One of the most vulnerable areas of the home is the windows and doors. After all, they’re designed to open to let in fresh air, light, people, and pets. Yet they can also be tempting for burglars. Fortunately, there are simple and affordable ways to burglar-proof windows and doors to better protect your home.
How to Burglar-Proof Your Doors
Think of your front door as your first line of defense. You see, a surprising 80% of burglars simply walk through the front door. Of course, you want to lock your doors, but is that enough to keep burglars out? Not always.
Some thieves may try to pick your locks, even your deadbolt. To prevent them from gaining entry this way, try installing a deadbolt protective device that slides over the deadbolt to prevent it from turning for an added layer of projection.
Deadbolts are effective ways to keep some burglars out, but to stop professional or determined thieves, you can go one step further. You see, most burglars don’t know how to pick locks. Instead, they use a well-placed kick or tool to split the door jamb (and perhaps the door) before waltzing right in. To help prevent this, beef up your door and your door jambs with reinforcing hardware.
This is something most DIYers can handle in a single hour with the right hardware (i.e., door and jamb reinforcing plates) and tools (drill bit set, drill, and tape measure) for under $150.
If that seems like more than you want to take on, you can also reinforce the door’s weakest link, which is the jamb. Simply use extra-long screws (e.g., 7+ cm) to add strength and help make it more difficult for your door to be kicked in. The good news? If the deadbolt was installed in the last several years, this is standard.
Depending on your area and your concerns, you may want to change your standard door to a security door. These doors add layers of steel within the wood door. They also tend to have hidden hinges with hinge screws, making them much more difficult to remove. These types of doors can be added to the front entry or throughout the home (such as into bedrooms) if you want added security.
Know Who’s Behind Your Door
If someone knocks at your door, it’s likely a friendly neighbor, friend, family member, or delivery driver. But it could be someone you don’t know and don’t want in your home. Identify the person on the other side of the door first before you open your door. You may have a peephole installed, but they’re often difficult to see through. A better option is a door camera that provides a wide-angle view, so you can see who’s at your door as well as on the porch.
With the right security system and smart locks, you may even be able to let your family members in the door right from your own phone or conveniently placed control panel.
How to Burglar-Proof Your Patio Doors
Patio doors are a wonderful way to access your outdoor spaces. Unfortunately, they can be easy pickings for thieves. To make it more difficult for burglars to breach your parameters, in addition to installing alarms, place a strong stick, handrail, or bar into the door track to keep the door securely closed.
While a stick is effective, if you want something that looks a little more professional, you can also use an auxiliary foot lock, which attaches to the bottom of the door with a bolt to keep it secure, or choose a similar option that attaches to the top of the door.
Any of these options is easy to install in mere minutes. And you can set them to lock when fully closed, or if you want to bring in some fresh air, you can set them to be open around 7 cm—enough for air and light to get in without making it easier for a burglar to dislodge and come through.
How to Burglar-Proof Your Garage Doors
An easy way for burglars to gain access to your home is via your garage. Avoid keeping your garage door openers in plain sight when your car is not packed in the garage, especially if the car is in your driveway. Choose a keychain remote instead, which is still convenient but you can also keep it with you when you aren’t in your car.
If you’ll be away from home, another way to add extra protection is by unplugging your opener when you leave. Better yet, add a lock to the garage door itself. If your garage door doesn’t already have a lockage latch, you can install one by drilling a hole into the track and securing a padlock directly above one of the rollers.
How to Burglar-Proof Your Windows
The first step to secure windows is with a simple window lock. Unfortunately, the latches that typically come with most double-hung windows are easy to breach with a pry bar or other leverage objects. Instead, install pin locks. All it takes is a drill, and they can be used for both closed windows as well as in a partially opened position. (Just make sure the window isn’t opened so wide a burglar can wiggle their way in or put a hand in to remove the pen.) These devices can also be used to lock sliding patio doors.
One of the best ways to burglar-proof your windows is by adding an alarm. Professionally installed and monitored systems have a loud alarm to deter burglars and also alert you and your security service if a window or door was opened by someone who does not have permission. These can be surprisingly budget-friendly.
An ADT (now Telus) monitored alarm system from Alarm Guard will keep you feeling secure and protect your doors and windows from burglars. Plus, it could help you save on homeowner’s insurance! Check out our packages and call now for a free quote at 1-855-518-4458 and talk with an expert about the best smart home solutions to fit your needs.