When you’re making plans for your dream home, some of the first aspects you consider will likely be luxury and convenience features. Perhaps you want a kitchen island for easy meal prep or plenty of closet space for storage needs. Maybe you’re hoping for an attached garage or expansive patio.
At some point, however, you’ll need to focus on one of the most important aspects of your living space: its security features. Even though the property crime rate continues to decline in the United States, each year millions of Americans still find themselves the victims of home burglaries.
The bad news is that there’s no way to be 100-percent sure bold intruders will stay away from your property. The good news? You can include various features in your home’s design to reduce the likelihood of a successful robbery.
Doors and Windows
When it comes to developing a home defense system, you’ll want to put most of your focus on your doors and windows. These are the main points of entry, and you can fortify them without turning your home into a literal fortress.
For secure doors, consider the following:
- Solid wood is a good choice for exterior doors. The material is both attractive and reliable.
- Opt for reinforced glass when installing sliding doors in areas like your patio. Normal glass is easily damaged.
- Use a door reinforcement kit to enhance the durability of doors throughout your home.
- Always take care of rust forming on reinforced steel doors as soon as possible.
- Avoid installing doors that have windows. They offer a nice aesthetic, but they also feature a weak point that many burglars will find enticing.
Once you feel confident about your doors, it’s time to work on the windows. Think of each window as a potential weak spot, and then give it the attention it deserves.
Replace standard glass with tempered glass or laminated glass. These reinforced options might be more expensive, but they’ll also reduce the odds of a successful robbery.
Consider putting decorative iron bars on windows that are particularly easy targets – for example, windows that are at ground level. Even if the window’s glass is damaged, a thief can’t easily get through the bars.
If you have a security system installed, it should feature sensors that warn you if someone breaks your doors or windows.
While your doors and windows are potential entry points to your home, thieves don’t necessarily have to enter your home in order to steal your stuff. Consider installing a security mailbox to keep your mail safe from anyone with ill-intentions. You’ll need to use a key to access your own mail, but this is a small inconvenience if you’re worried about theft.
If you’re designing a home with a garage, you’ll have another area that needs to be secured. When it comes to an attached garage, be sure to reinforce the door that leads into the main part of your home. If you have a garage door opener, keep it safely in your home. If you have an exterior keypad for the garage door, use a code that’s hard to guess, and don’t tell anyone that code unless absolutely necessary.
Find a way to block the windows of the garage. If a burglar can’t see what’s inside, they might decide it’s not worth the effort of breaking into this space. Curtains or frosted film are good options for limiting visibility.
The design of your front and backyard will also play a role in your home’s security. Avoid positioning trees and shrubs in such a way that burglars will find easy hiding places. Once they’re planted, you’ll need to trim them regularly. Install outdoor lights to ensure you can see every corner of the yard from your windows. Motion-sensor lights are best for scaring off intruders.
Locks and Safes
No matter how solid your doors are, they’ll need to be equipped with reliable locks as well. Services like American Security Locksmith can install new locks or rekey existing cylinders to boost your home’s defenses. When dealing with older lock cylinders, it’s often best to completely replace the locks.
A professional locksmith can also help you when it comes to picking out a safe. It’s a wise place to store your most valuable items as well as firearms. Some safes even offer protection from fires in addition to thieves.
Even though they’re incredibly durable, you don’t want to leave a safe sitting in a visible location. Use furniture to keep it obscured, and, when possible, bolt it to the floor. This will prevent ambitious burglars from simply taking the entire safe.
Even with all these security features, you’ll need to put in a little work yourself to keep your property safe. For example, many burglars simply gain access through an unlocked door. So, although it might sound obvious, one of the best steps you can take is to lock up when you leave home. Here are a few other strategies for keeping your home safe:
- It’s pretty common practice to leave an extra key to your home under the doormat or in your mailbox. And that’s exactly why you shouldn’t do it. Use a more unpredictable strategy by hiding the key in a hollow, fake rock or burying it somewhere you can find it.
- A trusted neighbor can be part of your security system. Ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your house while you’re away, and keep each other updated on any suspicious activity in the local area. If you’re not close friends with the person next door, you might want to get to know them before trying this strategy.
- Adopt a dog. You don’t necessarily need a large dog to scare off potential intruders. Just the sound of barking could be enough to make a burglar think twice about entering the home.
- Whether or not you have a security system installed, you can put up security signs and stickers to deter intruders. Of course, nothing beats having the real thing!