First, the good news: property crime is on the decline in the United States, declining year after year. Now, the bad news: even given that decline, the FBI still estimates 1,579,527 burglaries for the most recent year cited — that’s one every 15 seconds on average. 66% of those are residential, most take place in broad daylight, and hardly any (an estimated 13%) are ever solved. And the fact that numbers are declining is cold comfort if you’re on the wrong end of those statistics, so what can you do to keep your home and family safer? A lot more than you may realize, starting with monitored home alarm systems.
Home Security Audit
As the old saying goes, “Set a thief to catch a thief.” We’re not suggesting you moonlight as a cat burglar, mind you. Just that you put yourself into the mindset of a person who might case or break into your home. If you do this, you can identify weaknesses in your defenses, the better to shore them up. Still not sure where to start, or want a second set of eyes on your work? Each Vigilante Security home security installation begins with a comprehensive walk-through.
Have a home alarm system? Use it properly. This may seem too obvious to have to state, but it’s easy to forget when you’re distracted. We also suggest changing access codes periodically so the keypad wears evenly and you’re not inadvertently giving someone a good idea of what your alarm code is. Don’t have one? Make sure you’re getting a custom-designed system from a reputable manufacturer. We rely on DMP home security equipment, which features innovations like touchless alarm keypads.
Alarm Monitoring Service
The mere presence of an alarm has a deterrent effect, and audible alarms can scare off burglars too. But if they’re determined or desperate, that may not be enough. That’s why it’s important that your system is backed by a reliable burglar alarm monitoring service.
Exterior doors that hinge outside can be easily removed from their hinges. Make sure they hinge inside, and make sure you’re not using hollow core doors outside.
Windows that are too close to doors — within three to four feet — can be broken for access to the lock. Make sure windows shut tight and lock easily. If you have basement windows, make sure they’re blocked with locking window well covers.
Locks and Keys
Exterior doors should have deadbolts; use them, and not just the spring lock contained in the doorknob. Lost your keys or just moved in? Change the lock, and never hide spare keys under rocks, doormats, or in lawn ornaments designed to hold spares (they’re among the first things a thief looks for).
Burglars thrive on invisibility. Don’t give it to them. See what your outdoor lighting illuminates, and address any dark spots. Won’t be home ’til late? Keep indoor lights on a timer so the house doesn’t look unoccupied.
Your garage door should be shut at all times, and locked whenever possible. Using a garage door opener? Change it from its factory settings with an assist from the owner’s manual.
Sliding doors should be locked, and it’s also a good idea to have a bar (or even a dowel or broomstick) in the track before you leave home or turn in for the night. Even though the glass can still be broken, the noise this causes is often a deterrent.
Fences and gates should be in good condition, with no gaps, holes, or collapsed sections. Gates should be kept latched, and can be locked if you’ll be away for extended periods of time. If you have tools and ladders, don’t keep them outside to be used by the wrong people. And if you’ve got a shed, keep that locked too!
Home Security Solutions
Now that you’ve done your audit, how can you go about making your home safer? If you don’t have one already, installing a home security system is a great protective measure. Make sure it’s tailored to your home, professionally installed, and is backed by 24/7 security monitoring.
With that being said, there’s more to keeping your home safe than burglary prevention. An alarm is better than nothing, but it’s hardly the kind of comprehensive protection you’re looking for. Environmental monitoring that accounts for flooding, fire, smoke, and carbon monoxide, and other emergencies is also worth discussing with a security company in Troy MI. So get in touch with Vigilante Security to give your home its best protection!