We all value keeping our families safe and, no matter where you live, keeping your home secure always remains a top priority. Secure windows, doors and other access points represent some of the most important factors in keeping your home and family safe.
While burglaries throughout the United States declined in recent years, the average loss per incident still totals over $2,000. Of course, there is no way to measure the emotional toll a break-in has on your family. Many people only consider the kind of crimes they see on TV when it comes to home security. You may imagine the greatest threat being a forced entry by a masked intruder in the middle of the night — as so many police dramas would lead us to believe.
However, most break-ins occur during the day, when your family is at work or school. Additionally, unlawful entries account for at least 35% of all burglaries. That means that criminals may just enter your home through an open or unlocked door or window.
The first step to securing your home is simple: be sure to lock your doors and windows whenever you leave the house or go to sleep. A burglar may be deterred by a lock and simply move on to an easier target. Additionally, be sure to shut any doors or windows when they are not in use for ventilation, even when you are in the house. A closed window or door further deters intruders.
Knowing the patterns of typical burglars can also help you keep your home safe. Most burglars enter through the front door, so securing that entrance should take high priority. First-floor windows represent the second most common entry point, and master bedrooms are particular targets. Generally, people feel most comfortable in their bedrooms and choose them for storing valuable items such as jewelry. Make sure that you keep these expensive items out of view from a window.
Don’t underestimate the importance of high quality doors and windows. Doors made from high-quality, sturdy materials are more difficult to break into. A door with a solid core is more difficult to damage or break down in order to get around a lock. Similarly, high-quality locks and hardware help deter intruders. Don’t trust a simple lock that even the most amateur locksmith could pick. Sliding or French doors and windows with multiple point locking systems lessen the chances of a forced entry.
Keep in mind that total replacement of your doors and windows may not represent the only option for securing your home. In many cases, simply upgrading the hardware of these access points will protect you and your family from intruders.
Especially if you have small children in your home, you have more to worry about than just keeping intruders out when it comes to the safety of your windows and doors. It is also important to understand the safety precautions you must take.
Make sure that small children or your pets cannot access an open window or door. Especially in summer, many enjoy keeping windows open to allow fresh air into their homes. However, be mindful of furniture near open windows as children or pets may use a table, chair or couch to climb up and out. Screens keep insects out of your home when you want the windows open, but they push out easily and will not prevent a fall.
Windows and doors also represent important emergency exits in the event of a fire. Sit down with your family and make a plan for an emergency to ensure everyone knows how to safely leave the home. Don’t forget that windows can be used as potential emergency exits.