Guide to home security essentials

Home security is an incredibly important part of property ownership. By adopting certain habits and investing in the right equipment, a homeowner can turn a vulnerable living space into a nearly impenetrable fortress. Some of the main aspects of basic home protection include checking for secure entryways and exits and buying good locks. Other, more modern ways to protect a home involve high tech devices like alarm systems, motion lights, and security camera systems. A mix of both common sense and durable equipment can often provide the best defense against burglars.

Increasing your home's security can be accomplished by taking a few, easy measures at the beginning and end of the day. For example, checking your doors and windows to ensure that they're locked is a very simple and effective way to foil burglars. When verifying that potential entryways for break-ins are secure, don't ignore your home's upper levels: burglars can also access these to gain entry to your home.

High grade and durable locks can be one of your home's best defenses against intrusion. Generally, every door in your home should feature a single cylinder deadbolt lock and have at least a 1 inch throw. Corresponding strike plates should be at least 3 inches long. Buy the strongest locks for doors that lead in and out of attached garages. Glass and sliding doors are especially vulnerable and may need a reinforcement, in addition to locks, to keep them secure. When purchasing doors, choose products that are made out of hardwood or reinforced with metal. Consider consulting with a locksmith to find appropriate locks for your doors, especially if they are not standard, such as double or French doors. Always change the locks in a residence that has been used by previous tenants.

Other, advanced systems can help protect a home from burglars. Alarm systems are great security measures because they can immediately alert local police. When shopping for a new system, choose one that has multiple sensors and is certified by the Underwriters Laboratory (UL). Any company that you buy a system from should hold the appropriate state licenses and certificates to sell the item. Verify that the system has backup power in place and that any monitoring stations are open around the clock. Place an alarm system sticker on a window that is clearly visible to the outside world, even if you don't have an alarm yet. The risk of tripping an alarm system is often enough to scare would-be burglars away.

Motion lights are another great security measure that can force a would-be burglar to retreat from your property. When installing these lights, make sure all areas around your house are covered: any dark space can potentially provide cover for a burglar while he makes his way inside a home. For many models, sensitivity can be customized to allow for pets to go and come without triggering the lights. Recent technological advances have made home security cameras affordable and viable options for home security. A number of features, including automatic link-up with law enforcement and wireless set-up make this a smart choice for homeowners who want to do everything they can to protect their residences. If your home is ever broken into, you may be able to use the footage to help law enforcement catch and prosecute burglars. Be sure to inquire with your local police department to determine if you need to register your security camera system.

Other simple, steps can help ensure that your house remains unappealing to burglars. Dogs can be some of the best alarm systems around, as they can warn you when an intruder is afoot. Joining a neighborhood watch and advertising your participation using decals and signs can make breaking into your home seem troublesome to robbers. Lock up your house every time you leave, even when conducting simple and short errands. Finally, maintain your yard and keep up with general tasks around your home, like collecting mail and picking up newspaper deliveries: the piling up of these items may indicate to burglars that you're not home. This can prove tempting to anyone looking to rob a home with little interference.

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