Although today’s homes contain more comforts and conveniences than medieval castles, they usually lack a moat and drawbridge, and an army of sentinels to prevent intrusion. Assuming your home does not have a moat, here are easy ideas to make your property more secure.
The most commonly advised and cost-free step is to keep your home occupied, or at least looking occupied. If you’re not familiar with the invitations to intrusion, they include notes on the door advising of the occupants’ absence (especially dangerous if you provide information about your return time or spare-key location); unshovelled snow in the winter months; unmowed lawns in the summer months; accumulations of mail, deliveries; total interior darkness before a normal bedtime; and a garage or carport with no vehicles present.
Valuable counter-measures include posted notices that your home is protected by a security system; notices that your home’s contents have been engraved and registered to make selling any stolen items difficult; and automatic switches that activate radios, televisions, or lights, preferably entire rooms at random intervals.
“House sitters,” or having a neighbor’s car in your driveway also help. To further discourage intruders, remember to keep all doors and windows locked, especially at basement and first-floor levels, or where the home is accessible from a fire escape, tree, porch, or other structure. Inside doors that lead to the basement or garage should be included in the keep-locked category. Ladders should not be stored outside, on an open porch, or hung under the eaves of a garage. Nor should vans or other tall vehicles be parked where they might serve as improvised ladders.
While windows in a ground-level door or in the adjacent frame may be decorative and serve to brighten a dark foyers, they may represent (for the more determined intruder) easy access to the inside doorknobs. Double cylinder locks, which require unlocking with a key, whether from the inside or outside, are one countermeasure. But be careful and keep the keys in a known location so that rapid exit can be made in an emergency. In addition, consider the many easy to install and well-priced security options on the market today. Most include a door camera and app allowing home owners to monitor the exterior and interior of the home from the phone empowering homeowners to monitor remotely.