Home. It’s where the heart is. There’s no place like it. But most of all, it’s where we want to be comfortable, safe and secure. Unfortunately, burglaries are almost always a case of an opportunity seen and seized.
You are most at risk if you:
- have standard locks that do not prevent key duplication or protect against physical attack.
- have ever given others a copy of your key.
- have never changed your original locks.
- have created a “burglar friendly” environment.
- have doors without deadbolts.
The first thing to remember about locks and keys is to keep keys out of circulation. The potential for theft by use of unauthorized keys is staggering. Just think of all the people who have used your keys, from housekeepers to childcare providers to valet parking attendants. Then, think of all the places where duplicate keys can be made, from hardware stores to shoe repair shops. Have you ever been asked for identification when having a key duplicated?
- Buy Medeco High Security locks with specialized keys that require your authorization to make copies and that can only be duplicated by a professional locksmith.
- Change all locks when moving into a new house or apartment.
- Only give keys to a few trusted people and be wary of giving out keys to your home.
- Do not leave spare keys in obvious places, such as under flower pots or welcome mats.
- Do not have identifying tags on your key ring that provide thieves with personal information such as your name and address.
- Install a double cylinder lock on doors located near windows to prevent thieves from breaking the window and turning the latch.
- A special Captive Thumbturn Deadbolt has a removable thumbturn key that provides easy exit for your family in emergencies. When the thumbturn is removed, it also provides additional burglary protection when you are away from home.
When protecting your home from break-ins, check the easiest points of entry: doors and windows.
- Choose solid wood or steel doors. Hollow wood doors can easily be kicked in.
- Install doors with the hinges on the inside of the door so hinges cannot be easily removed.
- Do not leave gaps around the door frame that would make doors vulnerable to prying.
- Use vertical bolts on sliding doors so burglars cannot gain entry by lifting them off the track. Reinforce security by placing a metal or solid wood rod on the inside track.
- Watch the electric garage door close completely when you come and go so that someone cannot sneak under as it closes.
- Make sure back doors and the door that connects your garage to your home are solid and secured with high security deadbolt locks.
- Lock your pet door when you are away. Thieves can convince children to crawl through it and open the door.
- Make sure your windows can be securely locked.
- Double-hung windows (the ones that slide up and down) are fairly safe, particularly if they have locks mounted on the sides or in the corners.
When planning your landscaping, think like thieves and know your enemy.
- Remove trees or branches of trees close to your home that give burglars access to upper levels.
- Make it difficult for them to navigate through your yard and approach entry points. Plant low thorny bushes below your windows.
- Trim your trees and shrubbery; don’t give them somewhere to hide.
- Keep your lawn well maintained so that they know that the house is attended to and constantly inhabited.
- In addition to keeping your yard neatly trimmed and well cared for, keep it well lighted. Burglars prefer to operate in the dark.
- Install porch lights and be attentive to burned out bulbs.
- Install motion sensitive lights; they will not only make you feel safer when approaching your home after dark, but they will also deter criminals who don’t want to be seen.
- Leave a light on, preferably on each floor, when you go out in the evening.
Be aware of the physical details, people and happenings in your neighborhood.
- When moving, call the police and find out the frequency of burglaries in your new neighborhood and how they have occurred, so you know how to protect yourself.