Home Security fixes/upgrades

Everyone wants to feel safe and secure at home, wouldn’t you agree?  That’s one of the reasons first-time homebuyers want their own home–to feel safe and have peace of mind.  Many homeowners have installed security systems that help them achieve that peace of mind, and certainly a monitored security system is one of the best investments you can make for your family’s safety.

But, what if your home doesn’t have a security system already installed and your budget doesn’t have room for that at the moment?  Are there other ways you can make your home more secure?  Absolutely!  And many of them can be done without a huge investment, maybe even as a weekend d-i-y project.  Here are some suggestions for things you can do around your home. Hope you find some that will work for you!

1. Install a better door!  Ideally, any door that allows entry from outside should be solid core or steel.  There are a wide range of choices in price, finish, and style to complement your home.

2. Install a peep hole.  An easy do-it-yourself project so you always can see who’s there before you open the door.

3. Consider adding a mail slot in the door.  Newer homes and neighborhoods may not allow this to comply with postal regulations, but if you’re in an older home in an older neighborhood that has an outside mailbox, removing the box and adding a mail slot in the door may prevent theft of checks and credit card numbers contained in your incoming and/or outgoing mail.

4. Add a security door–a glass door with a screen, heavy lock, and decorative bars.  This will allow you to leave the front door open in nice weather, see who’s there, and talk to them without having to open the door to a potential stranger.

5. Change the locks!  If you’ve ever given a key to a neighbor, a babysitter, a housekeeper, even a relative, you have no way of knowing where those keys may be and who has access to them.  While you’re changing the locks, consider upgrading to a new model that is keyless.  There are locks that operate electronically with a passcode or fingerprint or even a fob like you carry for your car door locks.  Again, lots of choices in lots of price ranges.

6. Secure pet doors.  If you have a doggy or kitty door for your pets, be sure you keep it locked when you’re going to be gone for extended times.  A small teenager could conceivably get through a medium to large pet door and unlock everything for someone else.

7. Add lighting and trim landscaping.  Be sure your outside lights are in good order and keep landscaping trimmed away from windows so burglars don’t have convenient hiding places.

8. Install smoke detectors!  This is so important as fall and cooler weather are approaching.  Be sure you have a working smoke detector outside every sleeping area and near kitchens and fireplaces.  This is code in San Antonio and it’s the best way to be sure your family is safe if the worst case scenario happens.

9. Upgrade/replace old windows.  Be sure your first floor windows are double pane tempered glass.  It’s harder to break.  And new windows likely have sturdier locks than older models.

10. Put out warning signs.  If you have a dog or a security system, get some inexpensive signs at a home improvement store and display them prominently.  If a would-be burglar sees those signs, he might just decide to go somewhere else.  Experts caution not to display the signs from your security system company that advertise the brand–a clever thief could go online and figure out how to bypass your system if he knows what brand it is!

Hope that gives you some ideas of easy ways to increase your home’s security.  We don’t want to be alarmist and feel like we live in a fortress, but we don’t want to take unnecessary chances with our family’s safety either!

There’s no place like home!