Keeping your home safe this winter—and all year-round—starts with securing your doors and windows. The key is to keep intruders out while still ensuring that you and your family can easily open your doors and windows when needed.
Solid core or metal doors are your best bet for keeping burglars at bay. Make sure all entry doors have a strike plate to help door jambs resist an intruder’s force. Beef up your doors even more by installing an additional steel plate on the back of the jamb and further enhance your door security without sacrificing fire safety.
Did you know that you don’t have to change a whole lock if you lose your keys? Home security expert Frank Loeffert recommends simply removing the lock from the door and taking it to a hardware store to have it re-keyed. Loeffert also provides pointers on making your own tried-and-true doorstop and using a dowel to secure sliding glass doors.
Casement windows—the kind that operate with a crank—are the most security-friendly because you can’t open them from the outside as long as they’re closed and locked from the inside. But you can still make sliding and double-hung windows safe. Check out these recommendations from home improvement and DIY expert Don Vandervort.
While you’re at it, don’t forget to secure pet doors and garage doors too—even the most unexpected entryways can be prime targets for burglars. For more security tips, check out this slideshow from iVillage, which features helpful suggestions from the Burglary Prevention Council.
It’s best to keep window and door keys close at hand, but be sure to keep them of sight of intruders eyes—stash them in a place that can’t be seen from the outside looking in. Seasoned intruders know to check inside your mailbox or under your doormat for spare keys. Beat them at their own game by giving your spare home key to a reliable friend or neighbor. Have your neighbors keep an eye on your house while you’re away, and return the favor. The folks at Intermatic compiled a handy list of suggestions, such as installing a peephole, for seniors, but the tips can apply to anyone.
The Home Know-It-All