5 Ways to Boost Home Security
By Barbara Pronin, RISMedia
Studies show that summer is the peak season for home break-ins. Why? Because
people tend to open the windows and forget to close them when they leave. They
forget to lock the front door while working out back in the garden – often
leaving purses, wallets, and other valuables out in plain sight.
In addition to correcting these common oversights, the consumer advocates at
Consumer Reports suggest five ways to boost your home security:
• Kickproof your doors – Most doors, whether solid wood, fiberglass or
steel, are resistant to hard blows. The problem is the door jamb area near the
lock’s strike plate. You can strengthen these areas on exterior doors by using
a one-inch long deadbolt lock and a reinforced metal box strike, which costs
about $10. Use three-inch long screws to mount them so they lodge in the
framing beyond the door jamb. (And don’t overlook the door that leads into your
house from the garage.)
• Choose the right locks – High security locks, which cost up to $175,
are worth the price because they resist drilling and picking. Equally
important: Carry a pull-apart key chain, so your home key stays with you when
your car is being serviced or valet-parked.
• Landscape wisely – Trim tree branches that could provide access to
windows’ roof or skylights. Remember that tall plants and high fences can
provide cover for criminals – and that gravel beds around the perimeter of the
house make it easier to hear anyone lurking outside.
• Keep it bright – Illuminate areas around doors, windows and blind
spots. Install lights on high exterior walls so they can’t be easily disabled.
Low-voltage light systems provide more light than solar powered lights – and can
be connected to motion detectors.
• Don’t leave garage door openers in your car – They can be an open
invitation to robbers. Especially if your address is easily obtained from
papers in your glove compartment, tuck the garage door opener into your purse or
briefcase whenever you park your car away from home.