How to Secure Your Home from Intruders
We all feel safe and secure in our homes, but when our home becomes compromised by an intruder, that all changes in an instant. Learning how to secure your home from intruders and arming yourself with knowledge can keep your home off the criminal’s radar.
Cheap Ways to Secure Your Exterior Doors
Securing your doors should be your first priority. Criminals know that people tend to ignore loud banging noises. This means that 2 to 3 kicks to a back door will likely go uninvestigated by neighbors. However, when people hear glass break, they are much more likely to inspect the source of the noise. It’s just not that common to hear glass break, so people take notice.
There are many ways to secure your doors, some simple and cheap, others more expensive and complicated.
Replace Screws on Your Exterior Doors
The very first thing you want to do is to remove the screws from your deadbolt strike plate. This is the metal piece located on the door frame where the deadbolt slides in. These screws are typically 3/4″ to 1″ long. These screws are the weakest link because they do not penetrate deep enough and can be ripped out with a few hard kicks from a seasoned robber.
You will want to replace these screws with 3″ screws. This will strengthen the door exponentially. If you would like to reinforce the deadbolt further, there are strike plates available with sleeved inserts for the screws. These require drilling out the screw holes slightly so that the sleeves can slide in and provide additional support.
Next, replace your door hinge screws with 3″ screws also. If the deadbolt screws are no longer the weak point, then the door hinges vulnerable. Like the deadbolt strike plate, these screws are also very short.
TIP#1 – Replace one screw at a time on your door hinges, and be sure to tighten them to just snug. Over tightening the screws can change how the door is aligned in the frame; it may not close or open smoothly.
Additional Protective Hardware
There are many items on the market designed to be added to the door to reinforce it better. These could be simple products like an extra deadbolt, bolt latch, or chain lock. However, there are more extreme options if you need further protection. However, with any of these options, you will have to be ready to compromise aesthetics for protection.
Door barricades are one of these such items. As you might have guessed, this looks like the medieval door barricade from the Dark Ages. The barricaded slides though loops attached to either They have made some improvement over the last 600 years; however, this would be excessive for most homeowners, to say the least.
Floor Mounted Barricades
Other door barricades do not go across the door and are less noticeable, like floor barricades. Floor barricades come in several different designs; three of the most common is the latch style, two-piece, and pop-up style.
The latch style is common used on french doors to secure one door from moving. These are often installed inside the door at the top and bottom. These latches go into the door frame. Some latches attach to the outside of the door. They are mounted on the bottom and insert into a steel receptacle on the floor. Of the three mentioned types, this latch style will provide additional security but the least amount of protection.
Two-piece floor mounted door barricades have a bottom receiver plate that is attached to the floor. It allows the door to swing over it when not in use. To secure the door, there is a second steel piece that slides into the floor plate. This will effectively keep the door from opening past that point.
A pop-up floor mounted door barricade is just like it sounds. It is installed on the floor and is foot activated. Simply press the plate down with your foot, and it will pop-up blocking the door from opening. When it is not needed, just press it down again for it to close.
Replace The Door
For ultimate protection, replacing the door with a new steel door and jam. A good quality steel door that has been properly installed is the most difficult to break into. Kicking this door in will nearly impossible. A steel door jam mounted with 3-inch screws will not break.
Adding lighting to a dark property will make it less inviting to an intruder.
Lighting up your property with constant lights will help keep robbers and burglars at bay by eliminating places to hide. Be sure to consider areas that are often overlooked like the sides of the house. Constant lighting is commonly installed on the porch and patio of the home, leaving the rest of the yard in darkness.
Motion lights are great for parts of your home that you do not want to have constant light. These bright lights poping on will send many would-be trespassers fleeing. Placing these lights near the rear property line will act as a spotlight for anyone trying to trespass from the alleyway or rear of the home.
This is especially important with homes that have tall wood privacy fences. Theives like these fences because they help hide them from neighbors while they kick down your door.
Install Visible Security Cameras
Hidden security cameras are great when you want to monitor your babysitter or catch your significant other eating all the cookies. But for home security, visible security cameras are best.
Security camera footage is just not that great, and anyone trying to hide their identity will likely succeed. Security cameras work best by dissuading intruders. A thief wants to choose the easiest target and a security camera is an unnecessary risk.
Dummy cameras look functional and may even have a battery-operated light. These dummy cameras will give you the same dissuasion benefits as the real thing without the added cost.
Clean Up Your Property
Thieves look for homes with landscaping that is, well, less than tidy. Over-grown bushes and trees could provide cover for a thief breaking into a home. Since most thieves can enter a home in less than 30 seconds, that overgrown bush might just be enough cover for a quick entry.
Landscaping isn’t the only issue though, make sure that you are storing your property and items away out of sight. Leaving tools, lawnmowers, or bikes out in plain view is an open invitation to a passing crook.
Don’t Be the Victim – Act Now
The best way to not be a victim is to be proactive. Save yourself the heartache of being a victim by removing as many of a thief’s opportunities as possible. Don’t wait till your family’s security has been violated.
Back to Blog