Simple Home Security Devices that Truly Work
It was a bold crime that occurred while both parents and their daughter were fast asleep. In a recent news report released by wkrn.com of WKRN -TV Nashville, burglars broke into the home of a Ft. Cambell couple and stole TVs, video games, cell phones, and a 2009 Cadillac Escalade. The entire burglary took place during the night while the family was apparently sound asleep. When asked about the crime, the parents reported that the items stolen could one day be replaced. But as a security expert, I know what can’t easily be replaced and that is the homeowner’s peace of mind. What if their daughter had woken up during the burglary?
This is just one of the many stories that flood the news every day. Fortunately, no one was injured in this particular crime, but there are many times when victims aren’t so fortunate.
Like many homeowners, the couple in the above news story didn’t have an adequate home security plan in place. It took an actual burglary for them to realize that they needed more than locked windows and doors, and have now invested thousands of dollars in a home security system, complete with cameras. Although this has likely allowed them to restore some sense of safety back into their lives, the reality is that a security system alone is seldom enough to keep the bad guys out.
There are two reasons many homeowners don’t take the time to ensure adequate home security. One is because many people think adequate home security requires expensive equipment or technology. The other reason is due to the simple fact that most people think such a crime would never happen to them—they only happen to other people. This mentality could leave you or your entire family dead wrong.
Criminals don’t discriminate—anyone can fall victim to crime. Social status, race, religion, and gender is irrelevant. All it takes is you alone making your home an easier target than your neighbor’s.
If you’re one of many homeowners who relies on nothing more than locked doors and windows because you think home security is expensive or complicated, well, let’s just say you’re making a huge mistake. For one, you’re leaving your home and all of your valuables, including your most priceless assets—your family—unprotected. Secondly, you’re putting everything that’s dearest to you in life on the line based on a misconception.
Despite what you may have been told or believe, you don’t have to empty your bank account to provide adequate security for your home. For many, the misconception comes from the salespeople of local alarm companies (whose main priority is to sell products and make money, not to protect you) that only the most expensive devices will function adequately. However, in reality most homes don’t require expensive or complicated equipment. For the average homeowner, installing a few simple and affordable home security devices is all that is needed.
Simple Home Security Devices that Truly Work
One of the simplest and inexpensive ways to add a layer of security to your home is by installing a few psychological deterrents. When it comes to selecting a home to burglarize, criminals look for the ones that offer quick and easy access and the least amount of risk of getting caught. By installing a few simple yet effective deterrents, you can deter would-be intruders from targeting your home. Here are some examples:
- Security Alarm Signage: Although having a home security alarm in place is important, if you can’t afford to have one installed, there’s no harm in prominently displaying a few home security alarm system signs around your property. Regardless if you have a home security system installed or not, a home that has security alarm signs prominently displayed around the property can sometimes be enough to cause a criminal to think your home is too high of a risk to break into.
- Dummy Security Cameras: Security cameras can be effective devices when it comes to deterring criminals. However, if you can’t afford the real thing, there are inexpensive dummy cameras on the market that look just as authentic. To be effective, a dummy camera should have flashing LED light at the very minimum. To a potential intruder, a home that has what looks like “active” cameras in place makes it appear the property is being monitored; something a criminal will want to avoid.
- Beware of Dog Sign: No matter if you have a dog or not, displaying a “Beware of Dog” sign on your front door and/or on the gate that leads to your backyard can deter criminals. Even better is a sign that depicts a specific breed, such as a German Shepherd, Rottweiler, or Doberman Pincher. You can even add a bumper sticker to the back of your car that says, “I love my Pit Bull!”
The purpose of setting up a few deterrents around your home is to create the appearance that your home is not an easy target for burglary. However, like locked doors and windows, you should not rely solely on psychological deterrents as your only means of defense. While the above devices may be effective in deterring criminals, they cannot prevent the braver criminals from breaking into your home. This is why it’s important to install a few simple security devices at the most common entry point’s criminals use to gain access—windows and doors.
When it comes to windows, you should never rely on locks alone. Standard window locks can be easily broken, not to mention the glass. The following are two simple home security devices that are great for protecting your windows. Whereas one helps keep the bad guys out, the other helps alert you the moment someone breaks the glass.
- Window Protection Film: If you haven’t heard about this innovative home security layer, then you’re in for a treat. Glass protection film is an incredibly strong layer of film that is installed on the interior side of windows. Glass protection film helps to keep the bad guys out by increasing the structural integrity of the glass. A window that’s protected with glass protection film requires a lot more time, effort and noise to break. Because burglars and other criminals prefer drawing the least amount of attention to themselves, glass protection film helps to deter criminals from finishing the job. Quality window and glass protection film is virtually undetectable to the eye. Glass protection film also makes an affordable alternative for unsightly and unsafe window bars and aluminum shutters.
- Omnidirectional Glass-Break Sensors: Thanks to today’s technological advancements, you no longer need to purchase a separate glass-break sensor for every window in your home. With an omnidirectional sensor, you only need one on the ceiling of each room that contains windows and/or glass doors. Should one of the windows be struck or possibly shattered, an alarm will sound, allowing you those crucial seconds needed to call 911 and seek safety while you wait for police to arrive. Keep in mind that the louder the alarm, the more likely the intruder will flee the scene. Although quality omnidirectional sensors tend to cost a little more than standard glass break sensors, you won’t need near as many of them, which can save you money in the long run.
Although a locked door may help you to feel safe, it’s one of the most common ways intruders make entry. All it takes is a swift kick or two or a body slam to your front door and you could be face to face with a criminal. Here are some simple security devices that can help fortify your entry doors and keep the bad guys out.
- Solid Wood or Metal Doors: Most of today’s entry doors have hollow cores. As a result, they are very easy to bust through, even when the door is locked with a deadbolt. By simply replacing hollow-cored entry doors with solid wood or metal doors, you can make them that much harder to break down.
- Heavy-Duty Door Hinges and Screws: The door frames of most entry doors come with standard hinges and screws. For just a few dollars, you can easily reinforce each of your entry door frames by replacing the standard hardware with heavy-duty hinges and steel screws of 2-3 inches in length.
- Security Door Brace: The beauty of having a quality security door brace installed on your entry doors is that it makes it virtually impossible to break down. A heavy duty security door brace can withstand a minimum of 1700 pounds of brute force. This, combined with a solid wood door and reinforced door frames, can provide you with the fortification you need to keep even the most determined of criminals out.
The key to reducing your risk of becoming a victim of residential crime is preventing criminals from targeting and entering your home in the first place. To do so, you must take the necessary steps to ensure the vulnerable areas of your home are adequately fortified. Installing a few simple security devices that work is a great start, as is continuing to educate yourself on home crime prevention and incorporating what you learn into your home security plan.