Are you debating whether or not to install a home alarm/security system? Before you let fear and anxiety guide the way, read the NYT post titled, Do Security Systems Make Your Home Safer? The reality is that most of the statistics publicized about alarms are promoted by security alarm companies, and they don’t tell the whole story.
Criminal justice experts know security alarms do not typically make your home safer, especially if you live in a more affluent neighborhood. Securing your home using common sense tactics is the best way to secure your home from intruders and burglars.
5 Ways To Secure Your Home Without An Alarm
Two of the most interesting quotes in the NYT post are:
“…[the rate of burglary-related] crime is actually falling. The number of burglaries in the United States dropped by 28 percent between 2006 and 2015, according to the F.B.I. But that’s not stopping us from fortifying our homes
“…Don Chon, an associate professor of justice and public safety at Auburn University at Montgomery in Alabama, told me [article author] that he has not found any evidence in his research that security measures like alarms, special locks, high fences or watchdogs reduce the burglary risk. He has also found that while people in wealthier neighborhoods are more likely to worry about getting burglarized, people living in poorer neighborhoods are more likely to be the victims of such crimes.”
There is also the fact that even if your home is burglarized, it’s most likely to happen when you’re not at home. So, the burglars have ample time to get in and out before the police or anyone else can get there to stop them.
With that in mind, here are five, inexpensive ways to secure your home without an alarm, indefinite monthly fees, and the constant need to monitor your home via a gadget.
Keep your doors and windows locked (and don’t put a key under the mat)
It doesn’t get much simpler than closing and locking doors and windows. Yet, according to safety.com, crime statistics prove that a notable percentage of burglars enter a home via unlocked front doors (34%) or unlocked, first-floor windows (23%).
Thieves don’t want to break glass or jimmy a door because it’s too easy to get caught. A locked door and/or window is the simplest deterrent.
Install window film with safety (shatter-proof) properties
Are you planning to install window film to increase privacy or reduce glare and solar heat gain anyway? Speak to your window film installer about safety and security film. This specialized window treatment keeps the window shards intact if someone tries to shatter the window. An added benefit is that they also prevent window shatter and dangerous shards during an earthquake.
Perform a lock and key inventory
Contact a locksmith and have them perform a lock inventory. Are there locks that are damaged or sticky? Have them repaired. Consider a code-specific lock pad for your garage door. This allows pet sitters or neighbors into your home without giving them a key. You can easily reprogram the code for when you’re using their services, and the return to your standard “only you know it” code once you return.
If you’ve given people copies of your key, ask for them back if that friend or family member no longer needs it. If someone can’t find their key, rekey the locks. If you use a hide-a-key, think carefully about the location and who knows about it. People can figure out there’s a hidden key by watching foot traffic at your home, meaning the key is not “hidden” at all. Should you rekey your home, keep a digital file of anyone you give a key to so you don’t lose track.
Review and replace unsecured first-floor doors and windows
Invest in secure, first-floor doors and windows. Look for:
- Solid core door products with solid frames so doors can’t be easily kicked in
- Replace any outdated windows with double-paned, solid framed replacements – which also enhances whole-home energy efficiency and comfort.
- Ensure that the strike plate is strong, secure and that the screws holding it in place are at least ¾-inch long. If not, replacing strike plates on first-floor doors costs less than $20 and you can get everything you need in a single trip to the hardware store.
- Add a security bar or door barricade when you’re out of town or if you feel higher at risk. There are virtually indestructible.
Install motion-sensitive security lighting to help secure your home
While the majority of home burglaries take place during the daytime, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., motion–sensitive security lighting goes a long way towards securing your home after dark. Not only does the immediate, bright floodlighting put burglars in the literal spotlight, it also alerts occupants to the fact that there’s someone or something outside.
We Can Help Keep Your Family Safe
Daystar Window Tinting has installed high-quality privacy and safety/security window films for Bay Area home- and business owners for more nearly 50 years. Contact us if you’re interested in using window film as a means of securing your home without an alarm.