According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) and the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR), a third of all home burglaries are non-forced. That means they were house guests, the door was unlocked or they use a hidden key to gain entry. Look at your home’s vulnerabilities to lessen the likelihood of either forced or unforced entry. Where are the vulnerable entry points of your home?
Doors are notorious vulnerabilities for a burglar. Of all home invaders, 34 percent use the front door. Some of these vulnerabilities can be lessened or eliminated.
External doors should always be solid core doors. Although wooden doors are attractive, real steel doors are the strongest. What’s more, steel doors with a steel frame are almost impossible to kick in to gain entry.
When you have a wood door or are getting one installed, make sure it has a solid core and the deadbolt reaches into the frame at least one inch and is secured with, at minimum, three-inch screws. A kickplate is a valuable addition to help reduce the chance of forced entry.
Most homeowners have screen doors, but you should switch to a custom-made Steel Shield Security Door that will add security and curb appeal, by matching the strength of a steel door with the architecture of your home.
The Hidden Key Vulnerability
Many homeowners leave a key under the mat or in a potted plant. A burglar often surveils the house for days or weeks before making a planned entry. During that time, they might watch the homeowner, family member or neighbor use the “hidden” key to gain entry. Now they have an easy, almost risk-free entry point.
Some home invaders even disguise themselves as some type of delivery drivers, such as FedEx®, UPS or pizza delivery. Neighbors tend to ignore delivery drivers as they are commonplace in the neighborhood. You could use a lockbox to store a key in if you need to keep a key outside your home.
Keyless Doors Are Best
It would be best if you never left the key to your home outside. In fact, the best home security practice is to use a coded entry rather than a key. Many prowlers wait in landscape bushes for the homeowner to come home and strike while they’re looking for their keys. You can punch in the code much quicker than you can retrieve your keys from a purse or pocket. There are even smartphone apps that will “key” your code as you approach.
Back Door Vulnerabilities
Although not as frequently used by burglars, back doors still account for around 10 percent of entry points used. The advantage an intruder has while using a back door is unobserved access. They can take their time to break and enter because the view from the street gets blocked by the house, a privacy fence or landscaping.
Many homes have a side door into their garage. Many of those doors have a glass window conveniently placed just above the doorknob, which typically has a button lock. The intruder puts a couple of strips of tape over the window, gives it a quick tap with a hammer and they’re into the garage, which is another vulnerability to consider.
The garage rarely gets hooked into the home security system, and once a burglar gains entry to the garage, they have undisturbed access to your home. Even when the garage is not attached to the house, there is usually an unprotected entrance where they can take their time to get into the house.
Adding window and door contact sensors, motion detectors and garage door sensors will add another dimension to your home security. Even if you couldn’t afford or forgot about those features when you initially set up your home security system, you can add them anytime.
Automatic garage door openers produced before 2004 are vulnerable to random copying by capturing the signal. Plus, others with the same brand could often use their remote to open your door. Be sure to update garage door openers manufactured before 2004. Modern garage door openers use “roaming codes” with billions of combinations.
Every window can be a vulnerability or an added home security strength. These are a vulnerability when shrubbery, trees, and other landscaping allows the intruder to be unnoticed while they pry open a window. By using Steel Shield window guards that match your home’s exterior décor, you add strength and beauty. Plus, you won’t have to disturb your landscaping.
Basement windows are typically the most vulnerable windows because they are below the regular sight line. A person standing up to get in a window might be seen by neighbors, roving guards or law enforcement. Basement windows are usually close to the ground, so an intruder can easily crouch or lie down and tape the window so a simple tap will break it without noise. Window guards for basement windows are affordable and unbreakable.
Home Security Checks
There are several methods to restrict the susceptibility of your home to break-ins:
- Never leave a hidden key.
- Never leave doors and windows unlocked, even when you are home.
- Use only solid core exterior doors with steel frames and multiport locks.
- Add the garage to your home security system.
- Use steel doors, window guards and Crimsafe mesh.
- Eliminate prowlers’ hiding places by keeping landscaping trimmed and away from entry points.
- Install and use peepholes on all exterior doors.
- Install security films or window guards to prevent a clear view of your home’s interior. Burglars often “map” your home layout during surveillance before a break-in.
These are just a few tips and suggestions to help you secure your home. Call the professionals at Steel Shield Security Doors for more information.
Steel Shield Security Doors Help Eliminate Vulnerabilities
Call Steel Shield Security Doors, (623) 581-3667, to speak with a technician about upgrading your home’s security and eliminating its vulnerabilities. If you prefer to be emailed, you can also fill out this form.