How to Secure Your Home When Vacationing!
Make it as hard as possible for a would be thief!
With summer time here all of us take holidays, it maybe just for a day or two at a time, or a couple of weeks all in one shot then some of us go away for the whole summer.
A lot of us don't have expensive security systems. Here is a list of things we can do and should do to secure our homes. Some of these ideas will not cost any money at all just take a bit of our time. There are many 'homesafety kits' on the market that can be bought and easily installed for a couple of hundred bucks. However some of the old-fashioned ways still work.
I think it's well worth the effort to do all to safe-guard our homes even if only for piece of mind.
Quite obviously the first thing we need to look at when we want to secure our homes are the doors.
Sturdy heavy-duty dead bolt locks should be fitted on all outside or exterior doors. We should have these types of locks in place for everyday use already. (Dead bolt locks have a flat ended cylindrical bolt that extends into the door-frames from 1 to 2 inches. With steel reinforced components, the dead bolt is the key barrier to stop an intruder from knocking the door in. )
Sliding doors can be well secured by putting a portion of wood cut to the proper length in the lower track. A piece of 2x2, 2x4 or a thick dowel, whatever you can find in the garage, even a piece of the broken golf club will do just fine. For not much money you can also get a piece of wrought iron cut to the right length. This will prevent the door from being slid open.
Still talking about sliding doors, remember to put a small wedge of wood in the upper track of the door, this will prevent the would be intruder from lifting the door out of it's track.
The most visible door (that the neighbors can see) should be fitted with a key-lock-chain . The visibility is for your protection too as you don't want to be fiddling with the key and lock at the dark back door. (Door-chain-locks enables you to open a door to speak to a stranger without them being able to get in. Some of these chain-key-locks are very strong and can't be easily knocked in by a strong and heavy intruder).
- Dead bolts can be added to a current door handle mechanism, and they are usually placed a few inches above the standard door handle.
- Deadbolts and chain locks are excellent supplements. A door with both of these devices will be pretty difficult to break into.
- These locks are made of brass or reinforced steel, in most cases the weakness is in the door-frame itself. However if the door-frame is made of good quality steel, it will be very secure. The screws should penetrate deeply into the door jam and even into the wall studs.
- Beware though horizontal dead bolt locks can be pried open with a crowbar. The lock and the frame can be separated enough that the door will open even with the deadbolt protruding one or two inches. So the best deadbolt lock would be the vertical type. Some doors can be fitted with metal fingers on a dead bolt so that the lock won't separate if pried.
Constant Walker says:
Hey Zsuzsy. Something I learned several years ago - don't remember where. The screws which hold most deadbolt locks and plates in place are typically very, very short. They can easily be dislodged with a few good kicks.
I replace these screws with the longest ones I can find.
The same goes for all your sliding windows as previously discussed in doors. Remember to plop that piece of wood or wrought iron that's been cut to the right length in the lower window track. This will not permit the window to be slid open. Also to prevent the window from being lifted out of it's track push a small wedge of wood at the top of your window.
Lighting is the cheapest form of security. Exterior and Interior lights can be operated by timers or motion sensors.
An easy yet really important thing to do is to ask a friend or neighbour to pick up newspaper and mail also to open and close some of the drapes, different one on different days. Outside a chair, hose or watering can could be moved back and forth just to make the home look lived in.
Engraved identification numbers!
One more important task, how can we identified our belongings if they should be stolen, not only from our homes but during travelling. All we need to do is engrave an identifying number on our belongings and take pictures. (most police services have electric engravers for loaning to the public. Also invisible security pencil can be purchased at any stationary store. The engraver and pencils can be used to put the identifying number on our belongings. These identification numbers should be easy to remember such as your license plate number or your birth-dates.
Prevention the best protection!
There is no device that will keep your house entirely theft-proof. If a burglar is skilled - he will get in. However, if you make it difficult, burglars may decide to steal from someone else.
Burglars want break-ins to be fast and unnoticed. You can deter burglars with light, noise, padlocks and light and motion sensors. One thing to remember is that thieves seldom risk a burglary for no reward therefore keep your valuables out of sight. So, keep all your doors, your garage and windows closed and locked when you're not home.
Remember prevention is the best protection, make it as hard as possible for the thief.
I'd like to wish you all a super fun filled and safe summer....
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