Simple Security Tips for the Homeowner
By Chris Hall
Home security, what does that mean? Simple online searches produce results from handy two-minute tricks to extensive and elaborate security measures. Applying a little building construction knowledge to your own home can improve home security rather quickly and inexpensively. Here are a few ideas.
Open your entry door(s) and look at the latch on the door frame. You should see a metal strike plate for the door handle latch and if equipped, one for a dead bolt as well. When these are installed, manufacturers provide very short screws to hold the strike plate into place. These screws only extend into the trim of your door, and not into the wall framing. This allows for relatively easy access into your home. Replacing these screws with something more substantial, such as a three-inch deck screw from your local hardware store will provide considerably more strength to the door.
Next, check your window locks for proper function. Window latches can get worn out, loose, or damaged over time. This is common with older homes. Periodically, such as during spring and fall smoke detector battery changes, grab a screwdriver and check your window latches for function and tighten any loose hardware. Keeping windows in proper order (and locked for that matter) will make it harder for someone to enter your home uninvited.
Hedges, brush and overgrown foliage around the house. These provide great concealment locations for unwanted guests when left uncontrolled. Keep the flowerbeds and shrubs trimmed and at a manageable size around the perimeter of your home to reduce areas where burglars and intruders can hide. Adding some simple outside or security lighting reduces shadows and hiding spots as well.
These tips and tricks are very inexpensive and easy to do.