More on Securing Your Home

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I received a few comments on yesterday’s blog that I would like to address.  First is the subject of sliding glass doors.  Personally, I would get rid of one as soon as I could afford it, but there are some inexpensive fixes that can make your door more secure

There are a lot of simple locks that can be installed in the track available at most home improvement stores.  These typical sell for between 10 to 30 dollars.  However, a simple way to help secure your door is to cut down a broomstick or similar piece of wood and lay it in the bottom track.

Even with better sliding glass door locks, most sliding patio doors can easily be lifted up and out of the track.  An inexpensive way to prevent this is to insert some screws in the upper track to prevent the door from being lifted while still allowing it to slide.  A second method is to insert a pin near the bottom of the doors that locks the frames together.  These pins are available at most home improvement stores or you can simply use a nail or other pin.

If you have money this is a good solution

To keep someone from breaking the glass, install a tough window film.  This is sold by most local glass or window shops.  The film will help prevent the glass from shattering and resists forced entry.  Some of these films will take a strike from a baseball bat.  This film can be used on any or all the windows in your home.

Exterior doors with windows in them are a bad idea, but sometimes you are stuck with them.  To make them more secure install a double sided deadbolt.  This requires a key to unlock from either side.  It also prevents thieves from opening your door and using it to carry your belongs out.

The down side to a double-cylinder deadbolt is that they can be a danger if you have a fire since you must find and use a key to open them from the inside.  Consider the risk these locks present before installing them.

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Even the most best lock system is worthless if the doorframe is weak.  Make sure the doorframe is as strong and secure as the lock.

Get in the habit of locking your doors and windows.

If you’re not used to locking your doors and you have a door that can be locked without a key, get in the habit of carrying your keys whenever you leave the house.  You may want to consider leaving a key with a trusted neighbor or even hiding one on the property.  Remember that experienced burglars will know all the common hiding places, so be very original.

Simple alarms

A simple pint mason jar slide on to a door knob can serve as an improvised alarm

A simple alarm that can be used in your home or even a motel room is to put an empty glass jar upside down on your doorknob.  This will fall (and make a loud noise, except on carpet) should someone turn the doorknob.  (Warning- the bottle can break leaving glass fragments on the floor).  A soda can filled with loose change balanced on the doorknob will make a lot of noise if someone attempts to enter.  Windows also easy to trap with cans of change or jars.

Yards

I like to keep my doors visible from the street and neighbors so I like chain link fencing.  It provides some security, keeps pets and other animals in and still leaves anyone attempting to break into your house highly visible.

Hedges and other plants need to be kept cut back so as not to leave hidden area for thieves to work in.

Yard lights on motion detects are one of your best investments to improve your security.  Just remember that even if you are flat broke there is always something you can do to improve your situation, just use your imagination and a bit of scrounging.

Howard

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