Safe and Sound

Home Security – Weak Entry Points in Your House and How to Protect Them

February 5th, 2014

If you’ve lived in a safe neighborhood your whole life, you may not have considered home security when you moved into your house. However, even areas with low crime rates can be victimized, so it’s important for you to guard your property. Just because you’re new to home security doesn’t mean you won’t be successful at it. Here are a few common entry points homeowners overlook and how to protect them:

Pet Doors

Pet doors allow your cats and dogs to get in and out of the house on their own. Though convenient, these entry points can be a burglar’s best friend if not properly secured. Potential thieves may attempt to reach their arm through the pet door to unlock the deadbolt.

How to Secure: Doggie doors are easy for burglars to use to get inside your home, but a few adjustments will keep them out.

  • Use the lock that’s on the door. Most pet doors come with a sliding latch. You should lock the door when you go to bed or leave the house.
  • Install the pet door in a wall rather than your house door. This way, burglars can’t reach through to open your doors and they certainly won’t fit through that small entrance.
  • Light the yard: Illuminate your backyard to scare off any intruders.

Garage Entries

You may not imagine that thieves would use your garage door to enter your home since you only use it when you drive. However, this mindset is what makes garages so useful to burglars, especially since there’s so much inside to take. You probably leave your car door unlocked when it’s in the garage because you believe no one will enter. Thieves who get in your garage can take items sitting in your car, such as a stereo, keys, equipment, bikes and more.

How to Secure: Take measures to ensure that no one uses your garage door against you.

  • Take your garage door opener with you when you leave your car. Otherwise, a burglar could steal it from your vehicle.
  • Protect the door that leads inside your house. The door between your garage and your home should be treated like an entry point. Be sure it is solid core and has a deadbolt lock that you keep locked at all times.
  • Get a garage door sensor. This device will detect movement outside of your garage and alert you when an intruder is detected.
  • Close the garage. Keeping the door open is basically an invitation to burglars as they can see all the goodies you have waiting for them.

Windows

Every window in your home is an entry point, including the ones upstairs. The most vulnerable windows are the ones on the first floor that are obscured from street view by plants or other features.

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How to Secure: Treat your windows with caution by ensuring no one can break in. Use the proper tools and tricks to protect your home.

  • Lock the windows whenever you aren’t home or are not on that floor. Most windows come with locks already installed. However, you can purchase them at a hardware store if your windows do not have locks.
  • Install a glass break sensor. These devices alert you when they detect the sound of breaking glass within a 20-foot radius. Hang one in each room of your house so that all of your windows are monitored.
  • Remove obstructions that might hide a burglar. For example, the shrubs in front of your windows provide cover for a thief. Cut the shrubs or move them elsewhere in your yard.

Exterior Air Conditioners 

Some air conditioning units are mounted inside a window or in a specialized hole in the wall. While they help cool your home, these devices also act as an entry point for burglars.

How to Secure: Air conditioners are weak points in your home’s security, but that can be easily remedied with these tips:

  • Use a bracket that wraps around the outside of the unit and latches onto the exterior wall of your house. It’s almost like putting a cage around the air conditioner, making it much more difficult to remove.
  • Sliding locks are placed in a double-hung window to prevent burglars from sliding it open. If you have a window that slides horizontally, place a dowel rod in the spot where the window slides. This stops the window along the track when a burglar tries to open it.

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