Police estimates indicate that roughly 40% of home invasions and break-ins occur without actually having to break anything – that are, no force is required to gain entry to the home.
Does this surprise you?
Think about your own home. How many exterior doors and windows do your home have? Do you appropriately close all of them when you head to work? How about at night before going to sleep?
Home invasion has become a common crime these days. At best, a home invasion will leave you with a loss of valuable, or perhaps prized and sentimental property. At worst, you may find yourself the victim of the assault from an unwary burglar you have interrupted. You may find yourself seriously injured.
To avoid home invasions, and to tighten the security of your home, you must therefore take proper care in locking doors and windows around your house. There are many points that should be considered, particularly when you are choosing locks or the type of windows. Some important things you might want to consider are –
Sliding windows: A Burglar invite
Most old models of sliding windows are a cinch to remove – even when they are locked. You could probably do it yourself – just take the window off its frame. Burglars who do this professionally can get rid of a sliding window in a matter of mere minutes, not making the tiniest sound in the process. The newer models are not very different, and burglars are already perfecting better ways to break through them.
So what should you do?
Consider not installing sliding doors at all in those parts of your house that can be easily accessed from outside. If, for example, you are considering installing sliding doors in your balcony, make sure the exterior of the balcony is protected with grills (a precaution you might want to take anyway if the balcony is high above the ground or you have children).
Sliding doors should be secured with secondary grills wherever possible.
Always lock doors properly when you head out:
If, for example, your door has a latch and a deadbolt, make sure to lock the deadbolt, and not just a latch. This may take some time of your busy, hectic morning, but do remember that it is better to be safe than sorry.
Never leave doors open in the night:
Many people feel secure that their neighborhood is a low-crime area, that there have been no crimes in may past days in their area, and there is thus very little risk of a home invasion. Such people need to ask themselves – do they wish to be the first in their neighborhood to get burgled?
It is good practice to always lock all your doors and large windows when you go to sleep. Small windows may be left open for ventilation. If you have pets that go out at night, such as dogs and cats, you should install small cat flaps in your door. Train your pets to use these exits, so that you don’t have to keep your doors open at night.
Consult a locksmith to have your locks upgraded:
Many old locks are nothing more than child’s play in the hands of a professional burglar. They have many ingenious devices, such as skeleton keys and even the good old hair clips, to get past these locks.
So you should consider consulting a professional locksmith to upgrade your locks, especially if your lock models are really old and obsolete. Changing locks is an investment that may well save your valuable possessions someday.
Additionally, it will make you feel secure, especially when you are away from home for a long time, such as on a work trip or vacation.
Locking doors and windows can often be a tedious task. Whether you are just tired and wish to go to sleep, or very busy and already late for work, or simply cannot wait to board your car and head for that well deserved vacation, securing your house by locking all the doors and windows is usually the very last thing on your mind. But do not forget that such tedious actions may well save your prized possessions from potential home invasions. Better be safe than sorry.