Over the years, statistical information has borne out the fact that there are several points of entry into your home which are universally favored by burglars. In some cases, it’s because of the ease or convenience, and in other cases, it’s due to the privacy afforded by a particular entry point. In any case, by shoring up security measures for the following five most commonly used entry points, you’ll be going a long way toward making your home a bit more secure against burglar attacks.
You wouldn’t think that a burglar would be so bold as to walk right in the front door of your house, but statistically, the front door is by far the leading entry point for burglaries. More than 34% of the time, burglars can make their way into the front door by discovering where you hid your ‘secret’ key, and in some cases, they don’t even bother trying to find your keys. If they have enough time, the hinges can be removed from your door, and they can walk right in.
Back door/sliding doors
Sliding glass doors are usually located in the back of your house, and back doors are especially appealing to burglars because they provide a level of privacy for criminal activity. Many times sliding doors aren’t even latched or locked, and an experienced burglar can even lift them right out of their tracks to gain access to the interior. Needless to say, be sure that all doors in the rear are securely locked before going to bed.
Roughly 10% of all burglaries are carried out via entry through the garage, and this is made possible by the fact that many homeowners leave garage doors open all the time. In some cases, homeowners also leave the door between the garage and the home unlocked as well, providing an open invitation to burglary. The chances of this kind of burglary taking place can be significantly reduced simply by securing both doors for the evening.
Windows don’t usually get as much consideration from homeowners as doors do, so nearly 1/4 of all burglaries take place after criminal entry through first-floor windows. Since windows are not always latched and are almost never locked, they can potentially provide one of the easiest points of entry into the home. There are several things you can do to lower your vulnerability from windows, such as installing window bars, using Plexiglas windows or reinforced glass, and installing a deadbolt system on your first-floor windows.
Garage doors are one of the known weak points of any home security system, and what’s worse, most burglars are well aware of that shortcoming, and often seek to exploit it as a primary means of gaining access to your home and its valuables. As a matter of fact, there could hardly be a more ideal break-in situation for a burglar than using your garage, because once inside, the garage can also serve as a shelter to hide criminal activity, and provide a base for any forays into the interior.
Despite this inherent security weakness, any garage and garage door can be made more secure by taking some simple precautions.
- Out-of-town measures – When you’re on vacation or otherwise out-of-town, make sure to padlock the throw latch on the garage door, and if you don’t have a manual lock already, you can apply a C-clamp to either side of the door, so that’s effectively locked down.
- Install a peephole – By installing a wide-angle peephole in the door between the garage and your house, you’ll be able to see what’s happening in the garage. While that won’t prevent a security breach, you will at least be aware of what’s happening out there, so that you can quickly call for help, and prepare yourself as best you can.
- Opaque garage windows – Don’t allow criminals visibility into your garage so they can see when your car is gone, and when your residence is ripe for the picking. Either frost the windows so they’re opaque, or better yet, have the windows removed entirely.
- Close the garage door – Don’t get into the habit of leaving your garage door open all the time, because any criminal can drive by and notice that fact. Even if you live in a nice neighborhood, you can have not-so-nice visitors from outside that neighborhood.
- Secure your garage doors – The door between the garage and your home should be just as secure as the front door to your house, and it should be just as solidly built, so as to discourage access to the interior of your home.
- Garage door remote – It might be convenient to have the garage door remote in your car, so you can open it easily when you come home, but once you park the car and leave the remote in the car, any burglar has easy access to your house. Instead, invest in a keychain remote garage door opener that you can leave on a keychain, so the remote can’t be picked up by anyone who shouldn’t have it.
- Emergency release – Make sure that your garage door emergency release is secured, even if you have to use some plain old zip ties for the purpose.
Garage door security devices and recommendations
For all your security product needs, and for additional recommendations on how to make your home more secure against criminal penetration, contact your local residential locksmith, and discuss any issues you may have.