No one is safe from break-ins and robberies, even those who live in the safest, quietest neighborhood. But fortunatley, there are many ways to protect your home from crime. Among them, reinforcing your doors and windows can be effective. Here’s a few tricks that will help make your doors and windows practically burglar-proof.
1) When moving in a new home, change the locks. You never know how many keys to your house were ever made, and, most importantly, you don’t know who might have one.
2) Make sure the doors are made out of solid material, and not hollow. To be safe, doors should either be made of fiberglass, hardwood or metal. To know if your door is hollow, knock on it.
3) Get double-cylinder locks. To be unlocked, those locks need a key both from the outside and the inside. Use them on your door especially if there are windows nearby. Otherwise, a burglar could break the window and simply reach out for the lock.
4) Install a door that opens outwards. It makes it harder to force the entry.
5) Do not choose doors with windows. They are more susceptible to be forced, since windows can be shattered.
6) Install dead bolt locks that are at least one inch long, and of great quality. Often, low quality dead bolt locks will be installed on doors. Make sure yours are at least one inch long, and that their structures are made of heavy-duty metal.
7) Add an extra lock that can be used only from the inside, but visible from the outside. Although it really protects you only when you are in the house, such a lock could act as a deterrent for a potential burglar, who will expect complications. Remember that burglars want the job to be quick and easy !
8) Add extra protection to sliding doors. Place a thick wooden stick at the bottom track of the window to keep it from opening.
9) Install a porch light above all doors, with a movement detector. It’s harder to commit a crime when you are bathed in bright light.
10) Lock your doors ! Simple, right ? But, oddly enough, it is frequently neglected. Too often, a burglar will enter a house through an unlocked door and window. Make sure you lock them at all times, even if you are only going out for a few minutes.
Note: If you have a garage, use the same precautions on the door that leads from your garage to your home. Garage doors are easy to break through.
1) Use windows that have a locking device. If the windows in your house can’t be locked, consider changing them.
2) For new windows, choose glass that has been reinforced with laminated film. This material bonds with the glass and makes it almost unbreakable, or, at least, really hard to shatter.
3) For new windows, choose tempered glass. More expensive, but for a reason: it’s about five times stronger than regular glass.
4) Install metal bars. If you install metal bars on your window frames, most likely, the burglars won’t even bother trying to break in, as the metal bars make it impossible to enter. But some people feel like such installation is turning their house into a prison. Metal bars should be avoided for bedroom windows: if a fire is declared at night, you might need to exit the house fast, through the closest exist. A.k.a: your bedroom window!
5) Protect sliding windows. Same as with sliding doors: place a thick wooden stick at the bottom track of the window. This trick can also be used for guillotine windows : the stick must then be placed on the upper side of the frame.
6) Add extra protection to basement windows. They are the easiest and often weakest points of entry. Therefore, either install a lock on them, or bars, or choose wired glass windows: the wires are visible and will act as a deterrent.
7) Put up a warning sign. Even if it’s a bit of a lie, the idea is to make the job seem complicated for the burglar. Whether a « Beware of the dog » sign when you have a harmless Corgy, or a sign that says « No sollicitors: day and night sleepers here » when you are away most of the time, or even an alarm company sticker when you don’t have an alarm system: anything is good to cast the bad guys away.
Note: remember that your windows can be used as an escape point in case of an emergency. So make sure that, while they lock burglars out, they don’t lock you in !
Even when applied thouroughly, those tricks can’t garantee that a burglar won’t find his way inside your home. Getting a proper and effective insurance policy is also a good protection against robbery : make sure yours is up-to-date !
Mireille is a theater, music and travel enthousiast. She’s also a full-time Blogger for Merlin Insurance.