repeated effort to even make a small hole in this stuff. After about 5-15 minutes of HARD work intruders CAN (eventually) get inside. But, this is usually enough effort to cause them to disengage, and try softer targets elsewhere. Or, give you and your family enough time to prepare to defend yourselves, and call 9-1-1.

    C.) Install a security camera and/or peep hole at your doorways. Maybe an intercom system as well? Knowing who is on the other side of the doorway is a HUGE help. Is it just a friend or kid pulling a prank? Or, a real threat? (You would hate to “engage” a friend or kid with deadly force because you mistook them for a criminal attack.

    D.) Practice OPSEC. Don’t paint yourself and your family as an easy target — especially if you are a single-mom, single woman, etc. MANY attacks occur in the hallway (outside your home/protective barrier.) BE CAREFUL whom you tell about your marital status, and your home location.

    E.) Be aware of the “advertising” you are creating with the items you have on your decks, patios, windows, etc. Expensive and flashy items draw attention and admiration of not only your neighbors, but ALSO would-be thieves. There are also LOTS of “service people” who earn a few extra bucks by tipping-off thieves. If/when they see a car with windows always open, or a home with windows always open, or expensive items on the patio — they simply tell a professional thief to earn $20-$100 for the tip-off. So, THINK TWICE before you invite maintenance staff and landscapers and such inside your home.

    F.) Keep a “real” landline. We may not be able to afford full-fledge security systems? But, the least we can do, is keep a bare-bones old-school landline phone in the home. Too many of our cell phones or Skype phones and such don’t relay our physical location to emergency services. (e.g. they aren’t 9-1-1 location-savvy.) But, old-school landlines ARE location-savvy. Calling 9-1-1 can bring the police or fire department or ambulance in a hurry. But, not if you don’t have a landline phone, anymore?…


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