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Home security can be the deciding factor in whether or not your home turf might be broken into by burglars. According to a recent Household Burglary report released by the U.S. Department of Justice, there were 2,845,500 completed burglaries in 2011. Of those completed burglaries only 44% of the break-ins were to homes that required the burglar to force his way into the home. These statistics suggest that you do have an effect on how likely an intruder will successfully enters your home. That being said, there are numerous methods to retrofit your, potentially safety deficient, home into a well-armed stronghold. Below we touch on some of the best practices to mitigate potential burglars who are looking for a quick and easy score.

Windows Part 1: Locks
Windows might be a weak link in your home’s security. Some burglars force their way into the home by lifting the window off the frame. You can prevent burglars from breaking into the house through your window by installing a window stop or by installing window locks. There are various types of locks that you can choose for your windows.

  • The most reliable lock design is the key sash lock. This lock is mounted to the edge of the window and prevents anyone from opening the window until the key is used. You should not use this type of lock in occupied bedrooms because a missing key can trap the occupant in the room during an emergency.
  • Hinged wedge locks are installed into the window stile. The lock will only allow the window to open as far as the lock was installed. This design allows the room to receive fresh air. The lock unlocks by pushing the wedge in as you open the window. This makes the lock far safer for occupants of the room.

Windows Part 2: Safety Window Tint
Many burglars break into locked windows by breaking the glass. You can increase the security of your window by applying window tint to the windows of your home. Window tint is a blend of metalized coatings and polyester. Safety grade window tint will hold the glass within the window frame after someone or something has attempted to shatter it. This makes it more difficult for an intruder to enter your home.

Doors Part 1: Install Steel Doors
If you have wood or plastic front, back, and garage doors, you may have a security problem. It is easy for even inexperienced thieves to bypass a wood or plastic door with brute force. If you want to improve the security of your home, you might want to install a steel door.

Doors Part 2: Improve Sliding Doors
Like wood or plastic doors, sliding doors are vulnerable to intruders. Some thieves break into homes by popping the sliding door out of the frame. With sliding doors you have two options:

  • Replace the sliding door with a regular steel door.
  • Placing a metal poll or a 2×4 in the doors frame to ensure that intruders cannot pop the door out when you are not using the sliding door.

Install a Home Security System
You can improve the security of your home by installing a home security system. Home security systems are controlled from a control panel inside. When the system is on, motion detectors attached to windows and doors send signals to the control panel. When an intruder tries to break into your home an audible alarm will sound.

Homeowners can pay a monthly rate to be on a security network. When an intruder invades the home on a security network, an employee of the security company will call your home to make sure the alarm was not a false alarm. If no one answers, the police will be alerted to the possible disturbance. The police will then go to your home. One potential con is that the police will fine you after too many false alarms.

Revise or Improve Your Habits
Now that we have delved into how to retrofit your home, we must face the reality of our habits. Our habits are one of the more vital aspects of home safety. You can install metal doors, sturdy dead bolts, high tech security systems, and security window film, but those attempts to increase your home’s security will mean nothing if you never lock your doors and windows. By getting into the habit of securing your home, your home might be one of the 549,200 homes that burglaries failed to break into. Remember: spending a few moments securing your home will go a long way.