Improve Your Home's Security
- Entrances should be visible and the exterior well-lit. Thieves don’t like to be seen. If a home’s doors and most-accessible windows are visible from the street or a neighbor’s house, they might look for another home.
- Most homes have outside lights; make sure those lights are positioned correctly. Lighting up the front door and driveway is great, but what about the dark corner of the yard near the living-room window? Use motion-sensor lights in these areas.
- Exterior doors must be metal or solid-core wood. A particle-board or similarly weak door will break long before most locks give out.
- All exterior locks should have dead bolts with metal strike plates. Dead bolts alone don’t deter burglars. Without a heavy-duty metal strike plate screwed in the door frame to receive the lock, someone could break open the door by busting through the wood.
- Watch for old sliding-glass doors. Old doors with worn-out rollers can be lifted off the track, bypassing any lock.
- Any fence gates should have locks. Yes, burglars can climb over most fences, but they risk more exposure by scaling a fence instead of quickly walking through a gate.
- Look for “painful” landscaping. A good way to discourage a thief from breaking in through a first-floor window is to install a rosebush or other thorn-covered plant under it.
You can’t keep a determined, professional burglar out of a home. However, you can make it less appealing for him to try.